- Before Robots, Japan Had Tiny Dolls That Tumbled Down Stairs And Served Tea (blogs.smithsonianmag.com)
- What is Karakuri Kaizen? (michelbaudin.com)
- Build: The Gakken Karakuri Tea Serving Robot (makezine.com)
Last saturday, we went to Yamanashi Perfecture. It’s about 2 hours by train from where we lives.
Growing grapevines welcomed us at the Yamanashishi station. Excuse me when I sound twelve now, but i was so excited because this is the first time I saw grapevines.(and I’m Indonesian, we plant mango rambutan, and guava trees on our garden!)
There were some pergolas at the station with growing grape plant. And I spend quite a while sitting on the bench under pergolas just staring them.
Funny story, when I was in elementary school (about 10 or 11) I wrote fiction about spending holiday in my grandmother’s who live near grape farm. I think it was more beautiful in my imagination. ^_^ (or perhaps differently beautiful than reality).
About this, I remember I read somewhere Gaiman wrote Sandmand before he went to America. And few years later he realized America he imagined is different from America he finally lived. (I think this is why he then started to write American God) I read that some other writers too never been to the place they wrote in their novel, and can write them beautifully. (I don’t know if they can write accurately, but is it important in fiction?)
Back to the station, after sitting under the grapevines for a while and doesn’t want to leave, I checked bus schedule at tourist information centre (all brochures written in Kanji, sigh!) I realize we just missed the bus to fruit park. We have to wait another two-hour for the next bus. We can’t wait two hours. We already came late, because we’re out of the house by 10, due to household chores and at that moment it was already mid day.
We have option to just hike for 30 minutes. But learning from experience when we went to Nikko Shrine Heritage Site (I should blog about this one too) my son didn’t like it that he must walked the stone stairs to reach the top shrine at the compound. Not blame him though. I saw some adult lost their breath and need rest too on some spot on the stair. I was exhausted too but mostly for piggybacking my son. So finally we decided to go by taxi for 1400¥ (It’s only 100¥ /10rb rupiah / 1$ US by bus. Sigh! Bye, bye, money)
The view was pretty. We went to the museum, and let my son playing at the park for a while. Grapevines, peach & apple trees everywhere, but the fruit wasn’t for picking. They have another package tour for that.
After like an hour or two we decide to walk down to the station. My son rather cooperative with the walks this time, since my husband gave him task to pick some wild grass while we walk. And the view was amazing, the best part of our trip. Everywhere were grape farm, there were apples and peaches too, but mostly grapes. They actually have winery too, where tourist can taste wine, and picking grapes, but we have no time left for that plus we don’t drink alcohol.
This place is famous for their Kyoho grape. We buy some at the stall at the park. But when we walk down the hill there’s this lady at the sidewalk standing in front of a grape farm offer us her grapes. And i have to say this is also the very first time i eat this kind of grapes.
There’s some kind of burning sensation when I bite the sweet juicy flesh. I don’t know what’s in there, but it was delicious. Finally bought some more from this lady. And we’re little shocked because the price is a lot cheaper. Plus this lady gave us some bonus. Sigh if only we knew. So whoever you are, when visiting Yamanashi for the first time, find this lady, buy grapes from her. She’s awesome!
So, I’ve been in Japan for almost three months now. Since i come from a country that doesn’t have seasons, it’s really nice to see things slowly changed here.
The first time I came here, it was the tail of spring. I noticed colorful flowers were everywhere. In a pot in front of houses, in a park. And to me they look brighter than when I see them in Indonesia. I don’t know. Maybe because the surrounding was in the color of pastel & the sun was friendly so those flowers looks brighter.
People here walks faster than people in Indonesia. Like they’ve been chased by something. Is this because the changes of seasons makes them more aware that things change, fast. Since every season only lasted for 3 months.
In Indonesia we only know rainy & hot season. But the temperature barely changes. The sun is always shines, bright, even in the rainy season. Maybe it won’t be seen for two days during rainy season, but it’s always there. And the daytime has never been longer or shorter in any season.
People here also have unspoken law about queuing on the escalator. You must not standing next to anyone, one step only for one person. And you must stand on the left side, to make room on the right side for people in a rush. (In Tokyo & surroundings they will always walk or running on right side of the escalator. I heard people in Kyoto walks on the left side and stand on the right, just the opposite from Tokyo )
Elderly are plenty and they are very independent. You’ll see them on the supermarket, or walks on the park by themselves. They usually carry a shopping bag that also used as mobility aid. I guess the statistic are true, saying that Japanese people having the highest average life expectancy in the world. (I just checked on Google it’s around 83 years old. Compare to Indonesia around 70-74 years old)
Litters are rarely seen on the street. Not a candy wraps, not used tissue, nothing. A layer of dusts maybe, or leaves near the park, but nothing else. And trash bin also rare. Noticeable trash can probably those are near or built on vending machine. And it’s only for can and PET bottle. Other trash? I don’t know. I guess people carried them on their bag. I know I do, since if I littering somewhere, it will get noticed easily. (Convenience store has their own trash bin too, for paper cup from hot coffee they sold, also for plastic and for paper)
… (to be continued)