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Apr '11

For real, or just a prank?

Yesterday evening I wrote the last post. In the post of today I will describe what actually happened when we went out to get our dinner.

After locking our hotel room we got in the lift to get to the first floor. We got into our shoes (since in the hotel it is not allowed to walk on shoes) and headed to the place where would be some restaurants awaiting our arrival.
While walking there we walked past a few Pachinko halls, not much of importance happened though.
We arrived at a little restaurant and got inside to ask whether they had an English Menu. They had and handed it over immediately. The place got our approval and we got to a table. This table was much like a bar, apart from it not being an actual bar.

First we would order some beer. Seeing the beers they had we noticed a list of beer cocktails. As nosy as we are we both tried one of those. Marcel got a strawberry beer and Sybren took his chance at a cassis beer. As weird as this may sound, the taste was even more weird.
We felt our lust for blood die out, our beards fining their way back in our face, our voice getting higher by each sip. In short we felt our manly hood shrinking by each sip. Hearing the giggling and the pointing from the waitresses did not help either.
So we finished this particular beer quickly and ordered two pints to re-establish our manly hood once more.

The food we ordered arrived and we finished this quickly since Marcel got himself some kind of big pizza cookie and Sybren got something with a raw egg on top of it. We went out and made our way back to the hotel.

On the way to the hotel though something came up in th mind of Marcel. We would try to play Pachinko, but first we would get back to the hotel and search the internet to get to know how to actually operate these weird machines.

At the hotel the necessary Google-ing was done and we found a few YouTube movies explaining us exactly what to do. We got back to the first floor, got into our shoes again and moved to the Pachinko hall we passed earlier.
In there rows and rows of pachinko machines were waiting for our money. The machines would only except 1000 Yen a time. So we threw in 1000 Yen (~10 Euro) and started by turning the handle a bit so metal balls would actually be thrown out. Each time a metal ball got into a special gate, a slot machine would start. When each of the 3 slots contained the same number we would get a jackpot.

At some points in the game, the screen would tell us to push the button (the button that said: “push” would start flashing as well).
As we played and pushed the button as quick as we could we saw our score get higher and higher, with added sound effects. Each time we were out of metal balls we used one of the 10 credits we got by the 1000 yen. Another button would print a card which we then could use in a different machine.
Each machine had it’s own theme; from Ninja Gaiden to under water world fun. After checking out a few machines to see what themes they contained and hearing sounds that told us we achieved something, we eventually ran out of balls to play with.
We didn’t want to put in an extra 1000 yen so we moved to hand in our card to get to see our points and buy a price.

We already checked out what prices we could actually get. This diverted from regular soap to golden watches. Before playing we figured we would at least get some washing powder, but seeing how well we did we figured we would get something better.

With our mind running through all the possible prices and the card with our points in our hand we got to a crew member of this castle. We handed over our card; if the Internet was right he would then use it to measure our points. He walked us to a machine and showed us how to do it ourselves. We would have to put the card in, it would then be checked and pooped out again.

The man did this for us, since it was our first time. Happily he got our card out and handed it to us. He showed us to the price booth and encouraged us to get the best price there was. Smiling we handed over our card that now would show us how much points we earned in total.
The lady behind the counter gently took our card as if it was some kind of holy artifact. She put it in some machine and our total score was displayed.
After spending 1000 yen and a lot of laughter hitting the button we earned a total of 1 point. The lady showed us and handed over the prize we would be able to get by it. A small, though very useful, toothpick.

Happy with our prize we got back to our hotel room and got to sleep.

The next morning we would go to the heavenly bridge.
Which actually was this morning. So here is the next part of the story.
We got out of bed, took a shower – in the bathroom that is about 2x1m and contained the toilet as well – as usual and got to our way to the station of Kyoto. On the way we would get our breakfast and in the train we would eat it.
Marcel did some research and found the train we would have to take was not covered with the JR pass we had. So we bought a ticket of ~4500 Yen a piece for reserved seats.
On the train we ate our breakfast, drank our coffee and enjoyed our milk. It would take about 1 hour to get to the next stop and another 30 minutes after we got on the next train.

At last, we arrived at Amanohashidate. We bought another little snack and something to drink and we moved to the heavenly bridge. It was not a heavenly bridge at all. Really, it was just a big sandbar, but if you would look through your legs from a certain spot you could see the heavenly bridge. All excited we got to the other side by walking the 3.6 km long sandbar. The sandbar itself was covered with pine trees.

At the other side we found a sign that told us from where we would have to look through our legs. A small train would get us there for only a few Yen. But as dutch as we were we didn’t want to use the train and with our youth we climbed the 700m long staircase. At last we arrived at the spot. We looked through our legs and we saw the same, but only upside down. After looking longer it was still the same. What you had to do was turn of the auto-adjustment of things in your head. Your head knows what is up and what is down. If you would succeed in doing so, you could say it was a very strange bridge, connecting two different lands.

After seeing this we moved on and got to a small shop. You could buy some cookies there, but we didn’t. Outside there were some more spots on which you could try seeing the bridge. Also at the far end we found a ring on a pole. Next to it was a stack of small clay Frisbees. For 100 yen you could take 3 pieces and try throwing them through the ring. Marcel gave it a try and failed. As stubborn as he is he threw in another 100 yen. Sybren wanted to try it as well and threw in 100 yen of himself and succeeded nicely the third try. “Suukooi,” was the reaction of the few watching Japanese. Marcel also managed to get his fourth frisbee through the ring.

To enjoy this happy moment we bought a Japanese candy. Miso on a stick with a very thick soy sauce painted (yes, painted) over it. We agreed the white Miso tasted like air, or some other thing that doesn’t really have any taste. The soy sauce however was nice.
After heaving seen what was to see, unwilling to pay a bus to get to yet another temple, even though this one might have been on a mountain, we moved back down the stairs and back over the sandbar.
We hopped back in the train and got back in Kyoto.

We both agreed to want to eat some pizza now, after eating Japanese meals for a week. So we moved to our hotel room and tried to see where we would be able to eat pizza.
Sybren found a place, it was not too close, but neither was it too far away. We went down again, put on our shoes and started heading to the north-east. When we arrived at the place, we discovered it was not open. From seeing the sign we figured he was away from 29th of March untill 5th of April. This could mean he would be open again tomorrow. So better luck tomorrow. On the way there Marcel had noticed a small restaurant with an English menu. So we moved in there and asked for the menu. They had traditional Japanese food sets, with a few plated a set. Sybren had fried boneless chicken and Marcel had some chicken terriyaki.

Having finished the meal, we finished the day.

Got an awesome prize by testing Pachinko, got to see a heavenly bridge, and yet again ate Japanese food.


3 comments to “For real, or just a prank?”

  1. ria Says:

    a heavenly day. ben benieuwd of de pizza boer morgen wel open is.
    hebben jullie nu al een foto met 50 japanners of minder??

  2. ria Says:

    take a picture of people in traditional cloathing please. en dan met jullie erbij

  3. gertjan Says:

    Good hearted Fok and Suk in mistical Japan. Donate their offering in the arcaded shrine of the god that goes ‘bleep’.
    ‘We’ve got more guts then folk at home. Burp!’
    Have fun and keep waving.