The Brickster's Guide To Scenic Kyoto

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Kyoto, bein' the one major city in Japan that escaped havin' the bejesus blown out of it and fried by lame idiot of note Curtis LeMay durin' WWII, still features many great old buildin's and temples. This is even more amazin' when you realize that the good citizens of Kyoto, too impatient to wait for the Americans to swing by and finish the job, had the habit of burnin' and destroyin' the city every few years since it was founded in 792 under the name of Heian-Kyo (the 'Capital Of Peace And Tranquility'-yeah, right). It was kinda like an annual festival. Addin' to the fun were regularly scheduled raids from the monastic forces of Enryakuji-sure, they were peace lovin' monks, lessen you pissed them off. There was a war takin' place almost entirely in Kyoto which lasted eleven years (the Onin No Ran, 1467-1477) and only ended when the Hosokawa and Yamana ran out of crap to trash. There's over 2000 temples and shrines in Kyoto (many of them hundreds of years old), along with other great sets-err, historical locations like Nijo castle and the Imperial Palace. While there's too many things to see and do in Kyoto to list here, join the Brickster on a typical jaunt to the studio as he shares some of the features and sights along the way!

Establishin' Yer Beachhead

Vital is gettin' just the right base to operate from. Here's the Brickster's palatial digs, Stately Brick Manor.

The savvy joes among ya already know that real estate is all about three things:location, location, and location. Here, my home is optimally located next door to a beer machine. This saves plenty of embarrassin' moments when you're too loaded to get down the street to Lawson's in that rabbit suit and also minimizes the odds of givin' yer nosy neighbors more to gossip about. Plus, it's like havin' a bottomless magic fridge-you never have to stock it! Amazinly, American technology has yet to duplicate this simple feat of Japanese technology (except in the basement of yer typical frat house).

Glimpsin' Wildlife In Kyoto

Kyoto is a major urban center, but still has green areas scattered about, particularly on the mountains around its perimeter. Plenty of wildlife still wanders around these areas, one of which is Kiyomizudera: 

As you can see, the green areas are home to all kinds of animals, includin' that rascally reptile Godzilla. Godzilla tools through Kyoto on a regular basis, doin' his part in destroyin' the city (see the intro) and providin' photo ops for tourists. If ya don't find him around the perimeter, stake out Kyoto Tower across the street from the main train station-he's been spotted hangin' out there too. It can get dicey around the Big G, but usually a whack on the nose with a rolled up Japan Times is enough to send him scamperin' for cover. How you get all the way up there is your problem.

Mythical Beasts

I'm not quite sure what the heck this thing is. It hangs out by the dumpster behind Daily Yamazaki:  

All I know is that it has three faces, puts out a ton 'o steam, and usually can be thrown off yer track by tossin' it a Yamazki Special Burrito. That might explain the steam.


There's more museums in Kyoto than there are inhabitants. Here's one of my fav'rits-the Iga-Uenowei Ninja museum:

This display shows typical ninja costumes-black leather in both female and male styles. If ya look closely in the right foreground, you'll see the world's largest shuriken. The outfits use the standard color codin' used by ninja-in this instance, the male ninja would be the leader of 'Red Squad' and would be known as 'Akakage'. The female ninja's yellow pipin' would indicate that her unit was responsible for spreadin' yellow fever among foreign enclaves.

 Encounterin’ The Supernatural

Here’s the local Obakeyashiki (haunted house):

I’m sure most of you have seen Ringu or Ju-on. Everythin' in them is true. This house is infested with spirits just like them. Terrible, terrible things happen here. A group of young ladies found themselves mercilessly hounded by a droolin’, gibberin’ monster that hungrily pawed every inch of their bodies-and that’s just while they were waitin’ outside in line with me. Once inside, the skilled actors and artisans of Toei recreate a sengoku era village that’s been overrun by hungry ghosts, restless spirits, and even zombie ashigaru. Heads fly around, roofs collapse, and the interior of a daimyo mansion is littered with ripped up corpses and blood stained tatami mats. It’s a lot like ‘All You Can Eat’ night at the Sizzler back in the USA.

Street Gangs And Crime

Everyone's heard about the Japanese soldiers in WWII who held out in isolated caves on remote islands for years after the war was over. Similarly, in Kyoto, there are still pockets of Bakufu supporters who refuse to acknowledge that the Loyalists won-and strangely enough, there are still Loyalists around to oppose them. Here, a crowd gathers on a streetcorner as a gutsy descendant of the Shinsengumi faces down three losers from the Loyalists:

Fer the odds bein' three to one, he looks pretty cocky, don't he? Maybe that's because he knows reinforcements have already been dispatched by the Sanjusangen-do Byakkotai Junior Reserve Batallion: 


Help is on the way! By the way, the group's battle standard carried by 'Tatooed Otetsu' has the kanji for 'Ass-whuppin' displayed on it.

The Japanese Legal System

The short version: Not Fun.

At The Studio With The Brickster

Well, despite all the obstacles, the Brickster has made it safely to the studio to continue filmin' on the latest Abarenbo Gaijin epic. There's a display in the front lobby of some of the greatest characters in chambara history. Can you guess which one is the Brickster's bad self? 

That's right-he's the guy with the basket head next to 'Lone Wolf And Cub'-and naturally, I'm hangin' out by the hot ninja chick. A drawback to not bein' Japanese is that I get stuck in these roles a lot-the studio wants my manly prescence in their film, but doesn't want to blatantly fly in the face of history. So's I gets a lot of roles as cowled warrior monks, crazed warriors wearin' mempo, basket heads, and (best of all) daimyo travelin' incognito down to Yoshiwara to cop a little action. Which brings us to:

Love Hotels

Many single Japanese gals still live with their parents and even college chicks have a hard time sneakin' guys into the dorms. There's also the fact that yer nosy neighbors may not appreciate the noise comin' from a particularly frisky session of lovin' and call the wrath of the Japanese police down upon yer noggin. For all these reasons and more, Japan has come up with a simple solution-the Love Hotel, where you can go for a few hours and get some privacy. Many of these hotels are elaborately themed-here's the Brickster's personal fave: 

This is Kinkiku-ji, or translated into English, 'The Temple Of Crazy Sex'. While most love hotels feature closed-off parkin' garages, here ya just park a coupla blocks away. What's even cooler is that they REALLY go overboard on the themin'-there's not even a front desk-you just put yer yen in the collection box located near the exit. They also require you to play the part-you'll have a hard time gettin' in unless yer dressed as a Buddhist priest and yer target for the evenin' a Shrine Maiden.

Famous People

Once you've been in Kyoto and become a household name (like the Brickster), all kinds of famous people will beat a path to yer door. Here's a New Year's card I received from famous warlord and drunkard Uesugi Kenshin: 

That Kenshin-what a kidder! Everyone knows it's always 'bottomless sake cup' night when yer in his company. Ya gotta watch out, though, because if he gets a little too tanked he might decide to charge alone into yer neighbor's livin' room. A couple of times 'ol Kenshin has been so crocked he's even blurted out, "Hey, get a load of these!" and ripped his robe open to reveal an impressive set of man-boobs. You'd almost think he was a woman!

Relaxin' At Home

After a long day of chasin' women and filmin', the Brickster likes to enjoy a quiet evenin' at home in traditional Japanese attire: 

Tonight, the Emperor's supposed to drop by fer a visit. He's bringin' the Brickster's fav'rit snack, Mr Donut! I met the old guy when I was offloadin' some excess sake at 3 AM in a subway entrance. He was dressed kinda scruffy, as he said he had been out minglin' with his constituents and then had the misfortune of forgettin' his keys and gettin' locked out of the castle. Well, what I could I do but buy the poor guy a few rounds? We've been best pals ever since. I just KNOW one day he's gonna give me an offical court rank. Won't that just beat all!