Monday, January 16, 2006

京都 2005 - 18 Miho museum 02

[201105] more Miho:

Miho in autumn light....


e main exhibition at e time of e cat's visit



many come here to learn - e cat was far from e only one making notes in e galleries. there were plenty of Japanese (& some PRC) visitors quizzing docents, guides & museum staff on e exhibits, writing on notepads & holding quiet discussions. there were English translations for all exhibits, with words like 'internecine' & 'contrapposto' that were lost on e cat, & videos in several languages documenting e architecture, design & building process of e museum.

mosaic piece on e floor, south wing:


e subterranean B1F entrance:


in e valley beneath e bridge:


are e surrounding trees wondering what has happened to their companion who has suddenly gone bald?


sato-imo with sweet miso side dish - wonderful kitsune udon lunch at e museum restaurant =)

e journey back to Ishiyama, along mountain roads so narrow that e bus had to keep pulling aside to let oncoming vehicles inch past, & to allow other (faster) vehicles to overtake, & through rice fields:

PB201231 PB201232

& along e Seta-gawa....

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....e only river that flows out of Biwa-ko, e largest lake in Japan:


another of those cute-sy construction works sign in Ishiyama:


no-smoking sign in JR Ishiyama station - click for larger version to read e words:

[300606 update] Japan Tobacco Inc.'s gallery of more such 'smokers' manners' signs - interesting =P

a short train ride from Ishiyama back into e madness of 'momiji weekend' Kyoto. most of Japan was converging on Kyoto to catch e fall colours at their peak over this (& e following) weekend + e 23rd Nov Labour Thanksgiving public holiday.

Kyoto station was packed e night before, & people were pleading for rooms at e receptions of K's House & many other hostels/hotels in e city. e Kyoto Tourist Information Center was plastered with notices bearing e hard truth - 'NO HOTEL VACANCIES' - & e 3F living room area in K's House was curtained off & rented out to save a few desperate souls from having to spend e night in 4'C weather in e streets. on its way to Ishiyama this morning, e cat came across plenty of people with their luggage in e basement levels of Kyoto station, one of e sheltered & warmer public spaces to sit/sleep out a chilly autumn night.

change of room mates again back at K's House, with e 3 Taiwanese replaced by a Japanese from Miyazaki in Kyushu, an American from Minnesota, & an Australian from Melbourne. e Japanese comes to Kyoto about once a month to meet her 'teacher' with whom she 'studies stones' - not gemology nor geology but something more along e line of 'healing stones' - & a few days later she'd be heading to Sonobe to 'meditate in e forest' with friends. e American has worked in Guam before, claims that she can differentiate between Japanese, Korean & other Asian ladies based on e type of bikinis they wear, & told us that her hometown has e second largest concentration of Laotians in USA. already 28, but her parents are worried about her travelling alone in Japan!

she surprised us by complaining about how off-putting she found 6 of her countrymen, who were pleading for & then demanding a room at e reception outside - even offering to pay a higher price to get hold of a room already reserved by someone else....why on earth did they travel to Kyoto in peak season without a reservation? asking us about e image that Americans have in our respective countries, she said she was disgusted with how many Americans behave in foreign lands, insisting on having their own way, & that others change to suit them rather than they trying to accommodate others....

after many phone calls, e 6 Americans were placed at e Westin, with room rates ranging from 11 to 60 times (or more than 340 times, if considering e most luxurious suite) that of a 2500 yen dorm bed in K's House....much to e amusement + amazement of many K's House hostellites, considering that they could have just hopped onto one of e frequent trains for a half-hour ride to Osaka for less than 1000 yen & settled down into one of e excess cheap hotel rooms there for about e same price as K's House....or rented a KTV room for e night (a solution that e cat's colleague & many drunk businessmen have resorted to in Tokyo) =P

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