We did a lot today. Let me explain in detail:
First off, there was an earthquake this morning, if you didn't know, off the coast of Japan, what that was felt throughout Tokyo. I felt it! HOWEVER, thought I was just shivering because it was freezing last night O.o Seriously, I remember waking up and thinking: "Is that an earthquake? Am I shivering? Or is that an earthquake? Eh, must be shiveringness." Then going back to sleep....
Went to school to turn in my papes. Entrance exams start next week so it was CRAZY crowded. Teachers did not yet have the drop boxes out for papers, so I put them in respective teachers' mail slots. Hope that's ok? Anyway, am officially done! Fwee!
I met Kayoko at the Shinjuku Southern Terrace Starbucks, where we got breakfast and some coffee, which we ate outside, as it was randomly v. sunny today, though windy (enough so as to cause a TRAIN ACCIDENT O.o)-- 10:00. Took Keio Line to Mt. Takao. BTW, forgot camera O.O so I took a lot of pics on my cell and bought disposable. Will need to find a one-hour photo nearby. I hear that x-rays at the airport ruin film- is this true? Vicious rumor? A sweet and sexy mix of both? (what?!) Trip took about an hour.
Took the cable cars up the part of Mt. Takao that you cannot climb (is too treacherous and steep) which must've been about a mile straight up-ish. Apparently it's the steepest climbing cable car in the world. And that's something to write home about (a-ok sign being flashed). Took prob. fifteen minutes.
This is where it got intense. Because, see, I figured that it couldn't be that much farther, but was actually like... a zillion miles. Kilometers> miles right? Um, and it was muddy from raining all last week and there were lots of roots sticking up and no handrail or anything so I figured I would probably die. Maybe I did die, and just don't know it. Eek! It was beautiful tho!
Saw the aforementioned Monkey Park, which was amazing, even though you were pretty far away from the monkeys. They had LOTS of baby monkeys: (MONKEYS). And they were REALLY funny. These two babies were fighting and they were coming up on their friend, who was the tiniest thing ever, and they just kinda trampled him. When they noticed him, they decided he would be more fun to fight with, and he just stood there with this "?" look on his face. Soooo cute! The monkey keeper was funny too- he was talking about how the monkeys have never tried bananas because, if they do, they won't eat the regular food anymore! He called them snobby! ^___^
Also ate at this restaurant that was apparently featured in a popular Japanese drama (I'll put more info on this later, once I've researched). Had Tanuki Udon for cheap and also Amezake (Lit. Sweet Sake) which, actually, didn't have any alcohol, even though sake in Japanese actually means alcohol. Confusing enough for ya?
Got to the top of Mt. Takao and saw Mt. Fuji!!!!! App. this is incredibly rare and I'm a lucky goose. I have some pics of it on disposable camera and phone that I'll put up later. Got a really nice shot with crap camera (^^*). Vending machines galore (actually, LOTS of stores all the way up!!) but expensive. Bought tea anyway- peh.
Coming down was rough! And the waterfall I told you about was kinda lame, to be honest, but the old bridge was GREAT. It was so rickety! We made it sway a little (obviously have no fear of heights). Took pics. It was pretty awesome.
Instead of taking the cable cars down that last treacherous stretch, we took the chair lifts, which are just like skiing ones except we were going down, not wearing skis, nor above snow. So, if we fell, it was a major ouch-possibility/death. But there was no bar or anything!!! You just held on, until you got over it, and then got cocky and took pictures (^^* I'll post them later). It was really kinda scary except (maybe because of the elevation?) I was just hyper. Then Kayoko got hyper. Then we stopped clinging to the bar....
Took train back, which was a LOT longer on the return (Kayoko fell asleep, I read some more of Atonement... which btw I'm reading. Oops...). We decided to go to Ginza to get pics of the Kabuki theatre and try an Okinawan restaurant. And that, my friends, is where it gets all crazy.
Because we went to the Kabuki theatre and just decided we should probably see a show. So, for ten bucks, we got "standing room only" tickets, which actually included seats (????? I don't think they quite understand what "standing" in Japanese means??? Though Japanese... it was all v. strange). For four more bucks, got the English-audio guide, which helped a lot.
The play was about these samurai and their lord going unda covuh as wandering monks to get past their enemy's border to visit some guy for military help. But the border guard knows that the enemy and his posse are coming in disguise at monks, so he's just been killing off any monk that tries to get through (which cannot be good for his karma, btw, but he had his orders). Anyway, the head retainer for the lord tries to trick the border guard by reciting from the sutra, doing a longevity dance, reading a proclamation, etc. and the border guard is convinced. However, someone recognizes the lord, who is in disguise as a servant, and the group is called back. To prove that the lord is a servant, the loyal retainer hits him with a stick, which, the British lady on my headset explained, means that he'll later have to kill himself in shame. The border guard is unconvinced but, deeply moved by the retainer's loyalty to his lord (that he's willing to kill himself to get the group through!), the border guard lets them pass, and gives them a bunch of sake (and the retainer gets drunk, which is understandable, given his probable suicide in the near future). HOWEVER, the lord pardons the retainer and says that he's too important to be allowed to kill himself. HOWEVER, the border guard has to kill himself for letting the group through, which he knew when he did the act, so he turned out to be an okay guy (he dies AFTER the curtain falls).
It was a little draggy what with the sutras being read and all, but the music was fantastic and it was v. interesting. I think if I hadn't climbed a mountain earlier in the day, it would have been more enjoyable (not that it wasn't). So, I've seem kabuki. Hoorah for me.
Then we went to the Okinawa restaurant, which was tasty. Kayoko and I wanted to try the local drink of Okinawa (specialty drink, whatevs). So I didn't like it, but I forced it down. But Kayoko figured that meant I liked it, so she poured hers in my cup!!! She was so happy that I liked it and she wouldn't have to waste the money- so I drank hers too. I think it was a special sake-type thing. Anyway, possibly a little drunk. Obviously am turning into alcoholic. O.o Or not.
Am home now! Going to Ghibli Museum+ tomorrow. I cannot say where the day shall take us! App. we are unpredictable, sim. to wind or Martha Stewart.
R: Atonement, btw. Which I think I mentioned in a btw earlier this message.....