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Movies are so amazing. They transport you to a place where it doesn't matter what your reality is. It's dangerous because sometimes you want to stay there, or reality becomes a pale comparison.
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Went to the Boso no Mura Museum Village, the outdoor museum of the Edo period. It was pretty cool, although nothing was in English, so that was difficult.
It was set up like a real village/town. There was a main street with a sweet shop, kimono fabric shop, a craftwork store, porcelain store, noodle house, fishmonger and restaurant, blacksmith, tatami mat maker, a shrine, bookbinder and hand-written local newspaper, liquor and fuel store, woodwork factory and a Japanese paper workshop. I went in to the paper store and got a demonstration in how to make an origami beating heart. I think they showed me that one because they thought that Dave was my boyfriend.
There were demonstrations for most of the shops at different times. The fabric or kimono shop was showing young girls how to sew a certain kind of decoration that I see everywhere in Japan. In another, people were decorating candles. I watched a woman make clay pottery. But you had to sign up to take part in all of the demonstrations. Since we couldn't speak Japanese, it was difficult to do.
We walked out of the main street to the Samurai house and there was a sign that you could dress up in the Samurai armour if you signed up, so we tried... but they said it was full. Oh well. That would have been cute.
We walked around to three of the farms that were built according to different regions' architectural styles. There were kids toys outside that you could play with. We tried to do the one that was like walking on stilts. Hopeless. I looked like an idiot. There were some young children there dressed up in period costumes and he could do it fine. Cheater. Punk.
There was a kabuki theatre stage on which some kids were playing the drums. Totally out of sync with each other. Having so much fun. So cute.
There was a tea house there and a water mill and gardens and rice paddies/patties (I don't know if the guidebook was Engrish or correct English).
Unfortunately, there wasn't much for us to do, since none of the exhibit information was in English. The origami was fun, though, and if we could have signed up to paritipate in the activities, it would have been even better. Apparently, you can also take regular pottery courses there, and courses in all of the traditional Japanese arts, actually. They have student creations on display there.
It's a pretty interesting place. But it cost quite a bit to get out there, since it was so far out of the city. And the buses aren't very regular, so we took a taxi from the train station. But a bus on the way back. It's a good thing that entrance to the museum was free.
It definately made me wish I could speak/read Japanese.
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Met Dave's friend Laura tonight at Dave's favourite Yakitori bar. She's from Melbourne.
Asked tonnes of questions. She wasn't always able to help, but she did make me feel a lot better about leaving.
Life will be just LIFE over there, only in a different place. They have gyms and yoga and jobs and fun people and boring things too.
my lack of univeral translator
Lonely Planet guide