Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Japan I: Gorgeous Guys & Dreamy Deers

Namba

At KIX, we cleared immigration pretty quickly contrary to SK and KH's experiences (both of them had visited Osaka before!). Perhaps it was due to the arrival delay. The airport is pretty simple with no eye-catching features. Our first order of business was to purchase the Kansai Thru Pass. For just JPY5,300, one buys unlimited passage on trains and buses operated by forty different transport companies in Kansai. The pass lasts for three days, and the usage need not be on consecutive days. The only limitation is that it does not cover the Limited Express trains of Nankai Railway or Kintetsu Corporation. Doesn't really matter anyway as the Limited Express trains are just faster by ten minutes compared to the slower trains. Took about an hour for us to arrive at the Osaka-Namba station. For the whole ride, there was only one eye candy-- Kintetsu Karl, a tanned fella with big arms. Not very cute, but I'm sure some can appreciate his straight-ish charm. From the station, there was a direct link up to Swissôtel Nankai. And from there, we could access all the nearby malls and other train lines with ease. Since our rooms were not ready, we just left our luggage with the concierge. The guy who processed our passports at the reception desk was quite a cutie (dubbed Swissôtel Samuel).

Kintetsu Karl

Swissôtel Samuel

Once everything was settled, we freshened up a bit and started our sightseeing. Went back down to the station to catch the Kintetsu-Nara train. It was another forty five minutes on the train and a short bus ride. To walk in the sun would have been too punishing! Got off outside Tōdai-ji, the Eastern Great Temple and we were immediately greeted by scenes of hungry Sika deer (regarded as messengers of the Shinto gods). The deer roam freely around the grounds of the temple which is accorded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Along the way to the Nandaimon, many stalls sold deer food to the tourists. They appear to be stacks of biscuits. Strangely, the deer go into a feeding frenzy once the visitors exchange JPY150 with the sellers. Many were seen trying to run away from the deer and while fleeing get their bottoms bitten. LOL. For some reason, the deer never raid the stalls. Well-trained I guess. It was very easy to camwhore with the deer. Extremely people-friendly.

Sniff Me

Feeding the Deers

The Nandaimon (Great South Gate) itself is an impressive wooden gate in Song Dynasty style. Judging by the grain of the wood, it looked like the great ancestor of wooden gates. While gaping in awe at the pair of 28-foot tall wooden Nio guardians at the gate, one had to be careful not to step on deer droppings. At the base of the sculptures were phallic wooden fences rubbed smooth over the years. If you'd sit yourself on once, I'm sure you won't get any splinters up your ass! Just getting to the gate in that heat sucked the energy out of us. Immediately ran into the Museum Cafe's air-conditioned interior at the Tōdai-ji Culture Center (where I spotted an athletic cutie, Tōdai-ji Tim). Sat down and ordered some snacks and drinks.

Nandaimon

Nio II

Museum Cafe

Tōdai-ji Tim

Once we had recovered, we continued our walk to the Daibutsuden (the Great Buddha Hall). Right outside the great hall, KH taught me how to perform the purification. Right wash left. Left wash right. Left rinse mouth. Right was left. Wash the ladle. Beside the entrance is the Yakushi Nyorai, Buddha of Medicine and Healing. The wooden sculpture is dressed in a red hood kinda like Little Red Riding Hood. People throng to touch the sculpture because it is said that whichever part you touch will be healed of its ailment. The main attraction is of course the Daibutsu, the world's largest bronze Vairocana statue. The 500 tonne statue took three years to complete and was recast several times due to damage. Beside the great Buddha are two Bosatsu and behind are a pair of guardians (Bishamonten and Komokuten). Another interesting attraction is the pillar with the hole the size of Daibutsu's nostril. Those who pass through are said to be blessed with enlightenment in their next life. I gave it a try and I must say that the hole looked a bit intimidating. To fit, one had to put both hands through and wriggle on the side. The interior surface had been worn smooth over the years and it was easy to pop out the other side like a well-lubricated dildo.

Daibutsuden

Yakushi Nyorai

Daibutsu & Bosatsu

Phallic

Shopping for Snacks

Travelled back to the Kintetsu-Nara station and did some shopping nearby. The shopping arcade had a huge two-floor Daiso! Got back to the hotel at about 4:30 pm. The arrangements were perfect as KH and I shared a room. Hehe. Had about ninety minutes to rest and freshen up. Of course KH and I needed to squeeze in some skank time as well. Our evening plans were at Ebisubashi-Suji. Joined the throngs right up to Ebisubashi, where one can best see the giant neon Glico Man. The place was bustling with energy. And KH pointed out to me cute guys who dressed in black from head to toe, with a stack of laminated cards in their hands. They would approach young guys and girls. We suspect that they were promoters for bars. Intimated by the crowds from Shinsaibashi-Suji, we decided not to walk there. Dinner was at Ganko Sushi (literally Stubborn Sushi) where we ate in the basement. Food was quite good and the service was fast. KH was quick to indulge in his love for toro and unagi, the perfect summer food.

Shinshaibashi-Suji

Glico Man

In Dōtonbori, we experienced kuidaore, a Japanese word meaning roughly "to ruin oneself by extravagance in food". Restaurants seem to try to outdo each other in appearance. One of the landmarks is Kani Doraku, with its giant moving crab billboard. A huge line forms at the front for its grilled crab legs. SK didn't get to try it as they were sold out! As a consolation, we managed to buy a box of takoyaki from the famous Otakoya and best of all, the staff manning the stall was a sweaty cutie (dubbed Otakoya Oswald). As we slowly walked back home, we bumped into a Japanese lion dance (shishimai). Quite different from ours with a just small wooden head. It bit the head of several people to bring luck. In another corner, a father and son team were doing an acrobatic comedy while people were drinking around the nearby bars. Before calling it a day, we raided the Family Mart to buy some premium Asahi beer. Gave the necessary buzz for some Japanese bed sport! Kimochi!

Dōtonbori Nights

Otakoya

Otakoya Oswald

Kani Doraku

Father & Son

DVD Panda

Osaka Castle at your Feet

Shishimai

13 comments:

Twilight Man said...

I learnt never to book hotels at Shinsaibashi again but to sleep at the Swissotel at Namba which was the perfect central location.
Oh those hamsap deers at Nara! So cute. They bit my ass and balls. Ouch!

Twilight Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaded Jeremy said...

"People throng to touch the sculpture because it is said that whichever part you touch will be healed of its ailment."

Which part did you touch?

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for my trip in 3weeks!
-vc

Happy walker said...

I like Japan very much, but until now haven go yet...

Hdaran said...

I like "kuidaore".

Anonymous said...

i raike japanese boys vari vari much! iku! iku! iku! iku!

J-boy said...

OK wow the deers roaming around freely is just so cool!!!

Seems like everyone is going to Japan lately.... happy to say I'll be going to Tokyo exactly 1 month from now hehe... can't wait to check out the hotties, I mean sights hahaha :P

TZ said...

Interesting trip and never know Japan has so many thing to explore.

Derek said...

Why the third spy pic face is half only? Hehe

William said...

@Twi:
Bit your balls! Lucky you weren't castrated!

@JJ:
Didn't touch lo. Taicho did his head.

@VC:
Osaka too?

@HappyW:
Start planning and saving.

@Hdaran:
That should be my motto. Haha.

@Anon:
Me too!

@JBoy:
Oooo Tokyo! Do visit the famous bar-- Cholesterol. :P

@TZ:
Go, go, go!

@Derek:
I also want more! :P

Twilight Man said...

I am here admiring your photos again to shiok myself. I remember I could hang around Dotonbori every night for hours just to do people-watching!

William said...

@Twi:
Can just stalk my Flickr