Yesterday I spent ten hours with a group of interpreters driving (and walking, lots of walking) around the city. It was a pretty amazing day. I met a famous comedian (well, kind of, he just went screaming past me and I took a picture of his back). I got to go into a shrine -- a section that normal people are never allowed to enter. I saw a wall covered in 800-year old blood and viewed katanas that were actually used to behead people (!!). Not only that but I climbed down 1,159 stone steps and ate freshly picked strawberries.
At some point during the day we visited an exhibition of ancient hina dolls. So I just thought I'd post some pics. They're pretty rotten quality. Unfortunately.
It was funny. When everyone saw the above and below dolls they began to whisper behind their hands about how creepy they were. They actually look sweeter in the photos.
This guy was really old. Yea, I didn't take note of the date.
Okay, just an interesting aside. In Japanese you have several different ways of saying numbers. The number one can be "ichi" or "hitotsu" or even "wan" (one). Because of this it is fairly easy to make words and sentences out of a series of numbers. For example, there's a famous hair restoring product and the last six digits of the phone number are 783-640. Which if you change to sounds becomes "nayami muyo" or "you don't have to worry about it." A famous English school's phone number ends in 32-4929 which can be read (and easily remembered) as "mi ni yoku tsuku", "you'll remember it well" or "you'll learn it well".
So, the ha-ha-ha thing about those 1,159 steps is that you have to climb those in order to pray at the temple. If you change those numbers into sounds again it becomes "ichi ichi gokurosan" or kind of "Thanks for making that long trek!"