Yakiniku (Japanese Barbeque)

First of all, depending on where you come from this may not be a strange restaurant, there might be something like it with another name (Well, at least my classmates from Taiwan and Thailand, said it was common in their countries. The wise Wikipedia guy says they are available in the States as well)

It was my first time visiting that restaurant, where you grill your own meat, to me it kind of defeated the purpose of going to a restaurant, but it seems everyone enjoyed it. This particular restaurant had you pay by the hour (it was probably an all you can eat type).

Cooking their own meat.

Seasoned meat and vegetables.

Grilled meat and veggies, with various sauces (here, soy only)

 

 

 

 

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Up and away we go…

The trip to Mt. Hiei (Hieizan) had us use more than one means of transport, but the one i found most interesting was the aerial tramway (called a “ropeway” in Japanese). I had only seen them in movies and they have only been the subject of unfortunate accidents, so I wasn’t really looking forward to riding it, but the trip proved me wrong.

A little taste of flying.

It’s a long way back home, but it was really worth it.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas…

Is “the Nightmare Before Christmas” a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? Well, why not both?

I never met anyone who doesn’t like or at least know this popular stop motion animation about Halloween Town and a pumpkin king called Jack.

The nice thing about Den Den Town, is that apart from the huge amount of Anime goods, you would find goods from popular western animations and movies (Mostly things that have become very popular and sometimes iconic). I found this pic in one of my folders.

The picture doesn’t show how big they really are, about 120~130 cm high. And I’m lucky I didn’t get caught, because of the “No photography” sign they had

Swim, my little friends.

It’s actually one of our teachers that reminded me of this photo, when she started talking about the turtles in the two ponds in Shitennoji. So, have some swimming turtles for today.

Here is a Wikipedia bit about the cultural depiction of turtles in Japanese tradition.

In Japan, the turtle has developed a more independent tradition than the other three prominent beasts of China. The minogame (蓑亀), which is so old it has a train of seaweed growing on its back, is a symbol of longevity and felicity. A minogame has an important role in the well-known legend of Urashima Tarō.

According to traditional Japanese beliefs, the tortoise is a haven for immortals and the world mountain, and symbolizes longevity, good luck, and support. It is the symbol of Kumpira, the god of seafaring people.

The tortoise is a favored motif by netsuke-carvers and other artisans, and is featured in traditional Japanese wedding ceremonies. There is also a well-known artistic pattern based on the nearly hexagonal shape of a tortoise’s shell. These patterns are usually composed of symmetrical hexagons, sometimes with smaller hexagons within them.

All the little buddies gathered around the center.

It looks like they are used to people feeding them, because they gather whenever someone comes close to their pond.

 

Hieizan mascot gachapon

I talked about Gachapon before, but one thing I forgot to mention is that you’d find them in the weirdest places, I found these ones in the cable car stop on the way up to Hieizan’s top. They had phone straps and pins with the cute geisha mascot.

Pins, with different symbols from Kyoto.

Phone straps, with the cute Kyoto mascot girl.