This is June Weather for Kyoto?

Bright, very nice breeze, low humidity, and this is supposed to be anything but weather-wise now.  Guess we have to thank a typhoon which brushed by and as when one does pass by, it brings down from Manchuria, cool, dry air, which makes for wonderful weather in its wake.

Today, we are awake in the afternoon for the first time since we’ve come and settling in to take care of things at the end of the day.

Son seemed impressed enough with the great Buddha at Todaiji in Nara, a Buddha that is actually larger than the one in Kamakura, which is perhaps more commonly known.

Then a trip back to Kyoto and to a beer plant, where I got another lesson in how passive one is expected to be in this culture.  The ‘aha’ moment came when we were passing through the canning process and I asked one of the staff about how many cans were being filled per minute.   Might as well have asked him how often he farted for the shock it caused as it was not ‘part of the program’ (did get an answer though: about 1,000 cans filled a minute!)

Another ‘aha’ moment was at Narita when I went to wash my hands, soap and water was dispensed automatically. Convenient, huh?  Well, yes, but reflecting further  you realize that someone somewhere has decided for you just how much soap and water they think you need.  And yet another ‘aha’ moment was after visiting a local university here,  we were walking along one side of the road out, only to be shepherded over to the ‘proper’ side because someone feels we cannot take responsibility for our own safety into our own hands.

And getting out and about shows me just how raucous urban Japan can be.  I found it amusing in the nearly non-stop screeching announcements per train stop that among them was an admonition to passenger with cell phones to turn them to silent mode as otherwise; the surrounding passengers may be inconvenienced by the noise.  And then there was the poor guy pushing a rubbish collection cart in the midst of the pedestrian swirl and a major train station, as the melody from ‘It’s a small world after all..” played froom the caft.  Sure the noise has a purpose, but son nearly cracked up and wish he could have been quicker on the draw with the camera.

Oh yes, here’s son unit enjoying a brew after the factory tour.  Alas for father, alcohol is now off the list.


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4 Responses to This is June Weather for Kyoto?

  1. ladywise says:

    I have never left the United States, nor would I. A fear of mine. Sounds like you are having fun. Son is a very nice looking young man. I don’t think I’ve seen a picture of him before.

  2. Does the collective passiveness cut down on crime or cause people to get along better than they do here?

    • intuitively one might say ‘yes’, but I’d like to hold off on thid, collect my thoughts a bit .

    • To get to your question on passivity, does it for example produce less crime? I might argue the mass passivity I tried to describe can actually lead to crimes in making people so gullible , scams that I think even a child would see through in the U.S., are fallen for here.
      Does it create a better community in people getting along? I would argue no. There is a Japanese word, used often, heard often- gaman 我慢, which means to endure, to bear, to put up with. So rather than being passive, Japanese grit their teeth and endure. A good example, a howling, spoiled child ( from being a parent, I can tell the difference between a hungry cry, a I need new diapers cry, and in this case, I’m only 2 + years old (maybe) but am spoiled rotten cry) on a train, all the way back from our trip to Hiroshima today. No one spoke a word, and I think had it been the U.S., someone at some point would have asked the gormless mother to take the child outside the carriage until it quieted down.

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