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a frog the size of texas

September 4th, 2007

08:32 am

Yesterday, rachelmanija and I met up with her friends from Henson, Halle and Julianne, and headed outside of Tokyo to Kamakura to see the giant Buddha, then Kita-Kamakura, to poke around the temple complex and cemetery.

The giant Buddha is a large bronze statue cast in the 13th century that has survived many disasters since then, including a tsunami that washed away the temple it was in. Which means that was a hell of a tsunami, since it's not really anywhere near the sea. It's hollow and you can go inside but I didn't, since it looked like that involved stairs, and my ankle doesn't like stairs much right now. (Rachel and I have engaged the so far futile quest for an Ace bandage, but can only find athletic tape. I've got it taped right now, but ti's driving me insane and I may rip it off soon.) Rachel and Julianne did, and reported that it was nifty.

Then off to the temple complex at Kita-Kamakura, where there's a shrine to the Buddha's tooth, among other things. We happened upon a few people practicing Zen archery and they let us watch, even giving us mosquito coils to deal with the mosquitos. After poking about some more, we happened upon the area of the temple where they serve green tea and small sweet biscuity-type things for 500 yen, so we indulged. You could hear the monks chanting faintly somewhere off in the distance as you sat and drank tea out of the bowl. Green tea is fairy bitter, and the extremely sweet biscuity things complemented it well.

Then we wandered off to the cemetery. Rachel and Julianne went in and photograhed away, while Halle and I hung around the vending machines at the entrance of the cemetery. Which is pure Japan for you.

Back to the New Koyo, conbini bento for dinner, and an early night since I'd gotten about three hours of useful sleep the night before.

10:55 am

Quick post before catching the train -- last night on our walk back to the hotel, it was dark. In the distance ahead I saw what looked like a man standing on the corner with a cat on a leash. As we got closer, I noticed that it was indeed a cat on a leash - white, fluffy, well-fed - but that there was nobody in the clothing. I asked Rachel why that suit of clothing was taking its cat for a walk, and then as we got closer, I noticed that it was just the telephone pole behind the shirt that made me think there were pants. There was merely a shirt hanging on the telephone pole, with the cat's leash tied to the pole beneath the right sleeve so that it looked like the shirt was taking its cat for a walk.

We took photos, because none of you would believe it otherwise.

Oh yes - in more surrealism, at Worldcon, we were on comptuers in teh computer area and soemone came up and apologetically switched the position of two computers that were next to each other, with a slightly confusing explanation that he needed to switch them. Um, ok. That made the people on them have to get up and switch seats, then continue their computing.

And at one building we waited outside of, we saw a security guard letting in the various office workers. And also a cat. Who went in and out twice in ten minutes.
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