Friday, October 26, 2007

Trip to Usa

Amy wanted to go to Usa. I tried to convince her Usa wasn't all that exciting of a place, but she really wanted to check it out once, I suspect largely just for the sake of saying she's been there. Usa, as you might or might not know, is (kind of) world famous as part of an urban legend that the town was created for the sole purpose of being able to stamp "Made in USA" on Japanese exports. (It's not true by the way. Snopes debunks the rumor here).

Usa's only one town over, but everywhere is far away if you don't have a car. So, as one of the few foreigners here with a car, I volunteered to take Amy sightseeing in Usa for a day. I had somewhat of an ulterior motive.

I've already written Usa up on my "Better Know a City" project. And at the time I received a few e-mails complaining about the lack of pictures. So, I thought once again I could steal Amy's Photos and do a follow up post to my original, this time complete with Photos. (Although if you follow my links, some of these places might be familiar from a couple years ago when I showed Chris around Usa, and then linked to the pictures on his blog).

(By the way, I know no one really cares about this but me, but I do realize it has been close to half a year since my last "Better Know a City" entry. The reasons for this are numerous. First rainy season came. Then I was working overtime to get time off for my trip back to America. Then I was back in America for my brother's wedding. Then it was too hot in the blazing Kyushu summers to do any outdoor activity besides swim at the waterfalls. Then I was busy filling out applications, and going to Tokyo for an interview. Then the trip down to Miyazaki. ...And I'd be lying if I didn't say in between there were just a few days when I was plan lazy, and had the time but instead chose to stay in and watch videos.

...I hope to get back into the habit of regularly visiting new cities soon. Stay tuned to this blog).

Anyway, without further ado here is our day in Usa. Amy's version of events can be found on her blog here. I'm stealing many of her pictures, but the complete set can be found on her photosite here.

The first stop was at the Statue of Liberty (which adorns a local car dealership). I'm not sure if this is an intended reference to the USA-Usa connection, or just part of the regular Americana one sees all over Japan. We decided to stop for pictures anyway.

Then it was off to the famous Usa shrine. This is supposedly one of the most famous shrines in all of least according to the people of Usa. Supposedly it has something to do with the very origins of Shintoism itself. AlthoughI noticed when I lived up in Gifu how few people up there were able to even recognize the name.

Anyway, some pictures. First the outlying garden area
 feeding the fish


And the center of the Shrine itself
Next, a brief stop at the Kanpo no Sato area where there were reconstructions of tribal era Japanese houses.

A recreation of a Samurai era look-out tower. I climbed up. Amy opted not to because of the hornets circling around. The view from the top wasn't anything spectacular anyway.

Next, the famous 500 Buddhas. The idea is you're supposed to look through and find a Buddha that looks just like you. I can never be bothered to do this, so I just look and smile at all the Buddhas.

Last, but not least, a few pictures of the Usa rice fields (which is 99% of the time what you're view is when driving around Usa).


Update--Additional photos:

Link of the Day
New Iraq Spending Request would Cost Michigan Additional $4.1 Billion, Grand Rapids $81.4 Million

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