Moved on to Kyoto on the 8th after my 3 nights in Osaka. Kyoto was a far more interesting city than Osaka and I had more than enough to see and do here to fill my 2 days. I didn't have time to see it all of course, so chose to see the "top 5" of Kyoto:
- Toji Temple - highest 5 story pagoda in Japan
- Kinkakuji Temple - famed "Golden Pavillion"
- Ryoanji Temple - amazing Zen garden
- Fushimiinari-Taisa Shrine - 100s of red Toriis line the path to the main shrine
Day 2 was supposed to be spent in Nara, but met up with some fellow Canadian (they insisted they were Quebecers... but I soon put a stop to THAT!) at the hostel and decided to hang out with them in the Gion district instead. Caught a Maiko Odori show as well (performance by apprentice Geisha) that just about put a crowning cherry on my amazing Japanese experience.
After returning from Kyoto late last night, I (mistakenly) thought I'd get a good night's sleep but of course that's something that doesn't really exist in Sakura House! All the gang was in attendance last night and we had a special guest appearence by some bottles of wine and (horrors) tequilla! It made me feel so good to be back in Tokyo again - almost like a home away from home.
Boo was nice enough to volunteer to show me around the parts of Tokyo I had missed, so when I finally surfaced, I gave her a buzz and we met up. She showed me around town - the electronic shops where all the geeks of the world unite, the by lanes where goods from sushi to souvenirs are sold, to Asakusa temple and area and to fashioneista centre - Ginza. I told Boo I had just 2 things I needed to buy - Sake and Hello Kitty socks. By the end of the day I had bought a whole slew of souvenirs for friends and family.... everything BUT the things I mentioned! But in my defense, I picked up COOL JAPANESE stuff that I won't find anywhere else.... and all really light so that I don't play any more havoc with my baggage situation! Finally did buy some Sake to take home, so at least part of my plans were achieved. Still can't believe I looked all over Japan and couldn't find one lousy pair of Hello Kitty socks! Unbelieveable!
Must really get down to packing up all my stuff. Want to get it done before everyone arrives back home - coz once they're here.... there'll be no chance! Looking forward to cracking open one of the Sake bottles. Kampai Japan..... o-sewa ni narimashita!