Unlike the last time we went, this time it was very, very crowded.
This guy had the right idea though.
We sat and ate some ice cream before heading into the castle compound. Japanese ice cream tends to be very custardy. It’s delicious and unlike anything we have in America. Maybe one of these days we’ll check out one of those “frozen custard” stores that seem to be popping up around here and see if it’s the same concept.
There was a long line to get in and the upper terrace was absolutely packed. Wielding a camera was tough, but she managed to get a neat panorama using my Google Nexus 5™ auto-panorama feature (now on sale for $399 at the Google Play Store!).
I don’t put much stock in phone cameras, or camera dummy modes, but it did impress me with its simplicity of use and high-quality results, all in-camera. All I do is check email and read kanji flash cards; 90% of my phone’s capabilities are wasted on me. But I’m told I need to buy a new one every few years…
I took some pictures of the golden fish, called Shachihoko, that crown the roof ridges. They have the body of a fish and the head of a dragon. In popular legend, they stand watch over the structures they adorn and spit water onto the building when it catches fire. Pretty much everything in Japan has burned to the ground at least once, so fire is a very real fear.
We did see a lot of cool exhibits, most of which were on floors that prohibit photography though. I really liked the full suits of samurai armor.
At least one of them had nipple rings. We found it amusing but figured they had to have an actual purpose. We supposed maybe they were for dragging casualties out of battle or something before concluding they must exist for the hanging of standards. Given that samurai may be fighting under different armies on any given campaign, the easy ability to change whose flag they bore must have been necessary to their outfit.
That night, we went to the food mall in Tempozan Marketplace. We’ve eaten okonomiyaki in quite a few different prefectures throughout the country and absolutely love the stuff they make at Abenoya. It’s hidden in the back of the food court and not easily found, but if you ask around for okonomiyaki I’m pretty sure it’s the only place there that sells it. They make a house specialty (I forgot the name of it) and will all but force you to try a sample if you dare to pass by. It’s okonomiyaki with a soy-based sauce; looks like chocolate syrup, tastes like heaven.
If all else fails, you could always grab a bucket of KFC™. Who said truth in advertising is dead? Look at how much of a fatass Colonel Sanders is.
We use buckets to feed pigs, to fatten them up so we can get a higher yield when we slaughter them.
PROTIP: Have some dignity. Don’t eat food from a bucket.