Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On the Road. Chapter 3

With the number of times I road on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train), I still can't believe I don't have a picture inside one.

This is the last thing I saw leaving Osaka on my way to Kanazawa. After spending about 30 minutes walking up and down the train, I was finally able to figure out which seat I was in. Even got to walk through the glorious smoking car on my way to find it. That's right, there is a car on every Shinkansen in which every man and woman smokes like a chimney for the entire ride. Pray you don't ever get stuck in that car during rush hour. It is what I imagine hell to be like.

Kanazawa station. I thought this entry to the station was beautiful. You really feel the richness of this area. Its in the northwest of Japan, so it is FREEZING cold, and everything is of a very high quality. But that is of course why I came to Kanazawa. By the time I found my hostel and then walked all the way down to the park, it was dark, and closed, so I went to get a bowl of delicious ramen, rest up for the night, and head out early the next morning so I could take my time before nightfall.

Working my way up the giant stone steps leading to the castle, this "little" guy greeted me. I wish I had put my hand next to it. Pretend I put a quarter next to would be a little bit bigger than the head.

This is the gate leading to one of the most famous parks in all of Japan. I was so excited to get here, I wanted to save it for last so I spent as much time wandering the castle grounds as possible before going in.


My camera battery started to die. I HAD to find a convenience store and buy some more batteries before I went into the park. Anywhere you go in Japan, you can throw a rock and you will hit a convenience store. Stand outside an 7-11 (yeah they have them there), and you can usually see another one just down the street, with 2 different convenience store chains in between. Anywhere that is, except the vicinity of Kanzawa Park. After all that walking to find batteries, to no avail, in my cheap Converse shoes (i'll never do that again) I basically wanted to just die.

But I had come all this way. I had to see what was so wonderful about this park.

If it weren't filled to the brim with tourists, I could see how it could be called one of the most tranquil and beautiful gardens on earth. But dude...there were a grip of tourists.

This is it. The one picture I took right when I entered before my battery died.



That Girl said...

aw, isn't that the way it goes? too bad.

I'll try to take your advice, but this is what I eat when I'm at lunch at work. I can't exactly stir fry at work.

Gene said...

Great architecture. HUUUGE Asian Giant Hornet. Very mossey stump. Now all they need is the kudzu and the cicada.

Patrick Jinks said...

I can't believe a travelling photojournalist would be so unprepared for the history he would encounter that he would not have battery back-up plans.

That being said, these are dang good pics.

debby andrews & family said...

Ryan, you should definitely have these printed out and create a real scrapbook. It would be awesome.

Gene said...

Just discovered that kudzu is actually native to Japan and China. Check out this site more info.