Monday, September 29, 2008

this is pretty comprehensive concept for what Tokyo was like: a grove paradise filled with friends and the daylight....of the night ;)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

trying to take a good photo.

i think this is the only picture of the dragnet fishing i have

rice workers and more rice field
I don't know what these dog statues are called.

Some personal shrines.

another view of Kamogawa

In our way to Imai beach for the Dragnet fishing. A bunch of people were taking pictures while I was pulling the net one. Apparently not even many nihonjin(japanese people) have experienced it and it was pretty fun. To describe it, imagine a giant fishing net thrown pretty far off shore using a small boat and then it`s dragged in using two ropes on both sides. It took maybe twent minutes to get the net into shore and it was quite a work out. At times you could feel the current swaying the net but then everyone on the beach nihonjin or not started helping out and it was pretty fun afterwards walking the rope up the beach and then racing back down into the water line to pull more rope. Afterwards we had a BBQ with vegetables and some conch and played beach volleyball. I`ll upload those photos when the other people send them to me.

Imai Beach.
The view from the zinzya. You can see the second entrance below. As a group we talked to an old lady near the zinzya. The thing about elderly japanese is even if you say you don`t speak Japanese well, they just reply ``Oh is that so? Well, when I was a young girl I used to go pearl diving three times a week but now I`m too old to keep doing that. Are you guys visiting the Zinzya? Well, unfortunately the summer festival has been cancelled because there`s not enough young men in town to carry the statue to the shrine...`` etc, etc. I understood maybe 10% of what she was saying but as a group we managed an understanding of what she was saying.

Here`s a closer picture of the shrine.

This picture is my favorite. For me, the view from the shrine had an almost dream-like quality. To see all those shingled roofs in different colors cozily surrounded by the green cliffs on one side and a black sand ocean on the other side coincides with my dreams too well. On top of that, all we had to do was walk here from where we are staying.

More rooftops.

Everybody was taking pictures of various scenery so I thought I`d take a picture of our own curiosity. Here`s everyone`s name and how I know them in case I mention them again: Lana (on my plane from Dallas), Taylor (In the same language level as me and taught me a card game called Twa), I think the headless person is Austin (part of the graduate student clique I introduced myself to, Brian (same as Austin), and the ear of Adrian.

Picturesque alleyway pointing to the seaside.

The red box is a post office box. You can tell from the white kanji on the side that looks like a letter T

About 50 paces from the seaside we found this great bonzai garden.

On the third day in Kamogawa, Adrian and I decided we would find a zinzya)shinto shrine. We asked the superintendent of the seminar house if there were any nearby and he said we would have to take a taxi if we wanted to find one. We had heard though that you could see one from the beach so we decided to look around anyways as a an excuse to get out. We were looking for about 30 minutes before we found this one. Jullian, the fellow on the left in the picture below thinks that the super might have been trying to discourage us from going out in the afternoon because of the mamushi(japanese rattlesnake). Apparently, last year there was a fatal accident. Still, they`re nocturnal so we haven`t been exploring countryside in the evening. No real loss though.

Here`s the actual shrine. Most zinzya, even small ones, have large gates as shown in the picture before because it`s a necessary part of the enshrinement. So you could have a giant twenty foot gate and four foot shrine right behind it!

This is the yaoya( of a thousand things) or small market we stopped by to get snacks before we arrived at Kamogawa the first day.

Another picture of the beautiful view from the Seminar House

Although the humidity obscures it, the bay is right beyond the hill in the top center of the picture.

Here is an example of all the lush gardens that mainly compose Kamogawa. Mostly everyone`s garden here is pristinely maintained.

A quick shot of some hillside surrounding Kamogawa. It feels like the entire town fits inside the wrinkles of these steep hills.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Part 2

Chiba Prefecture Countryside from the Airport to the Kamogawa Seminar House

From the first dinner at Kamogawa

A quick snapshot of the spread

The view from the common area at the Seminar House. That day, it was pretty humid but now I can see beyond the mountains to the bay where we went swimmint the day after.