Thursday, October 13, 2011

Japan - Day 11 - Even More Kyoto

The day started off around 7:45am.  We didn't grab breakfast from anywhere the night before, so we stopped by the McDonalds just down the street.  We called Jacob and Ruston and they hadn’t eaten yet either, so we all went together at 8:30am.  On the breakfast menu we found the usual sausage mcmuffin, something called a mega muffin which had 2 pieces of sausage, bacon, cheese, egg and ketchup, and of course McDogs.  Yes, hot dogs are on the breakfast menu.  Oh, and more of those fried apple pies because they’re so tasty.  We ordered and ate upstairs.  

We grabbed another 1 day bus pass from the subway station and took a bus over to the Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion. 

We got to our stop and hopped off the bus, then took a short walk over to Kinkakuji.

The skies were beautiful, the water was calm and the scenery was beautiful.  It was a little crowded though.  We grabbed a couple shots and continued further. I think this is one of my favorite photos of the trip.

The leaves are just starting to change.

A nice little waterfall.

Everyone tried their luck tossing money into the bowls.

Another pretty view.

This group of boys was happy to take our photo.

Unfortunately they didn't understand really what we were hoping to get in our photo.

So just a little bit of improvisation, marking an X in the rocks and pointing with the camera, and then we understood each other.

Ta-da!  Much better!

They asked if they could take a photo with us and asked us all sorts of questions.  We learned they were from a school a few hours away.  They seemed really interested in Ruston, asking where he was from, and trying to figure out how tall he was.  We had to do some quick math to figure out what 6'4" is in centimeters.  193 by the way.  One of the boys said something like “You, tall”. Ruston replied “Yes, I am very tall”.  The boy then said “Me, tall?” and Ruston replied “You are very not tall”. That made his group of friends laugh. Ruston eventually figured out they were trying to find out his secrets for being so tall.  He told them to eat their vegetables.

"It takes a rest with the dumpling and soft ice cream."  Right after it rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.

We walked all the way around the area and wanted to go back to see the golden pavilion again since it was busy the first time.  . 

The Golden Pavilion is the first thing you see when you walk in, probably only 100 yards or so past the gates.  We were hoping to turn around and leave after we were done, but no, there was a guard who wasn’t letting anyone go back.  One more quick loop and it was time to leave.

We got onto the bus to Mishiti Market.    

It was right by the area we were at the night before, but now all the food was out.  Being a non-seafood eater it was mostly the food I had no interest in trying. 

There were tiny octopus on a stick which resembled popsicles that I can’t remember if we decided to call them octopops or octipiples. 

An interesting plant.

We took a bus to Sanjusangen-do Temple to see all the carved Buddha. 

There were warnings all over the place inside saying that photography was forbidden and they’d take your camera if they saw you doing it.  So, please enjoy these next few pictures from a google image search.

The sight of the 1000 Buddhas was impressive.   

They just stretch on and on.

In the center is a giant Buddha.

And now back to my photos. 

Another bus ride and we were at the bottom of a hill with a 500 meter climb up to Kiyomizu-dera temple.  Us and what seemed to be a thousand other people and lots of school kids.  
On the hike up, we found a peach Fanta.  Pretty tasty!

This greeted us at the top of the hill.

Theresa's batteries are getting worn down.

Ruston showing us how to properly use the stairs.

The view from  the top was pretty impressive.  See that tiny little tower off in the distance.  That's the 430 foot tall Kyoto Sky Tower.  It's just a couple blocks from our hotel.

We marveled at the distance and Ruston joked about how crazy we were to have walked all the way from there to here on our first day in Kyoto.  We certainly had climbed a lot of steps and walked up a few hills on this our “easy day” in Kyoto.

We grabbed tickets to head over to see the temple.

Just a couple photos above the valley.

When/if you do ever go here, don't do what this crazy girl was doing.  Climbing over the railing while someone was taking her photo.  Good thing it's not that far down.

Scratch that...  It's quite a drop.

The Otowa waterfall where people catch and drink the water for it's wish granting powers.

Ruston found a few girls dressed in beautiful kimonos and asked to get their picture.

How about a picture of someone taking a picture.

It was 3:30 and we figured we’d seen enough temples for the day.  The last one we were planning on going to was closing at 4:30 so we wouldn’t have much time there anyhow.  As we were walking back down the hill 3 school girls coming up the hill saw Ruston and started talking to him in English.  “Hi, where are you from?” “What’s your name?” “Can we get a picture with you?” “Where are you going now?” It was cute and they were laughing and giggling as we were walking away.   We were almost all the way down the hill when Ruston saw another group of school girls just at the outside of a store, and as we walked by he said “Hello.”  Well this got the girls excited and they wanted to talk more to him.  “What’s your name?  Where are you from? Can we take a picture with you? Arigato, Arigato.”  They must all be getting the same lessons from school.  Again, very cute.  Ruston is sure getting a lot of attention today.

He found this photo of a samurai and it really reminded him of Darth Vader's helmet.
We had a little trouble with the buses.  The buses themselves were everywhere, but trying to figure out which corner they pick up from wasn't clear.  In our wandering, we actually passed the Sanjusangen-do (the 1000 Buddha temple) and eventually decided just to walk back towards the Kyoto Station.  Right about the time we crossed the river, Ruston reminded us how funny we thought it was not 30 minutes ago that the very first day we had walked from the station to the pagoda, and here we were doing it again.  He can be pretty funny sometimes. 

If you ever have any questions about signs, the hotel staff always seems happy to help.  We saw lots of these signs.  Apparently it's some delivery company.

We kept trying to find a place to eat lunch, and eventually decided on the place we had eaten at dinner the night before.  For only 750 yen you got fried rice, 6 giyoza, soup, and 2 small pieces of white meat fried chicken.  Not a bad deal.  Theresa got a big plate of bean sprouts and vegetables because she was tired of all this fried food.  

Then because it was so close, we went back to the Kyoto Yodobashi electronics store and visited the massage chairs again.  That place is favorite of ours here in Kyoto.  I think this time we spent around 30 minutes there, and Theresa didn’t get off the foot massager until it automatically turned off.  Have to love some of these products.

I think these are from a different day, but you get the idea.
There was a Baskin Robbins right next door to the electronic store.  Being Halloween, they had some interesting flavors.  Pumpkin Pudding, Pumpkin bits, Scary Cola, Tea and Apple, and a weird Red Bean flavor.  I ended up getting Shower Pops (a lime/vanilla ice cream with pop rock pieces) and love potion #9 (a vanilla/raspberry with chocolate pieces).  Both were tasty.  The sign out front though...  Green ice cream, green spongy cubes, and red bean...

After being out all day, we decided to head to the bus stop and go back to the hotel.  A quick stop by Lawsons to look for more kit kat flavors (no luck) and then we were in for the night.  Tomorrow we’re splitting with Jacob and Ruston.  We're going back to Disneyland, while they are headed to downtown Tokyo.

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