The Naked Elevator Ride

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May 13th 2007
Published: May 13th 2007
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Unable to afford the bullet train, we took the cheapo night bus to Kyoto, the cultural centre and fomer capital of Japan - and an anagram of Tokyo, obviously.

In desperate need of a shower and too early for check in, we headed to our nearest onsen - Japanese spa - for a good scrubbing. We expected the Japanese to be a shy, prudish race but soon learned otherwise. There was nakedness aplenty, including in the lifts to the top floor open-air rock pool.

Following a five hour trek to a forest on a mountain we arrived at Koga Ninja village where we started our Ninja training. Inspired by the 53 Ninjas who defeated a Shogunate army of 25,000 in 1487 (even better than Sparta's 300 because they survived) we completed our training and were inaugurated as honourary Ninjas. After checking out the trap doors, secret floors, collapsible ceilings and other killing equipment in the Ninja house, we were ready to fight.

Back in Kyoto we saw some Geishas sing like kittens at a musical and despite being incredibly elegant and refined, they're not quite as eye catching as some of the Japanese school girls (according to dirt old man Mark). Geishas could also do with a few spray tan sessions.

After two weeks of resistance we have also done our first Japanese karaoke box with a variety of internationals including one bloke so posh that he made Mark look like a prole. Jo had a fight with a German who refused to have her picture taken and was on the verge of knocking out a Canadian girl who laughed at her singing. It appears some English people can't take their sake either.

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