We ate last night in a divey little bar with videos of old R'n'B artists projected onto one unpainted wall, and a staircase that hung from the ceiling, called "Zoba". Craving something other than damned Inari Sushi, I sought out (of all things whilst in Japan) PIZZA. Zoba was brilliant. Grimy and dark, yes, but with such a cool vibe, and its got to be a good sign when Al Green's "Let's Stay Together", our song, starts to play as we sit down. We are told by our chatty host to simply twinkle the xylophone when we are ready to order. The food is good but, as always in Japan, ridiculously small serving sizes. No wonder they are all so damned skinny! In Kyoto we found a juice bars whose teensy "XL" cup would easily have passed for a small in America!
After our visit to the Peace Memorial Park we took a ferry to Miyajima. I read ages ago that Miyajima is renowned for its super tasty and fresh oysters, and have been secretely saving to take John out for a surprise lunch, which he thoroughly enjoyed!!!
Miyajima is a cute little island - certainly not a place to spend all day like Sean, Mazzu, Chris and Yuma did, but luckily (unlike the boys) we had already checked out the times for high tide and arrived when the legs of the huge red torii were already under water. It was lovely walking by the shore with heaps of deer coming up to investigate, their curious noses quickly determining that we had no food, at which point they would promptly trot off in disgust. It was the perfect way to spend our last afternoon in Japan (), the sun setting behind the mountains in a picturesque little village by the sea.
I just can't believe how quickly these two weeks have flown by! I admit, I could never live here (simply because of the food - or lack thereof), but I have fallen in love with this country and all its peculiarities. From zebra crossings that chirp like little birds, to their deep respect for EVERYTHING (the ticket mastrers on the train even bowed before entering each carriage, even though no one was watching), to the little "Toilet Slippers" that actually have this wrriten on them, the bizarre characters we have met and seen (like the man who looked like an asain version of Elvis, and the crouched old women who had tied her bun up with one of nthose fake, curly hair hairbands which - being jet black - contrasted hilariously with her grey). I love their incessant bowing (again - RESPECT - aretha frankling would love it here) and all their weird inventions (heated toilets with remote controls to wash and dry your bum while you listen to some relaxing music) and the many many many vending machines selling just about everything. I love how everyone here seems to be either young and bubbly, with crazy hair and funky clothes, or very,very old, their faces lined, backs forced down until they are almost at right angles to their legs, their eyes squeezed shut with age and gravity. It's like there is some secret, missing generation - the youth with no parents and the old with no children. I find the younger generation a bit intimidating - they are just so achingly COOL. The elderly, on the other hand, look so damn cute, a good foot shorter than me, I just want to cuddle them!
I am going to miss Japan - but now we have a whole new adventure awaiting us!!! I am sooo excited - China here we come！