any body out there any more?
I apologize for the cemetary of content my blog has become lately. I was expecting to be able to post from Japan over the break but everytime I pulled blogger up, everything was in Japanese. I was hoping to be hip and do one of those travel blogs where I update all you ravenous readers on "where I am right now" and try to be really esoteric about watching the sun pour through the brazen clouds over the imperial palace and so on. Instead you will have to satisfy yourself with this top ten list of Sarah and I's adventure in the Orient.
- SUMO WRESTLING
Do I really need to tell you how cool this was?
- NUDE TRUMP
Yes. You read that right. Nude Trump. Don't worry the store wasn't as glamorous/revolting as it sounded. I have no idea what the genesis of the name was. It was just a glorified thrift store. But it symbolized for me all the weird and wonderfully random mom and pop shops hiding on the upper floors of Tokyo apartment buildings. Places where you have to take a rickety elevator to and when the door opens up the hallway is so cluttered with junk you can barely get out. One of those off the beaten track memories.
Few places in Japan that I have seen (which isn't really all that many) compete with Nikko as far as asthtetic natural beauty. On the other hand, there are few places where I have been in Japan that seem so spiritually dark. I was able to see more of the mountain complex this time than I did last year and while the sights were visually amazing, they were spiritually sickening. To see the hordes of people throwing their money and their souls at the feet of little man-made dolls with twisted green faces made me feel like Paul in Athens (Acts 17:16). The picture above is of a shinto priest collecting his paycheck from the coin coffer. Idolatry is truly pathetic. Here in the states we rarely see the old school, graven image kind of idolatry, but dont you doubt for a second that we are not an idolatrous people.
- PARASITE MUSEUM
Sarah and I spent about an hour trying to find this place and let me tell you, it was well worth it! Where else can you see an 8.9 meter (almost 27 feet) tapeworm recently pulled out of a local Yokohama man?
10. THE TOLIETS IN THE NEW YORK BAR AND GRILL AT THE TOKYO PARK HYATT
Our last night in Japan, Sarah and I went out with my parents to the New York Bar and Grill atop the Park Hyatt in Tokyo( where Lost in Translation was filmed), easily the best view in the city. We had a great time chewing the fat and enjoying the view. The real treat came however as we were leaving. I decided to make a contribution to their sanitation facility and discovered THE BEST TOILETS IN THE WORLD. In a country that is light years ahead of our own in toliet technology, these toilets were the shining stars in an already bright galaxy. Each toilet comes with heated seats that gently massage your hind parts while you squeeze out your morsel. If you don't want the person in the stall next to you to enjoy the musical talents of your rear, you can switch on the lovely music to drown it out. Once your business is over, the fun really begins. You have your choice of strategically placed water jets to clean whatever orfice you wish. In addition you can select between a hard spray and a gentle rinsing spray. Once your cleaning is finished, its time for a nice warm air dry. Yep, a fan comes out and blowdrys your freshly cleaned bum. What a ride!
9. YUNESON - INCLUDING THE RIDE HOME
I can't seem to find any pictures of this place but just close your eyes and imagine thousands of Japanese people in blue and pink robes walking around in a water park for grownups relaxing in pools of coffee, wine, sake, green tea, champagne, and various other themed hot pools. Wierd right? But wonderful at the same time. Trust me. On the ride home my mom tried to keep my dad's mind off of the traffic and Sarah and I awake by treating us to a little concert. Eventually we all joined in and much silliness insued.
If I was an unbiased observer (which I'm not)I would definetly say that this is the best theme park in the world, very possibly the Milky Way. Disneyland only beats it out for one reason, sentiment. DisneySEA is what Disneyland would have looked like if Walt had an unlimited budget. Truly amazing.
7. "NIGHT CAPS" WITH THE FOLKS
Almost everynight we were in Tokyo, Sarah and I joined my parents for a drink. Although I am hopelessly childish it was a blessing to have some more grownup fellowship with my parents and I will cherish the memories.
6. BIRD WATCHING
One of the many blessings of being married to Sarah is that I've caught her fascination with birds. So as a surprise I took her to a Wild Bird Park in Tokyo Port. Although it took us a while to find it, the trek was well worth it. We spent the morning spying on God's intricate and beatiful creation, many species of which we had never seen before.
5. TEA IN YOKOHAMA
One night my family stopped at a tea shop in Yokohama's Chinatown. Never could I have imagined that I would enjoy tea or learn about tea so much. Definitely one of those cultural/family memories that I will cherish.
4. HONMONJI TEMPLE
My dad is doing some research on a ship whose crew is buried in the confines of this temple complex which we are hoping to turn into a book so he took us and showed us around. The temple was founded by that syncronistic puppet of Satan, Nichiren, and is where he is interred. Also of interest was a noble family plot from the Tokagawa period whose grave stones seemed to have crosses on them, perhaps in homage to their forbidden faith. There were countless historical wonders at this out of the way site, but mostly we just enjoyed having the old man show us around and share what he had learned.
Just had to put it in here again. It's that great.
2. FOUNTAINS OUTSIDE OF IMPERIAL PALACE WITH SARAH
Few things can compete with watching beauty while cuddling close to one. I will always thank the Lord for the time He gives me with my wife.
1. DINNER WITH KAZU
Without a doubt the highlight of the trip was going out to dinner with a Japanese saint named Kazu Obara. How humbling and inspiring it was to hear this dear brother share his testimony and speak of the struggles of being a Christian in Japan. Sarah and I hope to continue our relationship with Kazu and support him in any way possible. What a blessing to have such a close connection through Christ to someone from across the globe.
Until next time,