25 August 2009

Tokyo Tales

Amongst all the many things the Japanese do really well - sushi, karaoke, freakin' delicious soft serve ice cream, crazy potato chip flavors - they know how to instill a bit of zen and tranquility even where you least expect to find it.

In Kamakura, home of the giant Buddha, the grounds surrounding Buddha were nice, but mostly designed to show off just how huge Buddha is.

Pretty awesomely huge Buddha. 

So huge, we walked inside his head.

After we left there, and poked into a touristy gift shop, Zab took us to see a Japanese garden.  Immediately, all the sweat and humidity of the day seemed to disappear as we stepped into the tranquil garden and were greeted by this sight:

 A perfect oasis.

In this garden was the first, and maybe the only, time I didn't feel like I was on the other side of the world from all I knew and all that was familiar.  The noise of the crowds in Tokyo never bothered me - I barely pay attention to people talking in DC - I never really realized that they weren't speaking English.  But the inability to read a sign, or pull out change without second guessing myself, or not being able to call someone and say "oh holy shit, you will never believe what I just saw" overwhelmed me a bit at times.  And in this garden, I felt myself center again.

And then, damn Disney for this, wouldn't you know it.  The song "It's a Small World" popped into my head and would.not.leave.  And because I'm the KtMac you all know and love and are occasionally annoyed by, I'm gracing you with the gift of this song, which shall now run through your head on repeat for the rest of the day:

"it's a world of laughter, a world of tears....its a world of hopes, its a world of fear...theres so much that we share....that its time we're aware...its a small world after all....its a small world after all....its a small world after all...its a small world after all....its a small, small world...there is just one moon and one golden sun ...and a smile means friendship to everyone...though the mountains divide...and the oceans are wide...it's a small small world...."

Admit it peeps, even this adorable statue is kind of Disney-esqe in a way.  But so stinkin' Tokyo cute that if I had seen it for sale in a gift shop, I totally would have snapped it up for myself.

So Tokyo, I wanted to put it in my pocket and take it home with me.

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