(of interest only to the completist)
- Getting There
A long plane ride. A nice lady. The difficulty of getting out
of Tokyo without reservations just before New Year's. Why I
liked the not-so-fancy business hotels.
- Jimmy shows me the Tourist Ropes
Settled in the Rinkai "Ocean View" Inn in the suburbs of Osaka with Jimmy, Jimmy
gives me a crash course in tourist Japanese.
- Wandering in Sakai
In Sakai, on the outskirts of Osaka, Jimmy and I check out an
ancient temple mound, a market, and more.
- New Year in Soji-ji
Jimmy and Hiroko and I stay in an honest-to-goodness cramped
Japanese apartment in a semi-nameless place between Osaka and
Kyoto. Why bathing was no fun.
- To Nachi
The Osaka aquarium the day after New Year. Hooking up with
Hans, Dave, and Brendan in Shingu. Laundry.
- Travel with Jimmy, Hans, Dave, and Brendan
Why the bathroom smelled funny. Playing tourist in Kyoto. The Osaka
aquarium under not-insanely-crowded conditions. The Taiji whaling museum.
- Day Trips out of Kyoto
Hello Kitty popcorn vending machine. Himeji castle. Rants.
- More Day Trips out of Kyoto
Iga Ueno, including its museum of ninja tools.
- It's the Cheese
A snide aside about Japanese cheese
A warm place with plenty of lava
A Japanese punk club, as remembered years after the fact (not well)
if you want to extend a conversation
but don't necessarily have anything to say, you can say, "Well,
just look at the Japanese."
I graduated from college in
December of 1991. I had a job
lined up. I figured that this would be my last chance to take a
really long vacation, my last chance before I got busy with work.
So I went to Japan. It was the perfect time to go. My former
house-mate Hans was there teaching English; a few of our mutual
friends were going to visit with him in early January. My school/work
friend Jimmy was going to be at the tail-end of a multi-month stay
there. I could spend my first couple of weeks hanging out with
friends. And I'd have a chance to wander around on my own. And
that's what I did.
When I got back, I wrote installations of a travelog as parts of
my letters to friends. I didn't write fast enough.
I'd spent about a month and a half in Japan; a lot of things
happened during that time. Once I'd been back home about a year,
I'd only finished writing about maybe half. And then I gave up.
Remembering was just too fuzzy.
So here's what I wrote down.