The many mysteries of Kyoto

Living in Japan brings many questions to people’s minds, often sending them into culture shock. Things like why do the people on TV shows overreact to every dish with a gasped, “Umai!” with tears in their eyes. Or why there are so many layers of plastic between you and the one thing you bought at the department store.

But as I continue to live here, I can’t help but begin to notice the things that are unique to Kyoto itself. With the help of a few friends, I’ve begun to collect these questions.

No doubt many of them have mundane answers that will make perfect sense, but they’re fun to think about regardless!

Here are a few for your imaginative pleasure:

-Occasionally, a giant plastic cake can be seen lurking on the Kamogawa. What is its story? What prompts it to appear?

-Why are the festivals in Kyoto at such odd times? More importantly, do the people who participate in the festivals get special leave, or do they have to use their regular leave?

-Why is Jingu-Marutamachi station on the Keihan line so very haunted?

-What in particular summons the Welcome to Japan man? What about a given foreigner compels him to appear, in some cases multiple times, to the same person?

I’ll address some of these in more detail in future posts, but think about them and give me your best theories, whether you’ve experienced these phenomena firsthand or not!

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