Our last day in Kyoto was taken a bit slower. Actually, half way through the day we traveled to our new town Nara.
Allen and I slept in until 8 or 8:30am. Then we leisurely packed up our stuff and got ready to leave Ryokan Nakajimaya. (We had told Alaina we wanted a “late” start and were meeting her at 10am.) The kind ladies at the ryokan let us leave our backpacks there with them which was great. We were not looking forward to carrying them around all day. We met Alaina and all though we were highly skeptical, we headed out to...read more
This takes place after lunch on the our second day in Kyoto, the 25th.
It was about 2pm and we were headed to Fushimi Inari, the head shrine of the god of rice and business. Inari is incredibly important to the Japanese and I’ve seen dedicated shrines everywhere. They are easy to tell since Inari’s divine messengers are foxes which sit either side of the shrine. (The video game series Star Fox along with large portions of anime are based on these divine messenger foxes.)
Anyway, we started at 2pm and what should have...read more
I’m writing this from a couple days ahead again. I was just so exhausted during this period. On that day we went and saw Kinkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji, and Fushimi Inari. Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, is a Zen Buddhist temple. The top two levels are covered in gold foil thus giving it its name. It was a guy’s retirement villa but he wrote it into his will that when he passed it would become a Zen temple and so it did in 1408.
On our way to Kawaramachi Station.Walking to Kinkaku-ji; the kanji for “great” is scarred onto the...read more
Today has been a very long day. We woke up a little late at 5:45am but made it out the door on time. After taking the 6:30 train, we arrived at the station, walked to the stop and were right on time for the 7:30 bus. (Thank goodness. We did not want to miss it again after last time.) It was a three hour drive from Nagoya to Kyoto. Allen and I spent the time trying to secure a hotel for all three of is in the city following Kyoto, Nara.
We arrived in Kyoto at a tiny bus stop in the middle of a...read more
We saw the Inuyama castle today. It’s one of only 12 of the original castles left. There are others but they’ve had to be rebuilt. It is also the oldest castle in Japan. The day was dripping with humidity and after the twenty minute walk there, I felt like I had just walked out of a shower. The closer you got to the castle, the more traditional the buildings.
Not many shops were open. Whether that was due to the time of day, the season, or the slight drizzle I’m not sure.
So that whole ‘Travel Blog’ idea worked out real well. Ha..ha. But! The good news is that Allen and I are in fact whole, healthy, and still alive (or our usual amount of undeadness) and back in the good ole USA.
We had a great trip chock full of adventures: fencing, fighting, torture, revenge… No not really. But we did get to experience a lot and took loads of pictures while doing it. (Seriously. Like 15,000 pictures. I am not looking forward to sorting those.) I also managed to write in...read more
Today we’ve left for Nagoya. Our pink Willer Bus is charting its way between tall forested mountains and we’re getting our first hints of rural Japan. It’s a six hour bus ride and I’m spending the time switching between catching up on my writing and cooing over the view out the windows. For whatever reason, be it lack of finances and man power or some eco morality, Japan seems to have left its mountains and therefore its trees mostly alone. I’m loving it. It reminds me of Mushishi, Princess Mononoke,...read more
Our attempt to see the Imperial Palace East Gardens ended in utter failure. Apparently yesterday was a holiday meaning they get an extra day off for observance. On Mondays most museums, parks, and even some restaurants close. Still their average work week is the same as ours: Monday through Friday. Not realizing this until we were staring at the faces of several strict looking guards and thick barred gates, we trekked around in the hot sun for half an hour looking for the entrance. Hot is an understatement. The entrance area is...read more
Akihabara was a very strange place. I don’t think I’ve ever quite felt an atmosphere like it before. Akihabara, or as signs all over will tell you, Electric Town is the home of otaku, gamers, and electronics. (Otaku: hardcore fans; often referring to fans of anime and manga.) There are two distinct styles visible in the area. The first is modern: tall glassy buildings, huge wide screen tvs, glass escalators with misters. The second feels not unlike what I imagine a market in India or South Africa to feel like. Tiny...read more
One of the absolutely oddest things in Japan is the sunrise. I woke up in the morning feeling fairly rested and seeing sunlight pouring through the cracks in the curtains. I went to have a look at morning in Tokyo. It’s a particularly pretty site with the fresh sun reflecting off both the deep greenery and the white-grey of the tiled buildings.
From the sun’s position, I gathered it was 7:00-7:30 maybe. Checking the iPad’s time, I find it’s 5:30! 5:30 with sunlight flooded around me. The...read more