Reub's journey

07 July 2012

Jets, time machines, and Japan

Statue-pretty random-outside an Akita convenience store. Japan!
 Jet planes are the closest thing to time machines that I can imagine. You get in, sit down, and a few hours later you cross into a completely different time and place. I am awe-struck by this fact. If a real time machine became available (believe me, I've thought about this a lot), I would ask to go to Amboise, France, April of 1519 to meet with Leonardo da Vinci the month before his death. In my fluent Italian (!)  I would seek the answers to so many questions, and then I would tell Leonardo that his work and life would be remembered forever as that of a genius, that his bronze horse would eventually be built, and so would his bridge. I would tell him that bicycles would become reality, helicopters and submarines, tanks, machine guns, and worse.

Flying past Mount Ranier on our way to Japan

Most of all I would want to tell him that we learned to fly. To fly! Seriously, isn't that crazy-talk? After I spill all of this out to Leonardo...he would begin to ask questions. He would want to know how things worked. Things like aerodynamics, alloyed metals, and internal combustion engines. Could I even explain a bicycle? I doubt it, but maybe in the end he would allow me to join the sixty beggars who, in accordance to his will, followed the casket. Rest in peace, Leo. We did learn to fly, just as you knew we could.

John and I flew to Japan over 2 weeks ago, and just returned yesterday. I have over 900 images on my camera, only 10% of which are any good. But that leaves about 100 pictures and an equal number of thoughts. What to write about? Ten posts on Japan? I must narrow it down. It looks like things fall into categories, roughly:

Akita & its surroundings (Akita was our main destination due to John's interesting work)
Umbrellas (Yes, umbrellas)
Bullet trains (Why don't we have these?)
Things about us that annoy them (Long list, but I will limit it)
Temples and gardens in Kyoto (amazing, not boring)
Dogs of Japan (I know you're shocked.)
Tokyo bright lights (omg)
Tokyo fish market (eels?)
Japanese food (crazy)
Weird stuff and funny English (The Japanese hold a special niche here)

What to skip, what to include. I am stalled. Help.
(Note: "Dogs of Japan" is not optional. I will do this even if nobody wants it.)


  1. did you visit an umbrella factory? i've seen someone else post on the fascinating place the women assemble this wonderful art. :)

    i say start with a few you really like. the rest will fall into place naturally. :)

    so glad you're back! and i love your time-travel to leo idea. i've never had anyone i'd like to go back to meet. :)

  2. Welcome back! You don't have to post them all at once. Some anecdotes can sit quietly for years and then pop out to surprise us.

  3. A fun trip it sounds.You are like me shooting lots and keeping a little.I review each day so not to have to edit a lot.

  4. Look forward to hearing about your trip.

  5. twg: There must be someone you'd like to meet. Amelia Earhart? Annie Oakley?
    Who went to an umbrella factory??? I would love to see that. Umbrellas are a great invention. I bet they're made in China.

    ER: That's a good plan. I don't have to produce them all at once. However there is a danger that I won't feel like talking about it next month.

    OotP: What do you review each day? All of your photos? If I did that I would probably be better about discarding all of the useless stuff that I keep & keep & keep.

    Laoch: You won't be able to avoid it.

  6. Japan is not on my bucket list so I'm relying on you to fill me in. I'm intrigued. Umbrellas? Things about us that annoy them? Weird stuff and funny English? Go for it!

  7. i want it all!!!!!!! just spill it! (says she who has still not quiiiite finished her fourth post about exotic ithaca, from one month ago...) the impressions fade, your motivation to share fades...just don't skip the food or the weird stuff! glad you're home...

  8. Dang Kerry, how does one choose?!

  9. Okay, how 'bout poqueto de little bit of everything. I love the fact that you went to Japan and can give an oral er blog report in the front of the class. Speaking of class, I have gone back and read some of your older do have lots of class and fun stuff to read. I'm so glad I found you. Oma Linda

  10. Welcome back Kerry after your exciting Japan trip. Looks like L & H are still popular in Japan - you don't find them in USA anymore do you?
    Write your posts leisurely one at a time.

  11. We have something in common! A deep respect and love for Leonardo da Vinci! I hope he is looking down to see all the things he dreamed of coming to fruition. Looking forward to hearing about your trip to Japan and seeing all the pics. I think 10% is a good outcome!

  12. Pauline: Japan wasn't on my bucket list either. Wait, I don't even have a bucket list. I should have a bucket list!!! Oh no. What will it be. Can I just copy yours? (Dammit I still sound like a middle schooler.)

    Slim: That's the spirit! Spill it all! Until my motivation fades. This is exactly how I work. This will happen.

    Ellen: I'm so indecisive. Born under the sign of Libra.

    Linda: I know you don't really look like that. That's NOT you. I can tell , even though your avatar is only 1/4 inch square. But hey, who cares... WELCOME! Thanks for reading old stuff. I should go back and see what I said.

    RR: When I first saw that statue I didn't even think about Laurel and Hardy. After all, what the heck would they be doing in Japan? It was only after looking at the picture later that they suddenly popped into focus. You're right. I bet the majority of Americans would not not know who they are. In India...would people recognize them?

    Gail: You love Leonardo too? Really? You're the 1st person to tell me that, although I've written about him before & have had long talks about him with 12-year-olds for years. So we're in club together. The Leonardo da Vinci Club.

  13. I suspect that Da Vinci was even beyond genius.. maybe alien. ;) He was a brilliant and talented individual. I was lucky enough to see an art exhibit of his drawings in New York several years back.

    I'm looking forward to your Japan posts. All of your subjects sound interesting.. especially the dogs.

  14. Hilary: I wish I could have seen that exhibit. And he really is in a category of his own...genius doesn't quite cover it.

    Dogs! :)


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