Presidential Visit means Big Hubbub

What a hubbub going on in Kyoto this week, the likes of which this little backwater nowhere-ville has not seen in its short 1,211 years. I live about a mile away from the old imperial grounds, upon which the Kyoto State Guest House is situated, in which President Bush will stay during his one-day visit (arriving tomorrow night, leaving the next night).

As far as I know, he's not planning on coming my direction at all, yet there's a policeman in bullet-proof vest on most every street corner around here (just standing around, looking, uh, vigilant). The President isn't arriving until tomorrow (Tuesday) night, but the police have been on station since at least Saturday. In addition, many street corners now have accordion gates on rollers waiting to be slung across the street to block traffic. I asked one officer what they were for, and he said basically “just in case”. Perhaps the military helicopters overflying my house today in pairs are for the same reason. What a hubbub.

The President is slated to go the other direction from me, to Kinkakuji, the “Golden Pavilion”. They have a camera which updates every five minutes -- perhaps he'll make a cameo appearance. Or perhaps not -- it seems to have stopped two hours ago. [ update: 8 days later, the camera is working again ]

(Mr President, take my advice and skip Kinkakuji, and hit Ryouanji instead. It's very near Kinkakuji, but much more pleasant a place. Also, the grounds are free, so you can save a few of my tax dollars.)

In any case, I'm thankful that I don't have to drive anywhere tomorrow or the next day. What a hubbub.

All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

One of the reasons why policemen are around your home that Westin Miyako Hotel was designated as press center for the visit.

— comment by Katsu on November 15th, 2005 at 7:44pm JST (16 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Uh, no, he’s coming right to your neighborhood, chief, almost to your block! After The brief mtg with Koizumi and press conference, he’s heading over to Kyoto Kaikan to give a lecture around 2 p.m. today. there are probably Secret Service snipers on your roof now 😉

We’re heading over your way to see if we can se the motorcade, and probably go around 2:30 to that Kyoto Tearoom Chocolat just east of Heian Jingu, one street east of Okazaki -dori. Honored if you are free to join us.

— comment by nils on November 16th, 2005 at 12:22pm JST (16 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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