Tokyo Damage Report

Japan trip 7a: miyako!

SATURDAY 17 — MIYAKO

Shit was crazyeeee boyee. Got up early, did one bike-lap around the lake, . then train to um morioka. When I transfer I totally left my phone on the train. Luckily I realize it and run back onto the train and find it at the last possible second –totally wedged between two chairs under the seat coushions, totally hiding as much as possible. Picture me barging on totally sweat-faced and pawing at the buttocks of the grandpa sitting in my former seat, yelling “forgotten thing excuse me forgotten thing excuse me!”

Next I want to go to the town of Miyako. Like a smart guy, I phone ahead and get 2 hotels that say “sorry full” and straight hang up on a hobbit! THEN I phone the tourist beaurau which does not even answer. Stupidly I persevere, and after riding for 2 hours on THE LOUDEST, STINKIEST, SLOWEST TRAIN I HAVE EVER FUCKING RIDDEN, a total greyhound bus of a mess, I finally get to miyako, only to find out from the tourist booth lady that it is the middle of a 3 day weekend plus um oh yeah, fall festival, so all the hotels are sold out . well IF YOU ONLY WOULDA TOLD ME THAT WHEN I PHONED YOU 2 HOURS AGO IT WOULD HAVE SAVED ME THE FUCKING TRIP WOULD IT NOT HAVE?? anyway the beleagured tourist-help-desk ladies find me a youth hostel, and presently I also locate some red-hot burn-your-ass-off ramen which is just boss.

The festival (the Miyako Fall Hand-Dance Festival to be precise) is kind of lame because the dancers are all the most un-motivated, no-rehearsal-attending slagbags ever. But the drummers more than make up for it by beating out taiko rhythms like b00-yAA. Lots of floats in the shape of boats. I ask a old lady why the theme is boats, and she says, “well, we are a harbor city.” Which really does not explain anything, because for crying out loud they have boats in the spring summer and winter too, don’t they? But in the end it is fun because this is my first exposure to Japanese hick culture. There was even hick gothic lolitas for no reason. Seems like everyone here is either in high school or in their 60s. I guess most of the school-grads escape to big cities, which makes me feel kind of sorry for the parents being stuck in a dying town.

they made these kung-fu kids pull the floats. that is some serious training.

this shit was the most live of all —

this guy is straddling a ten foot tall drum.

ok fuck it this page is too big. go on to part two of the festival.

 


japan page 1 — touya

japan page 2 —shikotsuko

japan page 3 — shirogane

japan page 4 – biei

japan page 5 – asahidake

japan page 6- tazawa lake and nyuto onsen

japan page 7 – miyako festival

japan page 7 and a half – miyako beach

japan page 8 – kinkasan

japan page 9 – osaka

japan page 10 – texture photos, can you guess what they are of?


japan page 1 — touya

japan page 2 —shikotsuko

japan page 3 — shirogane

japan page 4 – biei

japan page 5 – asahidake

japan page 6- tazawa lake and nyuto onsen

japan page 7 – miyako festival

japan page 7 and a half – miyako beach

japan page 8 – kinkasan

japan page 9 – osaka

japan page 10 – texture photos, can you guess what they are of?

japan page 11- engrish! (hokkaido edition!)

 


japan page 1 — touya

japan page 2 —shikotsuko

japan page 3 — shirogane

japan page 4 – biei

japan page 5 – asahidake

japan page 6- tazawa lake and nyuto onsen

japan page 7 – miyako festival

japan page 7 and a half – miyako beach

japan page 8 – kinkasan

japan page 9 – osaka

japan page 10 – texture photos, can you guess what they are of?

japan page 11- engrish! (hokkaido edition!)

 

miyako fall festival, continued. . .

the amazing thing about the fireworks is. . . .at the bottom of each firework fountain is a DUDEwho is carrying it and aiming it.

also, Japan Railways is a sponsor so here are dudes doing the traditional dance with JR lanterns and traditional JR yukatas.

and of course the traditional NTT (japan telephone company) yukatas too!

plus crazy martial arts flag dancing:

the flag dudes were all swinging their flags at these little kids, who had to do crazy ninja moves to avoid it:

 

 

SUNDAY 18 — MIYAKO

OK, took the fucking bus to the famous white-sand beach that was shown in the ad as “white heaven.” Which turned out to be not so much a beach, but like JUST THE ROCK FORMATION IN THE PHOTO AND NOTHING ELSE, whilst crowded by 101 tourists which of course were not in the photo, good lucky timing I guess. Anyway, this is what I came like 5 hours to see. Then I made the mistake of asking the souvinier lady how to get to the forest trails. She passed this dangerous inquiry along the line to the souviner guy who hemmed and hawed until I gave up and just went into the section of trail ? which I had previously seen – marked DO NOT ENTER, which worked just fine in the end.

 

and here is a panorama

and another panorama!!

Went up this crazy redwood forest of twisted sea-bent trees until I came to a fake cave, carved throught a mountain and then ARTIFICIALLY LAYERED WITH EVEN MORE CEMENT TO GIVE THE APPEARANCE OF A NATURAL DISNEYLAND CAVE. Which was rad.

Oh, plus like not one but 2 huge concrete pedestrian bridges where bare rock would have sufficed. Gotta love that doukan kokka ….. Thence to a clifftop redwood cemetery which kicked ass, mosquitoes attacked me and I killed them and fed them to the mutant inch long warrior ants who just fought over them like gladiators, which was just as rad as it sounds. the warrior ants would seriously HUNKER over the morsel and growl like dogs at the other ants that expressed an interest. Then into the forest which was just insane with mosquitoes and stuff. Like every meter there was a giant mosquito and also every meter spiderwebs all doing their thing, it was total jungle. Like you would think that spiders would eat all the mozzies and you know , “two wrongs make a right,” but instead they just declared a truce, to war on my pale ass.

Later take the train back to Miyako. This is such a wonderful train ride. For starters, all the little towns between miyako and morioka are SO BEAUTIFUL. Like tiny hamlets of 4 houses, not big enough to have douken kokka, surrounded by endless forests and mountains and rivers, where a pirate like me could live anonymously, and maybe raise a little family of pirate-babies. start drinking like serious a pint of whiskey and getting hypnotized by the wonderful green blur, and listening to satanic folk music and taking psychedlic pictures with speed-distorted perspective, and just generally getting down. One of those rare alcohol moments where I drink just enough to get into a rad trance and can check the atmosphere.

 

Change trains for sendai. and– in contrast to most trains in japan — people here are all anal about my sitting in a vacant seat, of which there is approximately like 20 on this car, as opposed to my oh-so-holy reserved seat, which is like 10 cars away. Like, in response to my very polite “may I sit here please?” dudes from 4 rows away is all getting up and trying to tell me stuff while grandmas look at me as if I have offered to take a dump on them for a low low price, and tell me that the vacant chair next to them is off limits. Jesus, just gang up on a cracker why don’t you. Admit it, you don’t care about the reservations, you just don’t want to sit next to a stinky foreigner. And believe me I am stinky. Bed and breakfasts over here do not have washing machines. Yech.

Finally I solve the problem by just sititng down without asking. notice a white guy across the aisle and share with him my drunken wisdom. This random german guy, beset by my lubricated tirade, gets all hinkey and says I am “getting on his nerves” which makes sense because his little oriental girlfriend is with him and she probably won’T put out if he is down with my tirade about the rich cultural heritage of her country, such as being xenophobic and totally anal. So I excuse myself from the conversation, by concluding that everyone who complained about me must be “hella high on weed, knowwhatimsaying?” go alcohol!!!

Then after that wonderful incident I train all the way to sendai, transfer like to 3 trains, and finally miss my stop and have to take a taxi, and Believe it or not, even though I left at 2:30 pm I STILL am not in time for the final train and have to stay the night in some random hotel. Which, by the way, that town ALSO has some random festival which means that almost all the rooms are booked solid.

Festivals! Is there anything that God and the Devil both hate more??

Although, the full-ass hotel happens to have an absolute angel of a night-manager-dude who not only phones thorugh the phone book to fid me a place with room, but then he actually drives me over in his own car. In fact he drives me to this hotel with the most insane decor I have ever seen. Like, in my life. I would have taken pictures but honestly I did not know where to fucking start, bro. I mean, everywhere you looked it was faux-traditional kitsch (fake wood buddhas, velvet samurai paintings, you name it bro), and real stuffed dead ocean beings. The dining room alone had like no less than thirty stuffed sea-turtles lining the walls for no reason whatsoever. Jesus. It was like Jon Waters had a baby with Marlon Perkins. It was so fucking out of control. in a corner, a cobwebbed eel spinal cord, rigor moritified in the shape of a spiral. Jesus. Despite the aesthetic extremity, I slept like a baby and then took the first ferry out to Monkey Island.

 

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