industrial robots
Cranking out widgets in search of meaning...

Chichibu 2018

Chris and I were invited by a friend on a day trip to a small city called Chichibu, where she lives.

selfie of Chris and Earl on a trainsmall japanese buildings with a blue partly cloudy sky and mountains in the distance

We took a train called the New Red Arrow and it was a good opportunity to have a relaxing morning.

New Red Arrow logoChris and Brenda walk along the train platform, the train has arrived.
A blonde woman wearing a navy blue hoodie smiles in her seattwo pasties and two coffees, one in a takeout cup and one in a can from a vending machine

Upon arrival, we were invited to check out a local gallery and view a show that was being set up to open soon as well as meet the artist.

a painting of a rustic house entrancea painting of a rustic house entrance
a painting of a building with a thatched room held down by stones and cement blocksthe artist, Brenda, Earl, and Chris stand in front of a painting of a goat looking into the entrance of a small stone building

There’s also a small museum nearby with a surprisingly impressive collection for a small city to have.

a small reddish building with small manicured trees outsidea large display case of asian artifacts lines a wall

We were then taken to lunch at a local restaurant run by a friend of our host. It was a bit early for drinks, but oh well.

a tall glass, almost half full of spirits next to a glass bottle of coca colaa tray of tempura and a bowl of rice with small bowls of greens, soup, and sauceBrenda smailes with her plate of tuna, noodles, and side dishes

Our next stop was a local shrine, which seemed a bit more ornate that most of the ones I’ve seen.

main wooden building with ornate wooden roofa side of the shrine where wooden prayer plaques are tied
a view of the shrine showing decorative panels of carved and painted woodshrine grounds showing a small torii gate and two traditional stone lanterns.  The gateway is in the near distance.

Next up was the antique store that our friend wanted to show us. The place was overflowing with vintage items and we found some great gifts for Les.

various ceramic pots and decorative itemsvertical wooden signs with japanese characters hung on a wall
a wooden cart with wooden wheels leaning against it next to a framed black and white painting on a standthe shop interior with display cases running along the walls and down the middle.  Artwork is displayed on a ledge on the angled ceiling

At one point, the owner’s son asked me a strange question. “Do you like Ghost In The Shell?” I told him it was my favourite anime and he gave me a small tachikoma toy, making up for my lack of luck at the I.G. Store in Shibuya. I love Japan!

a blue six-legged robot toy in front of a wood box