By: RaY KinZoKu

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Wednesday, 25-Aug-2004 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
Nippon ReVisited : ~ Ii Hi Tabidachi, Kasaoka he ~

From Kota Bharu Airport.. catch another flight at Kuala Lumpur Int'l Airport...
.. Karat & Juan were there for a reason...
..departure area...
..minutes before departure..
..5 months ago, there were no TV displays.., it seems that the Economy Class..
..turns out to be much more interesting...
..emm what will the breakfast be..
..yummy ( I was hungry )..
..ppl say that the UV is stronger at this height.. I looked at the wing instead..
..approaching Kansai Airport, Osaka...
..Kansai Airport, luggage claim..
..a morning scene at the airport..
..Shin-Osaka : took a train from the airport (50km)..
and from there, to Fukuyama (300km) by the Shinkansen.. rained lightly outside...
..Fukuyama Castle, Hiroshima, seen from the platform..
..took another train to Kasaoka in Okayama..
..the train was empty..
..a nice place for a couple..
..the Kasaoka Grand Hotel..
..I spent 10 days inside this small room..
..and went to work on a bicycle, typical Japanese style...
..btw, Kasaoka, tho quite less inhabited.. known for its "close relation" with the Seto Inland Sea..
..There is a hakubutsukan (museum)..
..dedicated to this living fossil..
..that could grow quite big and as old as human being..
..the Kabutogani or Horse-shoe Crab...
Working for a Japanese company, I did expect that I will somehow return to Japan sooner or later but I didn't expect that after just 5 months leaving Japan for good, I was asked to go to Japan once more, this time for a 10 days I went to Japan, alone on the 17th of August. I took that night Malaysian Airlines flight straight to Kansai AIrport in Osaka and from Osaka, journeyed down 300 km into Okayama Prefecture ( "prefecture" => an equivalent to "state" ) to a small "city" (they call it a "city" with 50,000 inhabitants but it looks more like a small town to me) called Kasaoka, somewhere close to Hiroshima Prefecture border ( where the historical atom-bombed Hiroshima City is located ) . By the way, the word "prefecture" in Japanese is "-ken", but only Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hokkaido do not have " - ken " attached to their names... and there are 47 prefectures in Japan, with all of them have " -ken" attached except for Tokyo-to, Osaka-fu, Kyoto-fu and Hokkaido ( just Hokkaido ! ) . Back to Kasaoka, the "city" population are mainly fishermen and farmers, and some work at industrial estates nearby or just escaped to big cities like Tokyo or Osaka.. Being very close to the sea (the Seto Inland Sea), the people are very proud of their catch, the freshness, the cheap and abundance of sea creatures. But there's one more thing they are proud of ==> the "KabutoGani" or the Horse-shoe Crab or simply in Malay, "Belangkas" ie the living fossil.. Horse-shoe Crabs are very rare in Japan and only can be found around Kasaoka and nearby area. So they built a museum dedicated to the creature alone ! How sweet.. Luckily, the locals don't eat them, they just pay their respect..

* Ii Hi Tabidachi, Kasaoka he => simply means, " Departure On A Nice Day, To Kasaoka ". But there is this famous, evergreen song, entitled " Ii Hi Tabidachi, Nishi He " by Onitsuka Chihiro (click HERE for a sample of the song in Realplayer by the original singer, Yamaguchi Momoe(1979 ) ). Now a theme song for West Japan Japanese Railway Company (JR) which controls the Bullet Train (Shinkansen) service in West Japan. If you are happen to travel southward from Osaka, the music box version of the song will be played whenever the Shinkansen stops at a station. Try look for the song, the translation too and you might like it.. By the way, the title means " Departure On A Nice Day, For the West "..

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