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11 April 2007 @ 08:42 pm
Tradition vs. the City (Nihon Minka-en)  
It looks like, sadly, yesterday was the last sunny or partly sunny day that we're going to have for a while. This is not fair. Where is the gorgeous spring weather that we're supposed to be having while I'm still young enough to enjoy it??

Anyways.... yesterday, I went to a place that I randomly found out about on the internet. What I wonder is: Why isn't this awesome place listed on any of the Tokyo tour guides that I've seen? Maybe because it's technically in Kanagawa? But it's closer to Shinjuku station than Ueno park is. :/ Anyways, the mystery place is: Nihon Minka-en, which is a traditional japanese house museum!! For anyone interested in architecture and the old days, it is a really, really amazing place! I went alone, but I am glad that I did, because it felt relaxing, and I thought that, just for a little while, I could imagine having lived in these places (oh how cold it would have been!). All of these houses are designated as important cultural structures and to be preserved, which is why they were moved from their various locations in the country to this rambling outdoor museum. Some of the houses are more than 300 years old, so it was a really, really amazing look through history and more than a little humbling. I really want to go again. And my main impression: Even the houses in the old Tokyo area, were HUGE. My whole apartment would fit into most of the smaller rooms in those houses.

I took a few pictures, though the light wasn't always the best. I tried for the artistic angle, a lot of the time. ^^

First, I have some pictures that I took in Tokyo the day before yesterday, for contrast.

A beautiful sunset.

Looking up at the buildings~~ I want to go here a little closer to sunset one day and take some nice pictures (plus it was a drizzly, cold, rainy day so~)

Where am I? This is the road next to Tokyo station's South Exit, by the way.

A street on the way to the museum with really rich houses. Iiiiii ne! Well, I don't know if they were rich, but they were really big.

The first house was a GORGEOUS modern-ish house. It was so big, almost like a palace to me. I want a house like that.

Most of the time, you couldn't go into the rooms in the house, other than the common areas. Sometimes you could, but you had to take off your shoes. It was really interesting. I would have liked to stand in some of the rooms and explore more, except for the houses with the straw matting floors that were surely full of bugs. One thing that was very interesting was that almost all of the houses were part-stable. There was a ton of dirt floor. Even in the summer, these places must have been cold, and very very smelly.

This was an old kerosene shop/house. Very interesting. One thing that I found really strange about houses was that some of them had separate rooms in them dedicated just to storing miso paste. I had no idea that it kept outside of the refridgerator, and in open tubs (looked like bath tubs!!) nonetheless! Really interesting.

Closeup of some architecture.

This was a vat for storing soy sauce! :O I wonder if they really ate more than rice back in the ancient times. it seems very sad not to be able to choose food from around the world. I wouldn't have liked that mundane boring look at food.

This is an old water wheel, which was used for electricity, in this case.

A toilet!!!!!!!!! See, I was completely right when I said that toilets in the old days were little more than holes in the ground. Japan, why do you STILL pee in holes in the ground? The rest of the world is leaving you behind, yo~

This floor is SO cool. It's made of raised bamboo poles. People in those times must have been really light, or really careful. I felt like they would have snapped if I had walked on them. :/ And in the winter/fall/spring it must have been SO cold!! No wonder people died so much earlier in those days.

LOL An outhouse exhibit. You know what they say about warnings: If they're there, it means that somone probably did it.... XD;; Who would use those toilets on purpose? It's like what you use camping!

This is an old Shinto shrine. Strangely, it actually looks like many shinto shrines today. ^^;;

This is an old oven, used not only for cooking but also for heating the house.

The path down~~~

This is an old kabuki theater! I wanted to take some pictures of the inside, but it was too dark~

LOL my hair is so messy! It was really windy!

LOL, I love silhouettes! I should have made a better pose, though..

This is one of my favorite pictures..

And some shots of the buildings as I left.. I didn't take too many shots from the outside, because the light (as you can tell) was really bad for it. Too bright.

Which picture is your favorite?

I have been feeling really nostalgic recently. I've been longing to see America and see my friends there. To see Arizona especially. I want to cosplay and go to anime cons, and other things that I haven't been able to do in a long time. Yet I won't be able to visit until September. ;__; My sister also sent me a bunch of Easter candy, which was really sweet of her. <3

I realized that I haven't written about watching anime in a loooong time. I don't watch as much as I used to (I think that it's mostly a more discerning taste nowadays, maybe), but I have been keeping up with Death Note for the most part, and watched a lot of Nana. Earlier today, I watched the first episode of Love*Con. I really, really liked it!! I really liked the voices for the characters--for once they really seemed to fit them, and the little girl had the BEST voice for her. I can totally understand now though, why people from Tokyo say that people from Osaka sound like country hicks. I can really, really hear it in Osaka-ben!! I thought that it was really sexy before, but I think that it's because I only heard it from anime characters who are really cool/sexy in their own rights (Gin, Oshitari). With everyone speaking it together, it really DOES sound like a country hick accent! ^_^;;; LOL I finally get it.

American Idol~~ That was Melinda's best performance, I think. She really did well, and was fairly sexy. LaKisha, though..... it felt like she was just a wannabe. She didn't look good or sound great. She seemed more like she was trying to keep up with the music and getting lost. And she didn't look very good.... red is just not her color! Chris-- forgettable, as always. Nothing stands out about this boy. Haley-- She has been my favorite for a long time! Well, ever since she wore that gold top and booty shorts, that is! I've looked forward to her every week! But her hair was just SO ugly. It's sad that she'll probably be the next to go (though really Chris should be), because I'd like to see more of her legs. If only she wouldn't do her hair that way. It makes her look older. Gah but MYGOD I WANT HER LEGS. I just wish that she would style her hair better, she'd look a lot better. Phil Stacey- I still think this guy is forgettable. Jordin-- she looked great! But I can't remember anything about her performance. Blake-- BEST of the night. I don't think this guy is cute at all (none of the top 10 are), but he has got style. I really love his style. I hope that he wins! He was really, really awesome with this performance. It might have even been better than the one he did a few weeks ago. And those moves = <3. Sanjaya-- well.... it was the first week he sang well. Too bad that he looked HIDEOUS with that beard/moustache combo. I couldn't even bear to look at the screen. Good voice finally, but wtf? He lost that kind of young, rogueish cuteness that he had before. Of course, I don't think that anybody has any respect left for him anymore in any case. Does anybody think that he looks a little bit scary when he gives that evil smile and tilts his head down? o.o;;

HAHAHA sort of lesbianishness on House. Sort of. There really should be a story with lesbians sometime..

By the way, I think that this season of The Amazing Race isn't very good. All of the really great teams are gone, and Charla&Mirna are just SO annoying with how they talk down to everyone that's not a native english speaker (and even some who probably are) and expect everyone to fall over themselves to help them. Ugh. Survivor, though, is one of the best in a long time. I'm SO GLAD that that cunt Lisi is gone, and my god, Yaoman is the most awesome player ever. He reminds me of CaoBoi crossed with Dave the astronaut. XD;; And I luv Natasha and Jael on ANTM. Also Britney. But I can't stand Dion. It's something about the way that she talks, I think.. I don't like her personality.

What else to say....? I think I watch too much tv, lol.
chiharu: lee ji hoon loveeien_chiharu on April 11th, 2007 12:14 pm (UTC)
Aww, the Amazing Race already started? Too bad, I wanted to watch it from the beginning...I didn't realize it had already begun. And I've always thought that Sanjaya's smiles were wacky crazy looking. But apparently the kiddies love him nonetheless!

Are you going anywhere tomorrow or Friday? I've been wanting to do some touristy things but my sister never wants to go.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on April 11th, 2007 12:24 pm (UTC)
The Amazing Race started months ago-- it's almost the end now! There should be only 2 episodes left!! I highly suggest downloading it though and catching up, because this season was pretty good up until a point! Though I think that they left out some of the best teams of all in this season. Why no hippies? ;__;)

I don't have any plans for tomorrow or Friday- I was thinking of going to Disneyland, but it's supposed to rain so I decided to wait. Do you want to do something? There are still lots of cultural things that I haven't done yet that I'd love to do!! ^^ And it gets boring going by myself after a while. I would have asked you if I'd known that you were free!
(no subject) - eien_chiharu on April 11th, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hinoai on April 11th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ange: pinwheelsangelamori on April 11th, 2007 12:45 pm (UTC)
oh wow. I'd love to go to that place...

I'm visiting Tokyo for a bit in early June! Let me know if you're free for a meet-up! ^_^v
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on April 12th, 2007 02:22 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm definitely free!! ^o^
(no subject) - angelamori on April 12th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
百加☆nitaspitas on April 11th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC)
A friend of mine is actually refurnishing an old Japanese house out in the mountains of Okayama. He and his girlfriend have been living there since mid-January, and it's been freezing from what I've heard XD But they have a thatch roof and kerosene stove and everything.

And ditto on the LoveCom anime. It's so much fun to watch! ^^
Mister Kkenties on April 11th, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
you dint go to Disneyland ?!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on April 11th, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC)
It was yesterday that I went to the house museum.
But either way, I didn't go to Disneyland today. There was nobody free to go with me, and it's far too cold and rainy. I don't want to go until it's a day where I can enjoy being outside.
(no subject) - akibare on April 13th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jimmy_thesiger: shishido2jimmy_thesiger on April 11th, 2007 01:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, beautiful...I wish I could go to those places! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I'm not sure why, but the houses really speak to me in a way...as in, there's something so special about them. Maybe it reminds me of something my ancestors tons of years ago would have been in? I don't know--shouldn't spark off sensitivities!

...and that lovely lovely sky shot :)

Sotobori-Dori--I saw the "Dori" part first and instantly thought of Sakurada Doori, haha! :)
超ちゃ人: Attention Please - Aya Ueto ☆彡chochajin on April 11th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
WOW! Just wow ! Totally gorgeous !!! and interesting !! Thanks for sharing ^^
I can´t say which photo I like best .. there are many good photos !! ^^
But I think I like the ones best where we can see the inside of the house ! Where it´s pretty dark, but here and there the sun shines in and .. yes great atmosphere on these photos ! <333333
Francesca {フランチェスカ}fantasy2004 on April 11th, 2007 02:39 pm (UTC)
Wow pretty pictures. I'll go happy with the camera too. All those nice house, I think I won't surive the first winter in one of those, I freeze to death.
A pee hole, they are so advance in other things, why don't they advance in a toliet.

I don't watch much tv, because my dad would just change when i am watching something, I'll just give up and watch anime on my computer.
Mindamindaroth on April 11th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
Good lord I want to go there now! Thanks for giving the information on this. I wish I could pretend to be deep and say that my wanting to visit has anything to do with a love of history (I do love history, but I'm selective about what I love), rather than my embarrasingly deep love of the Fatal Frame trilogy that takes places in houses like these. I've always wanted to see an old Japanese manor house.

Also, you're too cute for words. *crushes on you*
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on April 12th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
Ooooh oooooh I didn't even think of that! Did you know that the actual location that Fatal Frame is based on is located near Tokyo? Would you be interested in going there with me sometime? I really want to go and check it out!! (if we can find it)
(no subject) - mindaroth on April 14th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hinoai on April 15th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mindaroth on April 15th, 2007 12:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Yuviyuvi on April 11th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
Wow is a fantastic museum! O.o I loved the pictures you took and you can tell just been there must have been very relaxing.

My favorite picture has to be the one you liked as well, is beautiful with the light peering through the door.

Vickytoldtojoinlj on April 11th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
On weather: At least it's not snowing there like it is here. @_@

On old house: That silouhette pic is like, "I'm home, babeh~!"

On American Idol: I actually think Melinda will win unless she completely crashes on future episodes, which I doubt she will. I was shocked to read that you like Haley, but then you mentioned her outfit, and I was like, "Of course." xD She, honestly, doesn't have much singing talent compared to most of the others. ^^;;

On Amazing Race: Yeah, my sister and I didn't even care that we missed the first two episodes. We were rooting for Uchenna and Joyce to win (even though they don't need another win), but now that they're gone, it's like... meh.

On ANTM: You dun lyke dem durrty south axints? xD
I just dislike Renee, and it sucks because one can't deny that she'd make a great looking model. She just has a nasty attitude and mindset, despite what SHE thinks.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on April 12th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC)
I didn't notice Haley, really, until she appeared with that gold shirt/ hotpants/ no bra combination, and from then on I was in love with her. American Idol isn't always just about the singing, we know that. I'd like to see a really sexy girl finally win! Though really, she isn't that good looking aside from those amazing legs. I hope that she doesn't go this week so that hopefully she wears a miniskirt next time! She would be dynamite dressed as a japanese schoolgirl! <3<3 I think Melinda has the best voice, but I think that Blake might beat her out. If nothing else, then because Blake is more original, and Melinda kind of looks like she's hunching all the time. (Though she makes the cutest expressions! But she's not too different from McPhee in how she acts)

Yeah, I was kind of rooting for Uchenna&Joyce the last few episodes, but only because they were the best of the ones that are left. I hope that Danny&Oswald win since they're the onle nice ones left. But really, I was hoping to see Rob&Amber in the end. ;__; Wah.

She has a southern accent? I didn't notice that. Actually I like southern accents, they can be kind of romantic sometimes. ^^ But there's something else about the way that she talks-- maybe because it's always with a whine, or she has a very typical 'black girl' accent (I'm not sure what it's called..) combined with a whine. Sometimes that accent is nice, but on her, it just makes her seem really stupid.. and not in the appealing way. And yeah, I can't stand Renee. She's so mean!
(no subject) - toldtojoinlj on April 12th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on April 11th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
Hey Jamie, what's up? ... You went to the house museum! One of my close friends here in grad school is a Brazilian of Japanese ancestry, and her family's house is actually IN that museum! Her grandfather was born in it and everything. I would have no idea if it's in any of your pictures, but I know it's called the Ito House.


Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on April 12th, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
Hiii!! *huggles*
Really? That is really amazing, to have your family home be considered a national treasure!! ^^ Some of the pictures are definitely from the Ito house, but they all kind of blend together after the fact so I'm not sure which~~

Have you been to the museum? If not, whenever you get a chance to come back to Japan, we'll have to go together. ^___^
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on April 12th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ex_parle on April 11th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
Reminds me a lot of Last Samurai. ;_;
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on April 12th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, I had to go and watch that movie yesterday because I felt the same thing! ^o^
Chiakichiaki777 on April 11th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
Ahhh Osaka ben, I speak it, XD People look on as if I'm special. I don't particularly care. XD

Traditional house museum sounds interesting, but I'm guessing it caters to a much more narrower group of people, so there's less advertisements for them, especially on tours.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on April 12th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
Yeah... and it's definitely a place that would be no fun if it was crowded with people, too. But I wish that there was a way to know about this museum. I have a travel guide, but it doesn't mention anything like it.
(no subject) - chiaki777 on April 12th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
いちご // Claudiastrawberryoes on April 12th, 2007 02:31 am (UTC)
:O WOW! That's going on my list of places to visit when I go to japan, that's amazing and gorgeous and just plain intresting *__*
A-A-Aariiyanicoaliyah on April 12th, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC)
Hello... I am really interested in your stories from Japan and I added you! Hope you don't mind~ Yoroshiku ne! (o^-')b