Konichiwa movers and groovers and other furry monsters
Well I’m currently sitting in a zen garden in a rural town called Nagahama on the shores of Lake Biwa-ko somewhere north of Kyoto while Avril is off doing a glass course.
And…man… what a lucky find! We completely stumbled upon this really small village, which in the 80’s, to save the town from financial ruin, the locals decided to band together and start an artisan community to attract tourists… And they were so successful attracting millions every year, that the town is now considered a template for how to regenerate a town.
So now the village is only known for 2 things… a glass artisan community called Kurokabe Square… AND… The Kaiyodo Figure Museum, which is dedicated to 40 years of miniature resin figurines, especially of manga and anime characters made by Kaiyodo the leaders in fine sculpting… which is what I am about to start learning to take my cartooning to the next level!!!
HOLY CRAP!!! It’s like this place was COMPLETELY made for the 2 of us!!!! What are the chances of 2 obscure interests being in the sole attractions in 1 town!!! Avril has completely had multiple glass nerdgasms, and I’ve suffered spontaneous human ejaculation ever since we’ve been here in Japan!
Which leads me to the point… WE FRIGGIN LOVE JAPAN!!! …which I’m sure is no surprise to all you many others who have been here too… since EVERYBODY loves Japan!!!
Japan is actually the 61st country that we have been to and considering that I grew up on Astroboy, G-Force, Star Blazers, Monkey Magic, and comic books… I don’t know why we haven’t been here sooner… It is literally the centre of the geek universe!!!
And they have a thriving glass culture here so Avril is also completely in heaven!
Not only that, but everyday, we come across multiple small inventions, or efficiencies, or ideas or simple modifications in day to day things that make us stop and think “That’s so obvious and simple… why don’t we have that at home?”
We’ve seen a shit load of the world so far and I’d safely say Japan is definitely the COOLEST country on the planet! Somehow they have maintained their childlike fascinations with cutesy animals etc, and yet they really have their sh’it together when it comes to having a very efficiently run country while still maintaining a high appreciation of art and aesthetics.
We were actually trying to work out why Japan is so cool and it just seems like everything is cool over here.
They make eating raw fish cool, they make good manners cool, they make shopping cool, they make social awkwardness and geekiness cool, they make game shows cool, they make dressing up in cosplay cool, they make cute animals cool, they make men spending money on hair fashion and grooming cool, they make school girl uniforms cool, they make taking a dump and having a laser targeted jet stream wash your arse cool, they make fat men wearing nappies in a sumo ring cool, they make adults reading comic books cool, they make kinky sex cool, they make suicide harakiri cool…
…and they have NINJAS…
…oh man… SO cool…
Anyways, just when we thought things couldn’t get any cooler… then we find out that when the cities of Kobe (which was devastated in the 1995 earthquake), and Shizuoka, an industrial town needed to bring tourists back to their town… they didn’t just build artisan communities or do advertising campaigns…
NO… what they did was build life sized BIG friggin ROBOTS in their town plazas!!!!
Holy smokes how crazy COOL is that!!!!
… I felt my prostate start to twitch just typing that!!!
Man, if they weren’t into whaling then I’d think of turning Japanese. I’d think of turning Japanese, I really think so!
Now I can hear a chorus of you fan boys screaming “NO way!!!???”
Well… YES WAY!!!! AND… The Gundam’s head moves and smokes blows out of it every 30 minutes!!!
The original life sized Gundam was in Odaiba Bay in Tokyo but it was dismantled after a few months. Fortunately this one was just opened in Shizuoka a short shinkansen ride south of Tokyo.
The Gigantor which is known as Tetsujin 28 in Japan has only just opened up as well. I really don’t know how long they will be there though. If you are going to Japan and want to see these then I got all my info from these 2 sites.
However, the tourism boards in the respective Shinkansen stations will give you maps on how to get there.
So this time if you are bored and want to check out our pics, don’t be too surprised to see a lot of bigarsed robots and hot anime girls.
…um… there’s also some temples there as well, but Kyoto was so full of temples that they bored the zen out of us a bit. Robots and glass beat Buddha hands down any day!
Anyways, we’ll be home this weekend
Thanks to all you funky monkeys for all the well wishes on our pregnancy too. We’ll do some individual replies when we’re settled back at home.
And I know there’s quite a few of you who have been following our travel blogs since we started them 12 years ago in 1998… which we realised was even before the word “blog” existed!!!
Thanks for sticking with us through our cartoonish, irreverent and immature journeys over the last 61 countries… BUT… it looks like Ced & Avril’s Bigarsed Adventure is now officially over:(
HOWEVER… I’m still hoping to get to every country in the world before I die (134 more countries to go), so here’s hoping that having a kid won’t stop that happening, and that me and Avril will still refuse to grow up AND the next Bigarsed Adventure travel blog that you read from us will be Cedavril & Cub’s Bigarsed Adventure!!!
Ced Great Sage Equal Of Heaven
Avril Marshall Of The Heavenly Hosts
PS Oh and the Kaiyodo Museum info is at this link
PPS Thanks heaps to Dom for all the Tokyo tips and thanks to JC for alerting me to the life size Gundam. You guys ROCK!
I’m Miyako Ikeda.
Do you remember me? I’m one of staff of Kurokabe.
We sang together Astroboy’s song.
I saw your blog.
I’m glad to know you enjoyed the day in Nagahama.
If i were a glass artist, I could talk with you about glass work a little more.
I was a teacher of kindergarden until March, 2010 for 9 years.
After that, I was employed as an assistant of glass work class August.
Now I’m enjoying this job everyday, for I have so many chances to meet various people, and nice person like you once in a while.
I had very nice time to talk with you, in spite of my bad English.
It’ll be nice for me to see you again!!!
Hi Miyako! Yes I remember you – so funny that you remember the Astroboy song 😀
I really enjoyed Nagahama and I think a lot of people would enjoy it too. It has a lot to keep people amused and interested. And I’m really glad I met you too. Thanks for helping me do the glass blowing class and to get my bowl to me.
Hopefully one day I will be back to Nagahama to do the glass bead making class. So I’m sure we’ll meet again.
I will keep in contact through your email.