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And More Arts!

Today was another day full of the arts, of all varieties. I woke up and literally inhaled breakfast in a record time of five minutes in order to catch an earlier bus than I'd initially planned (and was still eating a lemon gelatin on the way to the bus stop). I took the bus from Izumigaoka to Korinbo, where I walked from there to the Ishikawa International Lounge where PII was hosting a cultural activity on shakuhachi--Japanese bamboo flutes.

For a bit we heard about some basic history of shakuhachi and how one plays it/ the different qualities of tones that can be produced with the flute (one of them is produced by shaking your head back and forth slightly; it looks quite amusing). Blowing into the flute requires blowing half into/half out of the hole in the top. I couldn't do it hahaha. Zilch. Zip. Nada. There were a few people who could make a sound, but most of us were there futilely puffing away for twenty five minutes.

After the class ended at 11, I walked next door to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. It was the "free day" for Kanazawa residents, and I successfully infiltrated the museum! Technically I think it only applied to the museum's collections, but I wandered wherever I wanted, even into things that I think required tickets, and no one stopped me so...I'd also been given a free ticket for a special flower arrangement exhibit, so I went into that first. The whole room smelled like flowers...but they didn't let me take pictures.

This was a color-spiral thing just outside the museum that you could wander around/ in.

This is "Leandro's Pool", an artistic, interactive illusion. From the top it looks like a pool full of water that people are walking around in, but actually there's a layer of glass that collects the water. But from whatever end you look from--in or out--it looks like you're looking through water.

This is the Hanem Hut by Yoshifumi Nakamura. It's a single-person hut that is completely off-grid, but is self sufficient enough to produce it's own energy for cooking, a toilet, electricity, and a shower. It's also sooo space efficient. I fell in love with all the storage tricks. It also felt light an airy inside--not small or cramped at all. I want a hut like that! They gave select tours inside the hut that I had the fortunate timing to participate in.

Then I went into the James Turrell space called Blue Planet Sky. It's so quiet inside, and after the silence you just look up and the sky is right there, standing out from the ceiling (which is actually the same white as the walls, not black, my camera did that). It was so relaxing and calming to just sit on the benches and watch the clouds float on by...

This last thing was definitely the most bizarre. It was a special exhibit called "A taste of curiosity". I waited for half an hour to be able to buy a $5 ticket (worth it). We entered this laboratory-looking glass box in the center of a darkened room and were told that there were a list of emotions (101 to be exact) that all had tastes. We were then given four scents to sniff: pleasure (floral-y), comfort (sickly sweet, like vanilla or something), anger (spicy), and heartwrenching sadness (I couldn't quite place this one). Then the person took a beaker of a brown liquid (coke I think) and mixed it with the pleasure and comfort flavors, then we were told to drink it slowly. It wasn't bad. Then she took a perfume sprayer thing filled with a red liquid and spritzed it into our mouth--that was anger. It tasted like some sort of pepper and the burn lasted for a good half hour. Then we left. Weirdest $5 I've spent in a while.

All in all a very cool museum. Can't wait to go back.


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Hi guys, long time no see. Haven't had much time to write, recently, but I have a slew of (hopefully) new material to show you guys. 
Two weeks ago my family came to visit for my brother's spring break, and I had planned a (pretty epic, if I may say so myself) cross-Japan trip for them. Over the course of 10 days we were going to visit Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji, Kanazawa, and Tokyo. After the fam arrived, we took the bullet train all the way over to Hiroshima (a 5 hour affair) and then worked our way back east towards Tokyo.
Our first stop, Hiroshima, dawned bright and warm. We started the morning at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which is at one end of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The museum is, in a word, heavy. It's one of those museums where you feel like you should read every single bit of text and look at every photo and bear witness, albeit 70 years later, to the utter horrors that the atomic bomb wrecked on this city. 
As I walked through the exhibits, …