Day 8 – Lets Start with an Earthquake

When I was 25 I lived in Wellington but not once did I experience an earthquake. I was an earthquake virgin, which in my opinion is a wonderful thing to be.

At 5.30am I was stirring from my sleep because EARTHQUAKE! Before I was fully awake Adam was up out of bed and pulling me towards the bathroom door frame where I clung onto him waking up and quite petrified. 6.3. It was pretty big. The building was modern and big and long and squat (only 14 stories high) and wobbled like a tower of jelly. When it was over I was already figuring out how to escape this country of potential nuclear strikes and natural disasters and wondering what would happen if the aftershocks hit while we were on a train? No deaths, no aftershocks, no tsunamis. Apparently they happen all the time but this was bigger than usual with an epicentre of about 5km below the surface which is not very deep.

Grumpily I went back to sleep, woke up a couple of hours later straight back into the tourist trail!

Sweet Jesus this is cute.

Sweet Jesus this is cute.

Hello Kitty and I think Miffy at the big golden temple.

Hello Kitty and I think Miffy at the big golden temple.

You could buy these cute little wooden boards and write messages on the back and hang them like this at the temples. Teh Cutes.

You could buy these cute little wooden boards and write messages on the back and hang them like this at the temples. Teh Cutes.

Another AMAZING food, wasabi and seaweed coated peanuts. Utterly addictive.

Another AMAZING food, wasabi and seaweed coated peanuts. Utterly addictive.

I was all "Hey look at this crowded cemetary and the lovely little headstones" Adam was all "You are really thick, this is the Japanese equivalent of the outdoor section of Bunnings" Garden ornaments. Not sacred memories of the dead.

I was all “Hey look at this crowded cemetary and the lovely little headstones” Adam was all “You are really thick, this is the Japanese equivalent of the outdoor section of Bunnings” Garden ornaments. Not sacred memories of the dead.

Catfish. I hate them and their sucky little mouths, I can imagine how that would feel on me, much like octopus suction cups. EWWW. Still these guys were monsters and I was fascinated and took about 100 photos of catfish all over the place. Gross.

Catfish. I hate them and their sucky little mouths, I can imagine how that would feel on me, much like octopus suction cups. EWWW. Still these guys were monsters and I was fascinated and took about 100 photos of catfish all over the place. Gross.

Aprons on what look like tombstones. Outdoor little temple area. Me neither.

Aprons on what look like tombstones. Outdoor little temple area. Me neither.

This was quite cool, such big heavy cherry blossom branches and flowers they built bamboo scaffolding to hold it up.

This was quite cool, such big heavy cherry blossom branches and flowers they built bamboo scaffolding to hold it up.

Zen garden with 15 rocks placed in formation and surrounded by striated gravel. We paid $10 for the privilege.

Zen garden with 15 rocks placed in formation and surrounded by striated gravel. We paid $10 for the privilege.

Nanna Beck, loving the flowers.

Nanna Beck, loving the flowers.

This is a fabulous idea. Densely packed urban areas with no place for parking, communal neighbourhood car parks. Excellent.

This is a fabulous idea. Densely packed urban areas with no place for parking, communal neighbourhood car parks. Excellent.

Yeah, I dont know, I just like it.

Yeah, I dont know, I just like it.

Cartoon on particleboard of unhappy person possibly running across the road. No explanation.

Cartoon on particleboard of unhappy person possibly running across the road. No explanation.

Flower bed just next to a suburban railway station. Sorry about all the flowers. I couldn't help myself.

Flower bed just next to a suburban railway station. Sorry about all the flowers. I couldn’t help myself.

Chiyama not popular at this train station.

Chiyama not popular at this train station.

Shop name. Unrelish. Unreal.

Shop name. Unrelish. Unreal.

Night markets in Kyoto. Both tshirts appropriate for people I know. A few individuals fall into both categories.

Night markets in Kyoto. Both tshirts appropriate for people I know. A few individuals fall into both categories.

Pink or Yellow? I cant decide. Cant I have both?

Pink or Yellow? I cant decide. Cant I have both?

Small alleys in Kyoto that were similar to Piss Alley in Tokyo except the restaurants werent the bottom room of peoples homes and were a bit more legitimate. I loved it. So So much.

Small alleys in Kyoto that were similar to Piss Alley in Tokyo except the restaurants werent the bottom room of peoples homes and were a bit more legitimate. I loved it. So So much.

One side of one of the alleys had buildings that were looking over the river. 5 floors of restaurants in this one building. So much to love about this.

One side of one of the alleys had buildings that were looking over the river. 5 floors of restaurants in this one building. So much to love about this.

We had heard that geniune Geisha were actually very rare and we saw a lot of imitations but these ladies we believed to be the real deal. They were with older men that were behaving quite deferentially to them, their garments were incredible, their makeup was flawless and Japanese people were taking photos of them too. I think we had some photos on the good camera from the front. Gorgeousness.

We had heard that geniune Geisha were actually very rare and we saw a lot of imitations but these ladies we believed to be the real deal. They were with older men that were behaving quite deferentially to them, their garments were incredible, their makeup was flawless and Japanese people were taking photos of them too. I think we had some photos on the good camera from the front. Gorgeousness.

Cinema seats or bus seats? YOU decide.

Cinema seats or bus seats? YOU decide.

Underground department store under our hotel. This one big sign was a goldmine of slightly off translation.

Underground department store under our hotel. This one big sign was a goldmine of slightly off translation.

This photo does no good at capturing the sheer size of the building we were in. No wonder it did not come down in the earthquake. There were (I think) 3 or 4 stories underground, then 11 stories of department store, then we were several stories above that on a rooftop garden and from where I was standing you could tumble down about 7 stories worth of stairs before hitting the escalators going down another 7 stories. Fear of heights? I was shaking. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. A truly amazing building. Daytime photos in next post.

This photo does no good at capturing the sheer size of the building we were in. No wonder it did not come down in the earthquake. There were (I think) 3 or 4 stories underground, then 11 stories of department store, then we were several stories above that on a rooftop garden and from where I was standing you could tumble down about 7 stories worth of stairs before hitting the escalators going down another 7 stories. Fear of heights? I was shaking. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. A truly amazing building. Daytime photos in next post.

How they got the Pocaris to sit still for long enough to harvest this much sweat I really dont know. A wonder of creature husbandry. Isotonic drink, wasnt my favourite but was pretty good.

How they got the Pocaris to sit still for long enough to harvest this much sweat I really dont know. A wonder of creature husbandry. Isotonic drink, wasnt my favourite but was pretty good.

 

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