Monday, October 29, 2012

Chasing the TV

Before I start my sentimental travel narration, random thought:


I've been subscribed to this YouTube channel from the beginning and always liked it. They've certainly come a long way in the last two years. I just watched this and thought it was really neat...but I didn't recognize a single song. In fact, I couldn't tell where one started and one ended. Had I not known better I wouldn't have realized it was a medley. I'm so clueless...and I kind of like it.


Japanese TV is really interesting. Usually you're watching somebody walk around walking into interesting little stores and restaurants while a bunch of people in the studio gasp and ooh and ahh in admiration.


It's hard to see, but there's a girl walking around eating food. Notice the face in the top right corner reacting to everything. Don't be distracted by my Grandparents commentary.

We were watching a guy walk around a place called 二子玉川 Futakotamagawa). He went into a tiny little store that sells these edible animals to put on top of cakes. They are ridiculously detailed and all made completely by hand. It takes up to three days just to make one of them.

He then went to this place called 玉川大師(Tamagawadaishi) a little tucked away buddhist temple with a bunch of very significant statues in its basement.

As we awed while watching, my grandma turned to me and said, "want to go?" So we did, just like that we hopped on a train and went to see what we'd just seen on TV. 

(昨日おばあちゃんとテレビを見たら、二玉川のあたりにある玉川大師とメレンゲというお菓子やさんを見て、行こうとすぐ決定しました。)

The guy running the small store was so happy that we'd come after seeing him on TV. Apparently we were the first customers that saw the store on TV. My grandma being the lady she is bought a ton of stuff to make him happy. 

We then went to the temple and it was spectacular. 


It was tucked away in a hard to find place and there were only two other people inside. The basement was unbelievable. Totally an adventure. You walk down a tiny little steep staircase and it's instantly pitch black. You can't see ANYTHING. All you can do is cling to the walls.

It takes about ten minutes of walking through the pitch black before you get to this:



Cavern after cavern of ancient statues underground lit only by candlelight. I felt like I was Indiana Jones...for real. The lack of crowds and silence also made it feel very reverent and sacred. Loved it. 

To top it all off, there was a pretzel store right next to the train station.


We had just been talking that morning about how when my Grandma would fly over from Japan to visit us when we were kids, she'd buy us Pretzel-Maker pretzels and how she hadn't had one in years and really wanted one and how she'd never seen them being sold in Japan. That was perfect.

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