Ninja in Kyoto

Originally published on 5th April 2015 on Blogger

Today we had an awesome day. We got up early, really, and got the train to Shinagawa, and jumped on the Shinkansen to Kyoto. Two hours and thirty five minutes of relaxing, reading and snoozing and we arrived in Kyoto, to meet Maki, Lan-chan and Sen-chan at Kyoto station. It was so nice to see them, and Mya was immediately comfortable with the girls. We drove to Toei Studios Park. This is an operational movie studio and movie set used for many period dramas and ninja and samurai films in Japan. It is also a theme park. There were actors and filming taking place while we were there. It was very cool.

We saw several shows. One ninja show, which was awesome, and one show which was a director and two actors making a drama, and the actors kept getting it wrong….. It was all in Japanese (of course) but was totally hilarious. Maki was interpreting some bits, but the actors were so funny, you could kind of get what was going on.

Parts of the park are set up to look like different parts of Japan, throughout history. The red light district, in Edo (Tokyo), the Nihonbashi (Japan bridge) in Tokyo. It was fantastic. I learnt heaps from Maki, as we walked around and talked about stuff like kamon (family crests). I now know the Tokugawa family crest, and understand many things that we couldn’t work out. Many Japanese say “so, so, so, so” when they are talking to each other. We couldn’t find a translation. It’s kind of like saying “really, really?” When someone is telling you a story.

Anyway, we had a great time at Toei studies, then we went back to the guesthouse. The girls played, Finn watched something he downloaded, and I sat with Maki and some guests and friends, Japanese and one Mexican guy, and drank Asahi and sake and ate one bite nigiri, talking about manga and Japan and had a lovely night.

We realised we were going to be pushing it to get to the station, so we quickly got organised, said goodbye, again and again. I cried, as always. (I get very emotional when saying goodbye). Hugs and then rushed to the bus, squished on the bus, and only just made our train.

Our last Shinkansen, which is very sad. I love these trains. They are soooooo brilliant. You can buy food and drinks, there are toilets, you have a table and it’s kind of like being on a plane. You can travel vast distances in a short amount of time, without the hassle of planes. There is always a station less than 10 minutes walk away, and the train will take you to a Shinkansen station. You line up at the carriage number indicator on the platform, and the train stops, let’s people on and off and takes off again in a matter of minutes. So efficient.

 

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