Day 16 was going to be an especially great day and an especially bad day. We woke up early to go check out a giant Maneki (lucky cat) sculpture which sits high up in Tokoname. The sculpture is named Tokonyan (Nyan being cat in Japanese) and he's only a head but he's huge and awesome!
Below Tokonyan in the street (manekineko-dori) are a bunch of cat sculptures, representing everything from, health and long life to safety from earthquakes, peace, pet guardianship, safe travels, romantic success and my fav "prayer for beautiful women". I'll show you all the pretty pictures and tell you about my woes at the end (though feel free to skip that part!).
INSTAX! I did try and remember to take a few in Japan but I predictably resorted to digital most of the time.
The bridge you stand on to take photos of the Maneki, to be honest, it's not the most accessible sculpture in the world but I do like how he's perched up high overlooking everyone below :)
And the back of him where you can see he's only half built - gasp!
Ben snuck in for this one - it gives a good size comparison!
And the cat sculptures who sit directly below the giant Maneki head, created by a bunch of Japanese artists.
We both posed with our fav!
The bad part of the day: Later that day in the afternoon, Ben asked if I could drive. Ben had been doing some big stints of driving the past few days to make it back to Tokyo in time for our drop off the following day. I was super happy to oblige and did a few hours of driving whilst Ben got some zzzz's. At one point the GPS told me to take a left so I merged off the expressway not realising she just meant a left bend and in utter confusion I ended up in a ritzy resort place - not where I wanted to be. I knew I'd detoured wrong, so I pulled into a carpark to back out and turn around. A car had stopped for me so I could reverse out, so I backed out and as I was doing so, another car zipped around the stopped car and I backed into them. The owner beeped but it was too late. Cue the next three hours of me blubbering my eyes out, the Japanese guy in his fancy car super pissed and even more pissed we (or really Ben - I was mostly crying) couldn't communicate with him. The bad thing was the dints in his front bumper were so small and our dint magically popped out on its own by the next day but the whole thing still ended up costing me around 1000 Aus - a definite low point of the holiday. Despite the driver being super annoyed (far enough too, I royally messed up his day) the police were so delightful to us. It was many many hours and paperwork and going back to the station and background checks and phone calls but in the end all the police at the station came out to say their farewells whilst quietly urging Ben drive the rest of the way :p I still standby I'm a good driver but maybe lack the Japan, campervan driving skills :P
So that was a low point for sure but tomorrow meant goodbye driving, hello airbnb (our first one ever!) and Tokyo!!! Stay Tuned!