Sunday, March 07, 2010

Fukuoka museum visit

We took a day-trip we took to visit two museums. Fukuoka is a two-hour drive away, but with the Fukuoka City Museum offering artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the Fukuoka Art Museum having an exhibition of ancient Egypt, I thought it was worth the trip!

We brought a picnic brunch, ate our sandwiches on the way, then the bacon and egg pie in the car-park at the first museum after we finished there and it became apparent that the weather would not allow us to eat in the park, as I had planned.

The second museum is opposite the old castle site, and we parked at the shrine, which had these massive torii:

Look closely to spot the kids!

Here they are if you missed them, the pole is a whole tree trunk, it seems!

In the museum cafe of the second museum. We just had drinks and ice cream.

Erica was very good, for a two-year old in a museum. After having issues before, I left the stroller at home. It's far too crowded. She feel asleep half way through Egypt, which was quiet, but rather heavy!

My biggest problem was trying to help Amy and Lena squeeze into a gap to see something - the crowds were 2-3 people thick around each display case. We shuffled along behind everyone to get our 3 second glance.

Can anyone tell my why museums, and museum crowds are deathly quiet in Japan? I can understand not wanted kids running around and screaming, but mine were doing neither, not even talking loudly. Actually it was ME who was talking the most, as I explained things to them. Maybe it was hearing English, and gaijin shock, but this was Fukuoka after all, not a tiny village. They seems shocked that I spoke at all. I can't see how normal speaking voices can prevent you from SEEING the artifacts, museums are about visuals, after all. And it's not as if normal speaking voices disturb people with tour-giude headphones on, surely that blocks out other sound.

I can only put it down to that Japanese instinct to pull themselves in physically in public, watching their movements, their voices, their presence, in case they break that very important rule in Japan to not upset or disturb another person. While that's all very admirable, if a little excessively anal at times, I just can't agree that a little discussion of what is in front of you in a museum display case is all that bad. I certainly don't mind when I hear others speaking in a museum.

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