Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday the 28th Meguro Fudo-son, yams, The Parasite Museum and more

Today was another laundry day, while Cindy watched the driers Steven and I did a quick run to Kappabashi, a few blocks away, so he could get some plastic food, the kind you see on display in Japanese restaurants. He ended up getting a small bowl of ramen with a naruto fish cake and tenpura shrimp.

After dropping off the laundry we headed to Meguro, I called Leo and we arraigned to meet at Otori shrine. It was the Shichi-go-san festival where children aged 3, 5 and 7 dress up in traditional garb and visit the shrine. Lots of cute kids, proud parents and grandparents. Leo met s at the shrine and after some chatting we headed for the Parasite Museum. A fascinating and disturbing place, with samples preserved in fluid and educational diagrams on the life cycle of various parasites. I bought their guidebook in English to donate to the Exploratorium Museum Learning Studio and a t-shirt for myself. Leo got a delightful card with cute versions of parasitic worms on it.

Then we headed for Meguro Fudôson where a festival was taking place. Lots of good food including deep fried yam slices, grilled squid, yakisoba, and plenty more. Cindy ended up with a bag of foods including takoyaki and okonomiyaki. There was a large section for ornamental plants and one for carnival games. Steven took pictures, Cindy, Leo and I ate.

After leaving the temple late in the afternoon we ran across a pair of very unusual koma-inu (lion dog) sculptures that are often found at the entrance to shrines and temples. Instant detour, as we passed them we found ourselves in a small temple area surrounded by cemeteries. This site was not in my atlas and Leo could not read the calligraphy over the gate. Cindy and Steven had a good time taking pictures of the large variety of sculptures and the interesting plants in the garden.

After leaving we went by Meguro Gajoen, Steven and Leo stopping to taker photos of a famous love hotel shaped like a fantasy castle. There was a flower exhibit at Meguro Gajoen and we wandered some of the halls enjoying the flower arraignments and art on the walls. We then detoured into the garden which climbs up the side of a hill and exited the grounds.

After coffee and a short rest we headed back to the station where Leo gave us directions on a faster route to the ryokan. While waiting for the train my rented cell started buzzing, it was a call from Ono-san who said he had something for us and would meet us at the ryokan. When we got there he had a manga on pilots for Cindy, her father had flown a bomber in Europe in W.W.II, a volume of a manga on ommyoji for Steven, and for me the tenth volume of the out of print large format release of Maison Ikkoku which I had been searching for for five years. Thank you again Ono-san. After a pleasant evening talking we saw Ono-san off at the station and headed back to the ryokan to crash.

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