I realize that I owe you folks the end of that odd story I started, jeeze, a few weeks ago, and I imagine I'll get to it, but in the meantime, a couple of quick notes.
1. I did end up wearing the Yukata and going out to serve as spectacle in the audience at a fireworks show. The Yukata was really comfy, if a touch warm (but let's face it, Japanese summer is just too blasted hot no matter what I do or do not wear). The geta shoes however, were awful. Perhaps I wore them wrong or got a cheap pair or something, but holy ouch. I've got red welts on the tops of my feet even now. (for those that know my secret identity, there are photos of the yukata and myself in it on my non-flickr photo website for your chucklement)
2. After the fireworks, we went to the Ooedo Onsen Monogatari, and while I can't condone their use of the Papyrus font, they run a wonderful onsen. Some of the pools were so boiling hot that I got light-headed when getting out. Some were so chilled that I had to dunk in quickly to get the icy shock over with quickly before to wonderful cool sucked away the muggy Japanese summer. And some? Some were just so wonderfully perfect that I didn't want to get out at all. Why oh why oh why are there no such things in the US? I wonder that in might do a good service to the collective psychological freakshow that is the American body-image if we did have some of these. Then again, perhaps Japan isn't the place to be looking for ideals when it comes to such things. I shall definitely return before I go back to the US.
3. Speaking of things that are unique to these isles, I'm afraid that the hunt for the machine that vends, errr... odd pieces of clothing may be a snipe hunt. My sincere apologies to those who were hoping for photos.
4. Finally, I took a quick trip to Kamakura to visit with the huge bronze Buddha. As a side note, I had to make a choice between hiking a mountain trail to the temple or going through town and hitting a whole lot of other temples on the way. I chose the hiking trail, which was wonderful, but I think I will need to go back and visit the other temples too. As for Mr. Amitabha, he seemed like a genial bloke, but didn't say much. I imagine it takes the patience of a buddha to not get a little miffed when there are uncountable tourists crawling inside you and taking pictures of you all day long. Also, I'm not sure why this was a surprise to me but, when the sun shines down all day with temperatures around the mid 90s and humidity seemingly north of 150%, being inside a giant bronze buddha feels a bit like being inside an oven set on 'crispify.'
5. The internet service here has been upgraded from colossal pain in the tush to mildly inconvenient. I hope I will be able to finally visit some of your blogs that I have long neglected. I hope I shall find all well.
6. Addresses are still being collected for special delivery postcards. If anyone else is interested, feel free to email me at Overerad(at)gmail(dot)com