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Japan: A Blog (from 2005) pt 10 of 912 pt.2

Yamadera and Hot Meat.

The day after the odd trip at the punk bar, we went to Yamadera, notable to Shinto and Buddhist practitioners because of the vertical journey needed to visit the temple located on the side of a mountain.

Yamadera itself is a tiny, tiny little village. I've been a big city guy my whole live, having grown up in Dallas, living in Houston. I don't endear myself to small towns easily, but this place was really neat.

This is the path to the temple. The town is smaller than all of the climb to the temple

Town as seen from the top of the temple

So when we first arrived in town, the only notable thing about the train station was this mural.

This mural represents the great Apple Stealing Fox/Dog War of 1742, where every dog died in vain to attempt to stop all the foxes from taking all the apples in town on winter.

We journeyed across town to the temple entrance (about a 5 minute walk honestly. This is a TINY town)
We walked up to the entrance to the temple and paid the entrance fee, 300Y. Honestly, I don't mind a $3 entrance fee to see a historical site and this was a cheap way to see some cool shit.

I asked Fenris how long to expect the climb to the top of the temple would be. See, the temple at Yamadera is set into a mountain. And it's a damn near vertical climb up a set of several thousand stairs. Fenris replied that he made the climb in 30 minutes. Let me take a second to point out a difference between Fenris and myself. Fenris is skinny, I'm was a heavy, out of shape, fat man who had no business climbing ONE flight of stairs let alone stairs set into the side of a mountain.

So we climbed. I didn't take any pictures of the climb because it was a sad affair. I made the first 5 flights of stairs with no problem. Then I had to stop every two. Then every one. Then we had to take breaks. This was a looooooooooooooong fucking set of stairs. They have 3 "stations" on the climb up where people can take breaks and get food or water. We stopped at every one.

We finally get to the upper reaches of the temple about 90 minutes after starting. It was worth every torturous second of climbing that damn staircase.

The upper reaches were split into several levels. The main lower level was the actual temple and several homes of monks that live and work in the temple. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the temple, but apparently this portion of the monk's day was "reading the newspaper" prayers, along with "drinking coffee" absolution. Very strict stuff. Deeply spiritual. Anyway, onto the pictures.

We were arriving at the start of the "coffee break" ceremony

Monks are very poor people who are only able to afford 4 bedroom homes on the sides of mountains.

Marker for the entrance of the temple

If you're ignorant, then, yes, this is a Nazi substation. If you know why there's a swastika here, then you're enlightened...

Ninjas spend their afternoons in lines doing exercises in the yard. Also, Wu Tang Clan shot a video here...

Ever lovin' god. We've got this observation deck taunting us from above. NOOO MOOORE CLIMBING!!!

Now the upper level was an observation deck where we got to see basically the whole town from several hundred feet up.

High upon the mountains, man sees all from above. Ohmmmmmm....


After we left Yamadera, we headed back to Yamagata, and went to El Paso and then onto dinner where we got to cook our food over a bucket of 600 degree stones. Management got upset at me because I kept cooking my pork and chicken too long and was causing a scene in doing so. Right. Trichinosis and salmonella are too culturally biased to bother with here. After all the climbing and walking, we covered 7 miles in one day. 7 miles. A plate of hot meat, rice, and beer was the perfect end.

Oh yeah, Fenris tried to get me to order horse off of the menu. Wasn't happening.

"El Paso" is a local Native American themed Pachinko parlor. Pachinko parlors are smokey hell holes that you have no business going into unless you want to stink of cigarettes and lose money.

Hot rocks!

Cooking meat. Back bacon and chicken, I think...

The scandalous incident that nearly got us kicked out of the restaurant. Over cooked pork and chicken

Next up - We go shopping and get stranded again.
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About BluDesignone of us since 11:49 AM on 11.10.2006

I own a FamPuter, which is a 100% fake Famicom. And I do own Super Mario Bros. and Rockman 2 for it, which you don't. :P

I'm a 34 year old gamer. I cannot hang out with most of you, and you should not contact me to buy you cheap wine or cigarettes. I do not like jail. Seriously, I own all three consoles and I don't discriminate. Gaming is for fun, not for sissy slapfights. If you consider yourself partial to a particular console, I don't care why you don't own other consoles, I don't want to hear about it. If you're going to bitch about something, you'd better bring some hard evidence of why you're complaining if you want to cry on my shoulder.

Enjoy this wonderful picture of 2 generations coming together at last...

PS - I eat trolls.

PPS - I've been to Japan. Maybe you've heard about it? If not, read up here:

Part 1: Introductions
Part 2: Yamagata's Hanagasa Festival
Part 3: Harajuku Girls and the lack thereof
Part 4: You're not in Kansas anymore, Niero (TGS07)
Part 5: Fresh from the farm to your mouth
Part 6: Going to Japan is hard
Part 7: 30 days takes forever
Part 8: Rape, Rocks, and Alliteration
Part 9: Small Town Nightlife
Part 10: Bling Bling, Hundred Thousand Yen Bill Ya'll
Part 10 Part 2: Mount Yamadera
Part 11: The Japanese Wal-Mart
Part 12: Goin' Down to Tokyo Town
Part 13: Ghiblit Gravy
Part 14: Air Sex
Part 15: Ganguros of New Tokyo
Part 16: The Contest Announcement
Part 17: The Contest
Part 18: The Trip Itinerary
Part 19: Tokyo Day 2
Part 20: Tokyo Day 2 Part 2 (of 2)
Part 21 is no longer there, but it wasn't all that great anyway, so you're not missing out.
Part 22: Happy Picture Montage Time!
Part 23: I have arrived.
Part 24: I have returned.
Part 25: The Case for the American Cheeseburger
Part 26: Random pictures are random
Part 27: A Free Gift for Those Who've Been Paying Attention
Part 28: Nintendo, no seriously, NINTENDO
Part 29: Racists in Japan, Discriminating against the handicapped
Special Report from Cheapy D at CAG
Part 30: The Secret Truth About Japan
Part 31: Oz-Matsuri
Part 32: The Japanese Don't Have Antiperspirant Deodorant

Part 33: There's this Disney character named Stitch in Japan...
Part 34: Trainspotting: Live From Kyoto
Part 35: Kyoto for Beginners
Part 36: Kyoto Smash: Advance Lesson in Fun Time
Part 37: Some Japanese people are alcoholics
Part 38: Hardcore Otaku know where the real action is
Part 40: My attempt at getting the Oscar for Best Japanese Picture
Part 41: What heaven is like.
Part 42: I sneak into a movie studio to pitch my movie
Part 41: What heaven is like.
Part 43: My film idea is shot down in favor of yet another Power Rangers TV show
Part 44: Excessive Male Nudity in Japan
Part 45: The Japanese grocery store has no deli counter
Part 46: How the Japanese language is worked into Japan's society
Part 47: Izukayas and you: How the Japanese drink in public
Part 48: All you really need to know about the Tokyo Auto Show
Part 49: Gyudon Rocks.
Part 50: Tendo is the coolest place in all of Japan
Part 51: I really did poop immediately after that shot
Part 52: A Beginner's Guide to Tokyo Disney Sea
Part 53: There is no comparison. Cheeseburgers win.
Part 55: You've never had Tonkatsu, so you wouldn't understand
Part 56: Japanese iTunes for the Mac addict
Part 57: The other kind of Curry
Part 58: Popular Pop and "Lock" music in Japan
Part 59: I sing like how cats have sex
Part 60: The Iron Penis Festival
Part 61: A sad bit about racism in Japan
Part 9001: Electro Lemon's whirlwind visit to Tokyo
Xbox LIVE:metalocalypse
PSN ID:BluDesign
Mii code:5154504518393743


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