Thursday, March 20, 2008

For children, height is very important

20080310-Objects-01, originally uploaded by sleepytako.

Toys for sale at an omiyage (souvenir) shop on a small road leading up to Fushimi Inari Taisha. Omiyage shops often put these toys outside at kid level. Rarely do the toys have any relation to the local tourist attraction unlike the towels, pens, key chains, and other local goods that are on sale. These toys are merely to draw in the kids and hence their parents to the shop.

Habanero Bath

HabaneroBath-1, originally uploaded by sleepytako.

I saw this in the store and had to buy it. It's from the Tohato snack food company that uses the same habanero imagery to sell it's hot snacks and drinks. This is a packet of bathsalts. You pour a bath add the contents of this packet to give your soak a spicy twist. If you've seen my other blog you know I like baths, and I've used various bathsalts like these at home before. (The bath bombs from Lush are the best.)


So I guess your wondering what a habanero bath would be like; well it did sting in a good way when I first got in and it smelt and looked more orange that habanero. Two hours after my bath my skin is very smooth and comfortable and my legs feel interestingly hot. It could be that I poured my bath hotter than usual or it could be the salts, to tell you the truth I'm not too sure. The best part of the whole experience is that "do not eat" warning on the bottom left of the package.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社

Photos of Fushimi Inari Taisha. Located two stations south of Kyoto station on the Nara line, this large shrine complex is known for its multitude of torii. Donors to the shrine put up a torii in their name in various sizes from about the size of a magazine to pretty huge. I took these photos using my Lensbaby 3g selective focus lens.

Homepage (in Japanese) 伏見稲荷大社





Friday, March 14, 2008

Kyoto's Cloud City

20080310-KyotoTower-02, originally uploaded by sleepytako.

Built in 1964 at a height of 131m the very retro, often disparaged Kyoto tower has always been an icon of an aesthetic of Japanese design that doesn't get much play in the west or Japan. It seems that all the major cities of Japan need a tower of some sort and all them feature prominently in their town's iconography but Kyoto tower, even-though it's most likely the first thing you'd notice leaving Kyoto station, is almost ignored from the cities self identification. During my study abroad days none of my teachers or fellow students liked it either. I guess I'm in the minority on this issue. No matter. It reminds me of Cloud City from The Empire Strikes Back and the idea that Lando is up there totally just makes it seem cooler to me.

-Kyoto Tower is located across the street from the main exit of JR Kyoto Station.
-The trip to the top costs ¥770
-Open all year
-Operating Hours are 9:00-21:00

The building underneath the tower has a hotel, bathhouse(!?!?), restaurants, cafes, omiyage shops. I actually haven't made my way to the top of the tower yet, so I'll have to go up, check out the bathhouse and report back about all that at Kansai Onsen Review.

Kyoto Tower homepage (in Japanese)