When I'm in Kyoto, I stay at the Miyako Hotel. Every morning just at sunrise, there's loud barking. I've been curious about these noisy dogs, but I've never seen one in the neighborhood.

One afternoon, I took the short walk from the hotel to the zoo. Again, there was barking but not a dog in sight.

As I entered the zoo, it got even louder. Certainly, dogs weren't permitted. Then, I overheard an attendant telling another foreign visitor in understandable English, "I don't know what's bothering them. They never bark this time of day. It's always first thing in the morning."

My curiosity was satisfied. Friends from home were doing the barking - California sea lions.