Day Eight: Movieland Madness

The day started off like yesterday with the same breakfast as before.  This time I brought my camera down to show you the grossness that Natto beans are.  They’re slimy, as you can see, and don’t taste very well either.  The worst part is the smell though!  They’re fermented soy beans and are supposed to be really good for you.  However, not even the Japanese like these too much.

Natto beans!  Blarg…

Our first stop for the day was the Golden Pavilion, or “Kinkakuji.”  It’s in a pond and was very pretty, as you can see.  There is also a Silver Pavilion which is supposed to rival this one in beauty.  We will be seeing that tomorrow to compare, however, it is said that the real beauty of the Silver Pavilion is supposed to be at night when it the moonlight reflects from a nearby lake onto it, as it was designed.  The sad part is, apparently you can’t see the pavilion when the moon is out because it is closed.  So I guess we’ll never know which is prettier.  After seeing the pavilion, we walked around to see the area around it and of course, the gift shops!  We love gift shops!

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The Golden Pavilion.

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Cool area around the pavilion.

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Stairwell leading up to a shrine located near the pavilion.

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Small statue in the middle of a pond.

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The Golden Gift Shop!  One of five.

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The Golden Restroom!

Already tired and burning up from the summer sun, we made our way to Movieland.  I had no idea what to expect but I was excited.  Two bus rides and a little walking later, we made it to the studio park.

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A vending machine with camera film, SD cards, batteries, and ties?

Movieland was an interesting place.  It was styled a lot like different ancient places in Japan.  The thing is, they do a lot of filming there even today.  A lot of the place is actually used for their films, which include samurai movies.  We got to see a demonstration on how they do their films which was acted out with two of their actors and a director who had a really good time playing around in front of us and making jokes.  Even though we couldn’t understand their words, their actions were hilarious and portrayed their comedic skills.  We also got to see the “ninja show,” which was a quick 20 minute play that was both action-packed with ninja running around, through, and on top of the stage, as well as funny and entertaining.  The main antagonist would go from being all deep voiced and evil with the main protagonist to cheerful and happy with the crowd, giving peace signs and playing around while the ninja took breaks from their incredible acrobatics and fighting.

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The sign says it all.

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Entering the park from the nice air-conditioned building.

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Some ninja are getting their photo taken.

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A large creature sticks it head out of the pond and shoots steam out of its mouth.

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A large Deity appears from a volcano to give us its blessing.

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A young lady in a kimono promotes a “ninja show.”

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Said ninja show.  It was awesome!

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A robotic ninja pulls itself across a line.

Em really wanted to do this thing where we get to dress up and get our picture taken.  There is also another service offered where you are actually allowed to rent costumes and wear the entire day.  Em dressed as a Naginata Princess and I was Ryoma.  I didn’t know who that was at the time but soon learned his importance in Japanese history..  Ryoma pushed the Emperor forward in modernizing Japan which would later be known as the Meiji restoration.  As you can see, he had a pistol as well as his swords, a first step towards guns in Japan.  He is considered a revolutionary hero for his part in modernizing Japan during that time period.

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Em and I pose with costumes on.

Another thing we got to see was a haunted house.  Honestly, it wasn’t as scary as I was hoping, but I got a good kick out of seeing Mom and Em jumping every time someone would fling open a door and moan at them, lol.  We also got to visit the Japanese movie archives which included some of the Ghibli films, but mainly focused on the really old Japanese films.  It’s hard going to places like this where I can’t really appreciate the museum because I can’t read anything, but as a movie fan, I thought this place was pretty cool.  I mostly had to look for movie posters of things I knew about.  They had a section for their animations which date all the way back to 1958.  I was surprised by the quality of the animation they had from that period, it was actually quite impressive.  They even had a little thing for Dragon Ball Z.  It was pretty cool.

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A statue in front of the movie archives.

After seeing everything we could see outside, we went inside where we partook in a very outdated yet still fun 3D ride simulator which took us through a bumper-car course filled with all kinds of crazy things.  We then continued on through a museum of all kinds of random things until we came across something I didn’t expect at all.  The complete history of all things Power Ranger related.

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If you like Power Rangers, keep reading.

For those who didn’t know, most of the scenes from the American “Power Rangers” show were actually taken from a Japanese version which had many different series, starting back in 1975.  That’s why a lot of the voices of the bad guys don’t match.  It also explains how ridiculous it was at times.  The non-fight scenes were replaced with American actors and thus the “Power Rangers” we know and love (at least the first season) were born!  Unbeknownst to me, they’ve kept going over time over here, as we in America have seen the downfall of our own version of the show.  Here at Movieland, they have a floor of the museum dedicated to these shows.  It was a blast from the past and a visitation of my childhood.  The green ranger was way cooler before he became the white ranger!  Just saying…

It’s a whole room dedicated to the real rangers!

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Here are ours!

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It was like reliving my childhood.

Movieland was pretty interesting but it had definitely been another tiring and busy day in Kyoto.  We made our way back to the hotel to chill out before going to dinner.  Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera to dinner with me.  We tried looking for an Irish Pub we had heard was in Kyoto Station, right across the street from us.  We couldn’t find it unfortunately but we did run into a Spanish restaurant and decided to try that.  The food was great but way too small.  We ended up spending about $90 on food and I can tell you that that was the first time I’ve ever left a restaurant still hungry.  Dad and I decided to split a two-person portion of Paella, a dish I’ve always wanted to try.  I could have eaten five of the portions we received.  We had to wait 30 minutes to get it and it was mostly rice.  Paella is basically a (varied) bunch of seafood served on top of rice but this was only like two pieces of shrimp and four clams.  It tasted great but still… even Em had to order two meals just to barely get full.  I’m sure gonna enjoy those Natto beans tomorrow…

Speaking of tomorrow, it will be our last day in Kyoto.  We plan on going to the Silver Pavilion among other stops.  I can’t wait for another Onsen visit at Koya-sa!  All this sightseeing, although very fun, is also very tiring.  We need a little break to relax a little.  I hate to complain since I’m seeing a beautiful country and learning about a completely different culture, but a little R&R would go a long way, especially when we’re spending the entire day squeezing in as much as we can.  Besides, that’s the whole point of vacation.  But as long as I can end the day with a hot shower and a cold beer, or even warm sake, I’m pretty happy 😀

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One thought on “Day Eight: Movieland Madness

  1. Spanish food is a-ma-zing. My ex-housemate was Spanish, and his mother made homemade Spanish food for us when she and his father came to visit. Homemade paella is very very very very good and has much more seafood than what it seems like you received!

    And gosh, you guys have such tiring days! Crazy. 3:

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