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Japan (7-8)

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Yesterday was our first day in Kyoto, continuing from where we left off on the bullet train in Nara.

We stopped by a food street and ate some food.

Sakura mochi and mame-daifuku.


Not pictured: a lemon-and-tea-flavored donut.

Don't you want to drug your one?

After eating, we went to Arashiyama. First was the monkey park, which involved lots of climbing up a mountain and reading little quiz signs on the way. I learned that Japanese macaques can eat dirt but their one of their favorite foods is cicadas.

The monkey park itself has a little hut that you can go into. They sell peanuts and apples and have screened windows that you can feed the monkeys through. It's one person's job to sit by the entrance of the hut and make sure only people, not monkeys, go through the door.
The hut can be summed up in one picture.

The monkeys like to hang off the screen, sit with one arm stretched through a hole, and wait for the tourists with their peanuts to come by. Another tactic is to grab the screen with both hands like a prisoner grabbing cell bars and stare piteously at passersby until they relent and dig through their purse for some change.

A third tactic is to be a ninja monkey and wait stealthily for people to drop peanuts.

There was also a baby monkey that some girls kept chasing after to try and feed.


Close to the park is the Arashiyama bamboo forest. It was quite crowded but if you wait until the sun almost sets the amount of people lessens and you can get some decent pictures.

Konnyaku mochi from a stall outside the grove.

Not pictured: mating bullfrogs that my friend shot a video of. I should remind her that she now has bullfrog porn on her phone.

Walking back from the station to our hostel, we spotted a big fan of Churuya-san,

complete with four Churuya dolls at his windshield, car decal, and Vocaloid music blasting from the speakers loud enough for me to deduce that it was probably Miku singing.

That was about it for our first half-day in Kansai. Today we visited two rather large tourist attractions.
In the morning we went to Nara.

As you probably know, Nara is home to many deer. It has its own deer mascot, Shikamaro (it's an o, not a u), and Nara park is full of deer waiting for the next chance to frighten a high-school girl into dropping her entire pack of shikasenbei so they can enjoy a feast. Here instead we see the residents of an owl cafe taking showers.

Some of the Nara deer are polite enough to bow to you before eagerly stretching for shikasenbei. Others butt you with their heads, chew on your backpack straps, slobber on your shirt (it evaporates pretty fast with little to no residue), or stick their antlers up your shorts and pull backwards.

Have some pictures of deer.

Two deer facing off.

A deer in the process of micturition.

Some deer chasing a terrified girl.

A deer who thought I had food. Upon realizing I only wanted to take his picture, he turned his head in disappointment and ambled away.

Deer cornering a man with shikasenbei.

Deer lining up by the shikasenbei stand, waiting for the rip of paper, the snap of senbei and the shrieks of small children.

A deer stalking its frightened prey.

Deer waiting to pounce on their unsuspecting prey.

A deer by another shikasenbei stand, waiting for someone to pay for its meal.

Two deer turning their heads forlornly as tourists pass by empty-handed.

A deer eating bugs off of another deer. Do deer eat bugs?

A deer eating the wrapper of the shikasenbei. After learning from one seller that the wrapper is edible, I pulled my old wrappers out of my pocket, ripped them up, and lo and behold. I then had a lot of fun picking up people's discarded wrappers from the street and feeding deer for free.

A deer walking slowly around a woman with her hands in the air, inspecting her for concealed shikasenbei.

A deer chewing on the edge of its water bowl instead of actually drinking its water.

We also visited Kasuga-taisha, where the deer were slightly less overwhelming and instead elementary school children swarmed the grounds reminiscent of Zerglings attacking enemy pylons.


After Kasuga-taisha came Todai-ji.

It cost money to go into the Great Buddha Hall, so we walked around instead.

Back to Kyoto, we stopped at Fushimi-inari, where I spent a lot of money buying omamori for friends.

We had dinner at a restaurant Faker recommended, which thankfully was a short way from the station, did not involve walking up a mountain in a rainstorm, was open when we arrived, and took credit cards!

And it was excellent, of course. I feel bad for ordering rice when it's known for its soba, but it did have soba on the side. Besides, we were getting ready to go back to Fushimi-inari, so I thought rice would be more suitable.

That one girl who plays the bass.

The number of people at the shrine drops significantly after 5pm, where the shops and stuff start to close. Additionally, the lack of lighting creates a spooky feel, if you're the easily frightened type. If you're not the easily frightened type, it just makes for bad photo taking.

We spotted a cat sleeping on our way down. During the whole hike, we saw three cats and a dog.

Updated May 13th, 2016 at 10:22 AM by Lianru



  1. Kirby's Avatar
  2. Nikiri's Avatar
    Deer photos put a smile on my face.
  3. Gaia's Avatar
    OMG all this cuteness! <3
  4. Arashi_Leonhart's Avatar

    Hey now

    They aren't Zerglings

    They're not Korean

    I really want to go to watawata someday and hang with those owls
  5. Strange_One's Avatar
    Always have this odd feeling when stuff I learn from anime is reflected in life.

    Many thanks for regaling us with tales of your Japanese adventure.