Kyoto–First of all, I wanted to mention that I’ve decided to change the name of my site to Thulcandra. It would be pretentious of me to make the claim that I could live up to the standards of the name I originally picked. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. Otherwise, I’m not going to tell you.
This is the second post I’ve typed in as many days. I probably won’t be writing entries this frequently on a regular basis, especially after Jason and I leave the heavily populated areas and start our journey through northern Japan in a couple of weeks; special circumstances, though, have prompted me to write something short.
When I first arrived here, one of my hosts–I can’t recall who, exactly–was telling me about a type of establishment found in many cities called a manga-kissa. Kissa is the Japanese word for cafe; manga, of course, are Japanese comic books. In a nutshell, they are places in which one can order cheap food and read manga.
I may have just stumbled into one of these. While wandering through central Kyoto, I saw a sign outside of a building advertising manga and internet and decided to check it out. Sure enough, the place about fits the description I was given, with the addition of internet access.
Of course, I didn’t really have any idea how things worked in these types of places, so I just sort of walked in and started wandering around. A few moments later, as I was taking a look at the rows and rows of manga lining bookshelves throughout the store, one of the proprietors came up to me and led me over to the front desk. In rudimentary Japanese, I apologized for my rudeness, asked how much the rate was per minute, and indicated that it was my first time in such an establishment. After filling out a form and showing him my passport, I managed to snag a computer, where I now sit, typing away.
Of course, I don’t have to be typing this here; I could have left and chosen not to pay the 250 or however much this is going to end up costing me. Still, this is a different place than you would find in the states; the atmosphere alone makes it worth it to me.
Man, there are a lot of comic books here.