Iga, Mie Prefecture

[Written on March 21, 2017]

Dear Virtual Diary,

Mie-Ken was enjoyable and I feel like I understand the father of the haiku, Matsuo Basho, a little more.

I stayed in the small city of Uenoshi in Iga, Mie. The bus and train, from Kurahashi, took around 5½ hours. In total I had to transfer trains five times.

After taking the bus I departed by train, from Kure station, then went on to Hiroshima stn, then took the bullet train to Kyoto.

I should mention that Kyoto has somehow lost a little of its essence with me. This may come off as a bit hipsterish but I find that the tourists make it difficult to appreciate the history there. It could be because after staying on a pretty remote island for the last 7 months I have been tainted with the bias of seclusion as I am able to enjoy life peacefully here. Also, it got me thinking that if America’s problem is the globalization of its fast food industry such as the McDonalds and Burger Kings, which in many opinion’s swallow up its essence, then an interesting contrast to that argument is Japan’s commodification of its illustrious history. I feel like the all mighty dollar is swallowing up essence as well. At the end of every temple or shrine tour some kind of food or generic picture is shoved in my face. Nothing seems to be one of a kind either in Kyoto. You see on souvenir you are liable to see at numerous different sites as well. I get it though….

”dollar dollar doller bills ya’ll”

Continuing on my journey…

After Kyoto, I took a train to Katsuya, then from there to Tsuge and finally Iga Ueno from there it was a small two car train to Uenoshi. The city of Uenoshi has to be one of the smallest cities I have ever stayed in, in Japan. There were barely any places to eat and I didn’t see one grocery story during my entire stay (3 days). It is also one of the quietest cities I have every visited by far. You could hear a pin drop no matter the time of the day. There was also an eerie atmosphere there. I can’t place my finger on it, but that makes perfect sense because Mie-Ken is the place of birth of the Ninja. That could explain the “something is off” feeling I had all weekend. Maybe ninjas were watching me.

Some photos…

A man from one of the greatest cities in the world —- OSAKA!

 

 

Iga Castle

 

Me and my Ninjas

 

Holding up a tour while trying to use a trap door in a house

 

Found poutine in Iseshi…It wasn’t poutine.

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