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Hi, I'm Tanner. I like cloudy days and fish tanks. I have a wife and a kid. I like them as well.
Posts tagged kyoto
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During our one day in Kyoto I became rather infatuated with these tiny pieces of folded up paper tied to strings. The reason for my infatuation was simple: they looked pretty cool, and I’m a sucker for stuff that looks pretty cool (my wife Vicki is a perfect example of this, she is often a devil woman who will stop at nothing to steal my cozy winter cap, but she looks pretty cool, so I married her).

Anyway, my infatuation turned into an all out obsession once I learned the story behind these tiny rolled up pieces of paper. Here it is…

The various temples and shrines of Japan all sell fortunes, called Omikuji. If you draw a good Omikuji you fold that sucker back up, shove it in your pocket, and take it home and enjoy the hell out of your newfound good luck. But if you draw a bad Omikuji, well, your basically doomed, unless you follow these three simple steps…

1. Don’t freak out, play it cool! Whatever you do, definitely don’t call your mom for help, that’s pathetic. You can beat this thing.

2. Once you have your cool under control, casually begin walking around the shrine until you find a string or branch that has several other bad Omikuji tied to it.

3. Tie your Omikuji to said string or branch and run like hell (unless you have high blood pressure, if that’s the case you should probably just walk fast).

If you follow these three simple steps all is good, you have nothing to worry about. Basically what will happen is that the “Divine Spirit” will use it’s special skills to exorcise the bad luck. Think of the Divine Spirit as a big fat sponge that soaks up evil instead of water.

Anyway, I thought that was a really cool, albeit mildly terrifying, aspect of Japanese culture.

Here’s a few more pictures of some bad luck Omikuji…





So during our one day in Kyoto we spent several hours bouncing around temple to temple. The first temple had this very cool sign-in sheet. Here’s a quick rundown of my train of thought as I stared down at the sheet…

0-7 seconds: Wow, that looks like a shot from a Wes Anderson movie!

8-10 seconds: I’ll sign us in and take a picture!

11-15 seconds: I have no idea how to sign us in. This makes no sense. Do I write up and down?

15-17 seconds: Oh well, I’ll take a picture anyway. It looks cool.

18-25 seconds: Woah! My socks actually match today! Way to be Tanner, way to be! 

26-37 seconds: I wonder if that’s a number 2 pencil? Is Japan as obsessed with number 2 pencils as America is?

38-40 seconds: Seriously, what’s the deal with number 2 pencils in America? Would my SAT have self destructed into a ball of flames had I filled in a bubble with a number 3 pencil? 

41-51 seconds: Does a number 3 pencil even exist? If so, is anyone ever allowed to use it? It would really suck to be a number 3 pencil and never get used. I hope number 3 pencils don’t exist because if they did I’d feel really bad for them.

52-60 seconds: I wonder if I’m gonna have to take my shoes off in every temple. I hate taking my shoes off. I wish I’d worn flip flops.

61-72 seconds: I’m so sick of Vicki always trying to steal my cozy winter cap. I never ask to borrow her cool gloves that transform into mittens. Why’s she gotta be a devil woman sometimes?

73-81 seconds: If I don’t find some chicken teriyaki today I’m gonna find a number 2 pencil and shove it in my eye just so I can forget about my craving for one second.

82- 86 seconds: I’m not even sure if this is a sign-in sheet. Maybe it’s a sign-out sheet? Good grief, I have no idea what I’m looking at. 

87-90 seconds: Why does everyone always hate on The Life Aquatic? I really think it’s Wes Anderson’s best work.

91-100 seconds: I wonder if there’s a line behind me? Should I pretend to write something down? 

Anyway, I played it cool and pretended to write something down. Also, I did a bit of research afterwards and the answer is yes, number 3 pencils do exist. I’m not sure what they’re used for, but if I ever have to take another standardized test I’m definitely gonna give a number 3 a shot and see what happens. Don’t worry, I’m not stupid, I’ll be sure to wear a helmet and safety goggles.


Okay, so he may not have been a geographer, but I sure hope he was. Either way, he definitely spent our entire five hour train ride from Kochi to Kyoto drawing spirals in his notebook.

I’m not even sure if geographers draw spirals, but I sure hope they do. I’m pretty sure if I was a geographer I’d be drawing some spirals of geological formations. I’d probably sell em on Etsy. I wonder if he sells his spirals on Etsy?

Note to self: Look up spirals on Etsy. If nothing shows up, tap into that market and get rich quick.