AKA: Be Careful What You Wish For.
On February 9th, I did something that I had been avoiding due to pure terror.
I got a haircut.
Now, haircuts aren't usually a big thing for me. Still, add the language barrier and the fact that my hair is different from Japanese hair and, well, count me terrified. Still, that particular Saturday, I finally went out and got it done.
The cut was amazing, as was the place - I don't normally go to salons back home, as I'm a cheap bastard. This place was great, close to home, and cost me some $30 for at least an hour and a half attention to my hair. And, of course, it's one of the better cuts I've ever had.
The following Monday was a holiday, so Caitlin and I decided to go to Kamakura on Sunday to see the Big Buddha ("Daibutsu"). This guy is aptly named. He looms over the area, calmly and serenely watching over the town. He was quite a wonderful sight.
20 yen (around 15 cents) buys you entrance inside the Buddha, and I don't think I've spent a better 20 yen since. While it was cramped inside, being absolutely packed with tourists, there was an odd peace in being inside Buddha. Not to mention the fact that being inside a sculpture gives one an interesting view of the sculpture's details.
Caitlin and I also visited the "money washing shrine," Zeniarai Benten Jinjya. We took the long route, going over the mountain side, which was tiring but beautiful and, in retrospect, well worth our time and effort. This shrine is famed for a small river inside a cave; legend has it that any money washed in this river will be doubled, a beneficial thing that I was more than happy to put my hopes on as I washed my 1man ($100) note and a 500 yen ($5 ish) coin. Being inside the cave felt very primitive and quiet...well, as long as one could block out the sound of tourists and clicking camera shutters.
In Kamakura itself, we also did a little shopping, and I found one of the highlights of my shopping career here in Japan - a Studio Ghibli store. I could have spent hours in that very, very small store, looking at everything, but had to content myself with a short visit that still parted me with quite a bit of money (which was OK, as I had already ensured that my money would be doubled).
Caitlin and I left Kamakura and went to meet up with Clarissa and Aaron in Yokohama, a mini-Tokyo famous for its China Town. Now, throughout the day, Caitlin and I had talked a bit about roadtrips in our past, and I had lamented the fact that I had few memorable roadtrips or adventures. Clearly, this was a moment in which the phrase "be careful what you wish for" is ever so appropriately applied. The four of us ate dinner in Yokohama, staying a little later than we intended, but we were fairly sure that we could get back to Ota without problem. However, our arrival at Kuki station prophecized otherwise, as we watched the last train to Ota pull away just as we arrived at our platform.
Cue Leslie to spend a frenzied hour or so attempting to figure out how we can get home, if we can get home, and who we could possibly stay with in Tatebayashi, the closest city to home we could get to that night. Fortunately, a friend of mine was in Tatebayashi and was able to put the four of us up for the night, giving our little adventure a very fun, sleepover ending. Still, for a few moments, the prospect of livening up my "adventureless" life by spending the night in a train station seemed less than appealing.
The next morning saw me home, safe and sound, with a worried cat and several new adventures to occupy my thoughts.