The Slightly Longer Way – Day 23

The Slightly Longer Way Series - Table of Contents

EntryNotable Places/EventsRSJP
Day 0 – Friday, May 05 2023 to Sunday, May 07 2023Flight from Edmonton to Tokyo-
Day 1 – Monday, May 08 2023Train from Tokyo to Kyoto-
Day 2 – Tuesday, May 09 2023RSJP Orientation DayW1D1
Day 3 – Wednesday, May 10 2023Placement test, Kinkakuji/Golden PavilionW1D2
Day 4 – Thursday, May 11 2023Kyo-Yuzen Dyeing WorkshopW1D3
Day 5 – Friday, May 12 2023Mori Touki-ken Pottery WorkshopW1D4
Day 6 – Saturday, May 13 2023Ichihime Shrine, Nishiki Market-
Day 7 – Sunday, May 14 2023Nara, Todaiji Temple-
Day 8 – Monday, May 15 2023UrasenkeW2D1
Day 9 – Tuesday, May 16 2023Nijojo CastleW2D2
Day 10 – Wednesday, May 17 2023Tojiin TempleW2D3
Day 11 – Thursday, May 18 2023Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street, TsubomiW2D4
Day 12 – Friday, May 19 2023Kyoto StationW2D5
Day 13 – Saturday, May 20 2023Kamogawa River, Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai-
Day 14 – Sunday, May 21 2023Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai-
Day 15 – Monday, May 22 2023Kimono-ProW3D1
Day 16 – Tuesday, May 23 2023Ritsumeikan Library, Hama SushiW3D2
Day 17 – Wednesday, May 24 2023Domoto Insho House, Kamogawa, IchijojiW3D3
Day 18 – Thursday, May 25 2023Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Hama Sushi (with Kel)W3D4
Day 19 – Friday, May 26 2023Super KaraokeW3D5
Day 20 – Saturday, May 27 2023Nothing special-
Day 21 – Sunday, May 28 2023Demachi Masugata Shopping Street, a long walk home-
Day 22 – Monday, May 29 2023Nothing specialW4D1
Day 23 – Tuesday, May 30 2023Kyoto International Manga MuseumW4D2
Day 24 – Wednesday, May 31 2023Ritsumeikan LibraryW4D3
Day 25 – Thursday, Jun 01 2023Maiko/Geiko demonstrationW4D4
Day 26 – Friday, Jun 02 2023Final Presentation, Taiko LabW4D5
Day 27 – Saturday, Jun 03 2023Kusatsu-Juku Honjin, Lake Biwa Museum, Omi Hachiman (with Zian)-
Day 28 – Sunday, Jun 04 2023Omi Hachiman City Museum, Omi Jingu (with Zian)-
Day 29 – Monday, Jun 05 2023ArashiyamaW5D1
Day 30 – Tuesday, Jun 06 2023Nothing specialW5D2
Day 31 – Wednesday, Jun 07 2023Final exam, Osaka, Manga Cafe (with Zian)W5D3
Day 32 – Thursday, Jun 08 2023Osaka, Namba (with Zian)W5D4
Day 33 – Friday, Jun 09 2023RSJP Graduation DayW5D5
Day 34 – Saturday, Jun 10 2023Leaving Zian, Train from Kyoto to Tokyo, Ikebukuro-
Day 35 – Sunday, Jun 11 2023Shibuya, duo MUSIC EXCHANGE-
Day 36 – Monday, Jun 12 2023Shinjuku, Sakura House, Sophia University-
Day 37 – Tuesday, Jun 13 2023Akihabara-
Day 38 – Wednesday, Jun 14 2023Flight from Tokyo to Edmonton-
Final Thoughts--

Tuesday, May 30 2023 (Day 23)

Random Notes

My apartment building is not going to win any fire safety awards. Just look at the bottom of the only stairs in the building:

Also, this is the result of day 2 of deconstruction of that one house near my apartment building. I posted the day 1 picture yesterday.

I’m approaching the 30 day mark in Japan, which is mostly significant in that that’s when I will have to swap out my current 30-day SIM card in my phone for the other 15-day one, I think. Watch me completely forget about this when the time comes though.

Lasty, it was supposed to rain today but didn’t, at least not while we were outside of classes, so I lugged around an umbrella for the entire day for nothing. Apparently Japan has a typhoon watch alert on right now though, as there’s a typhoon south of the country that might or might not make landfall in the next couple days. It doesn’t really look like it will even really hit Japan on the weather map to me, never mind Kyoto, but it might depending on the direction that it heads in, and it was neat from a scholastic point of view to see my first “General Typhoon Information” typhoon alert on the phone either way.

Breakfast with extra milk:


Our class today consisted of two hours of presentation prep in a computer lab, so our class today was located in said computer lab classrooms for the first time. The other class group of 4 had a computer lab that was twice the size of ours:

Ii ne. I also noticed that the doors to their lab swung inwards, whereas the doors to our lab swung outwards. How strange, hey. I spent the two hours working on my presentation Powerpoint and got three slides or so done.

Our third period was our third and final Buddy Talk session, hosted by our Tuesday class teacher, Ms Kaneko, this time. Due to the lack of space in the computer lab, we were split up into two groups, so Cameron and I got two Buddies in our group for a group of 4 while Aubrey and Aurora got one Buddy for a group of 3. Our discussion topic was about how Kyoto and Edmonton differed from each other.

For whatever reason, perhaps because it was a smaller group, perhaps because we randomly got good Buddies this time or something, this Buddy discussion panel went so much better than the first two, largely staying on topic and with a lot more balance in our conversation times. Ms Kaneko was also actively involved, going back and forth between the two groups to listen and nod and occasionally interject. Apparently the other group with one Buddy didn’t go so well though, perhaps because the Buddy was kind of quiet or perhaps because they supposedly went quite far off topic. Either way, I felt good about the conversation/Buddies that we had, and also felt like I finally made some good inroads with making friends with Cameron, and both were big plusses for the day. Our two Buddies were named Ishizawa Natsuki and Matsuda Yuika and were both great.

Our after-school activity today was a Manga Assistant Workshop at the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and it was a joint session with the eight of us from RSJP, the five or so students and their teacher, Ms Onitsuka, from Case Western Reserve University, three Buddies, Mr Tanaka, Ms Nishioka, and some tour guide in training or something named Kaoru.

We took a bus to the museum, and were given yet another daily bus pass by Ms Nishioka that I didn’t end up using, so now I have five of them in my card wallet.

Our Manga Assistant Workshop session was hosted by a lady named Tamao. I was worried about this activity because I can’t draw to save my life, but this workshop was geared for Grade 4 students and up, and basically consisted of pre-drawn things that we then did things like add speech bubbles and coloured lines to, very simplistic on the outside, but actually surprisingly fun because we got to play around with fude pens and G-pens. Even though my stuff ended up smudging a bunch, which Tamao sensei said might well have been because the particular pen and ink or ink and paper didn’t go so well together or because the ink was too new or something, the actual activity itself was still quite fun to watch and mess around with. I still have ink on my hands even after coming home and having a bath…

After the workshop, I made everyone sign a card and gave it to Tamao sensei as our usual parting gift/souvenir. As far as I heard from Lauren, this was the only joint event we have with Case Western, as they have a Wadaiko session on Wednesday, and their graduation ceremony on Friday, before heading home, whereas we have an off-day on Wednesday, and our Wadaiko session on Friday. So this is the only time they’ll get to sign one of my cards too.

After the session, we were free to wander around the museum itself or head home. I and a Buddy named Miyu followed Zian around as she peered into every corner and read lots of things with interest, until the museum finally closed an hour and a half later and we were kicked out.  This manga museum was interesting in that it was built on the grounds of the oldest Primary School in Japan, which was no longer in operation but whose school buildings had been repurposed for the museum since it was in such a central location in downtown Kyoto and was lots of heritage value as well. Several rooms in the building were dedicated to the history of the school itself, mixed in with rooms dedicated to manga. This, for example, was the principal’s office:

We were not allowed to take pictures of most of the manga exhibits and collections, with poor excuses like “protecting the media from flash photography” and “copyright issues”, but whatever. The museum had an incredible collection of manga from the very old to the very recent, spanning a couple hundred shelves over the three levels of the schools, and most of it was free for visitors to take and sit down on a nearby chair to read, since its aim was to double as a library of sorts as well. That was very interesting. While it was “free” to borrow once inside, the actual admission did cost money, but one could buy a yearly pass for 6,000 yen for adults, which seemed like a great deal if one loved manga and wanted to read or research old books. Most of it was in raw Japanese, though there were sections for international translated manga as well.

About the only disappointing section of the museum was the gift shop — despite promising to have over 3,000 rare goods and location/event-specific goods, or something like that, by and large all they had were very generic goods (acrylic stands, towels, etc) from the usual popular series only, and nothing from rare series at all. Their “event specific goods” were basically stuff from characters linked to Kyoto commuter passes which I’ve seen on various ads around the city, and location specific stuff include brushes and colouring kits. One thing I almost bought, but did not, was coloured mechanical pencil lead, particularly blue lead, which we used in the workshop for sketching before actually committing to drawing things with our ink pens. Apparently this technique is used because blue marks do not show up on paper when photocopying them. Blue mechanical pencil lead was very interesting to encounter!

After leaving the museum, Zian and I, and our buddy, Miyu (I think her name is something like Wada Miyu, but I might be butchering her last name), hung around together and went for a walk from the museum to Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street, which Zian and I had visited before on Day 11, and then ended up walking south and west through the streets along a path I basically took two days ago as we walked west along Shijo Street, all the way to Saiin Station/Nishioji Shijo where the two of us lived.

We were trying to find a decent food place for dinner, but the first two places we picked, a vegetarian shop and a sushi shop, were full to the point that once we got to the restaurant, we couldn’t even get into it without a reservation or an hour-long wait, and we also stood around in indecision outside of a couple other shops that we could have gone into, but didn’t. The curse of having a bunch of indecisive people not wanting to make decisions that affect others.

Either way, it eventually turned into a one hour walk whose first half was new to me but whose second half was on that above path from last weekend, so that part was a little boring because not only had I already been there, but I knew that there were no really interesting/good places to eat along the way that we were going to be able to agree on — I had also been looking for interesting places to eat at on that route on Sunday and had gotten nowhere with that even with just needing to satisfy myself. My two walking partners were also chatting about amusement parks or something as they were walking and not looking at the restaurants that we were passing anyway, whereas I walked separately behind them because the path was not wide enough for three people to walk abreast, and even if it was, I can’t walk and talk with more than one other person due to my bad ear and the traffic zooming by next to us. We did pass some nice new-to-me architecture along the way though, like this building:

We eventually ended up at a ramen restaurant at Saiin called Tenkaippin, where I had their spiciest dish on the menu, with the spice level turned up to max.

It was definitely the spiciest dish that I had had since coming to Japan, and while I could handle it without drinking any water until I had completely drained the bowl, I could definitely feel the burn. But the tradeoff for that was that the noodles and soup basically felt tasteless outside of the spice, so the dish felt more of a store gimmick than an actual dish where they used the spice to enhance the taste of whatever they were making. Sure you could (and I did) add the triple level of spice to it and end up with a bowl dripping with chili pepper, but it didn’t work with the overall taste of the noodle itself.

After dinner, we were basically between Zian‘s place and mine, so we split ways there, with her heading west back to her place while I headed east back to mine. Miyu also headed east back to one of the nearby train stations to get home from there, as the Sai/Saiin stations were a transit point on her way home for her too. She had an English exam the next day but still hung out with us for hours, and we really appreciated that — what a great Buddy.

After getting home and having a shower and doing laundry, I collapsed into bed and fell asleep until 1 am before getting up again to write this. My sleep schedule is a little off as usual. I also have a small blister on one of my toes, but it’s not in a place that’s giving me much discomfort.

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