Ohayogozaimasu, (good morning (for us)),
Well we are on our day 22 (9th of April), we just finished breakfast, and I am starting a sore throat….. We are very tired, I think form the accumulation of all the walking for the last 3 weeks! Yup already 3 weeks into our trip! Let’s go to day 17!
Day 17: The only thing I have to add here is the sushis!!!!! OMFG!!! The sushi I ate is nothing compared to what I usually eat in Montreal!!!! Sure here when you eat sushi, it is the sashimi, so some piece of fish on some little rice ball! The usual rolls, are the one with cucumber. Also, you don’t put your own wasabi, plates have color code, so one color has wasabi and the other none. Let’s just say they are very generous with the wasabi….. way more than I usually put some! But you get us to it, and depending of how and where the wasabi hit’s in your mouth, you sometime get it up your nose! fun thing! And the fish….. well….. no fishy taste here, the salmon is tender and fresh, it melts in your mouth, and tuna….. I finally tried different parts of tuna! Young tuna, regular tuna, special tuna (only one peace in your plate, don’t know where it’s from!) and belly tuna, which is fatty tuna!!! All white meat instead of red meat! Delicious!!!! Can’t wait to try a Kaiten sushi in Tokyo!
Day 18: A cold day, with a mix of rain and sun and clouds….. we could stay inside and do nothing with the many things we needed to see! So out we were. We went to Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavillon, or Gold temple! It is literally covered with gold sheets on the walls! It is very pretty, and very touristic! Even if it wasn’t to sunny, we got a good view of it’s shininess! The garden is very pretty, short, and expensive to get in with such small grounds…. oh well! After that we went right beside it (20min walk or 5min bus for us! :P) to the Rock Garden. It is famous because it has 15 rocks placed so you are always missing 1 in your view….. but sadly we did see them all…. but still very pretty and it is in a beautiful temple, in a huge garden, with ponds, and trees, and flowers, and ducks… ! After that, we tried some japanese fastfood, burgers. And they were so busy, that we had to wait 5min to get our food! That’s fast! Juicy burgers with sweet BBQ sauce, and we ate them like foreigners….. out of their paper…. and what a mess we did, all the sauce leaking out…. and then we see japanese people, eating it in the paper, and no sauce leak….. next time we’ll know! Next, our first cat café! It was nice small cosy place, pretty clean, since it had 10cats! friendly owners! Cats who loved to be patted (I could even say slapped) on the but! We stayed there for 2hours, with drinks, and we even got some treats, and then the cats love you! The whole time they were being real cats, snobbing you, moving further away when you pet them so you have to move…. and then the last 15min, they realized that I knew how to pet them properly, and I had like 3 to pet at the same time! awww kitties! Then, we went back to Yodobashi mall, and finished the whole place! Got out 15min massage with the chairs and went back to our hostel.
Day 19: Another day of a mix of showers and sun…. This time we went to see the Torii gates, Fushimi Inari. It is on a temple ground, from the bottom of a mountain up to it, with paths covered with torii gates. People and compagnies can buy them and add some to the path, they’re huge. On our way back, we got to meet the kitty of the place! I just crouched to pet it, and it jumped on my lap, purring away!! Awwww I miss my kitties! There were a lot of little shops and snacks bar in the small roads at the bottom of the temple, many thing to see and eat! But this time we didn’t eat anything, we had our lunch already! After the Fushimi Inari, we headed to Nijojo Castle, a samourai castle, where it is wanted for the floors to creak, this way they know when someone is in the temple! So no intruders, well almost I guess! We met a cute couple in traditional clothing walking around the grounds, and my BF not being shy asked if he could take a picture of them, and in return they took a picture of us! They were very nice, the girl was chinese and the boy japanese. We got to see lots of sakuras in a row on both side of the path! It was beautiful! The garden was pretty big, with different sections, differents plants, trees and flowers! Very pretty sight and very relaxing, even if at this time our feet were already killing us! And then we headed to Gion, the geisha district, but also considered the old district of Kyoto. The bus ride there was great, since we got to see the canal and some more sakuras and also some old building in the middle of new ones! In Gion, there was wayyyyyy to many people…. it wasn’t as fun as a walk as other things. We wanted to see a Maiko show, so we headed to Gion Corner, where everyday during april, there are shows of maiko, which are apprentice to become Geisha’s. The show was great, very traditional, some maiko did music, others acting, others dancing. And during the whole show, you had old geisha’s, I believe, that narrated to whole play. At first when the maiko got on stage, they all look the same, white face, red lips, black makeup for the eyes, big hairdo with accessories, beautiful kimonos, but then, when you look closely, you see their differences; round faces, or oval ones, long neck, long nose, cute little eyes, some with bigger lips and others with smaller ones. As for the show, it seemed it was a story that talked about the 4 seasons, and the finished with spring, the sakura season, which this show is all about. Their dance was very synchronised, and minitious, from the tilt of their head to the angle of their feet when mooving, to their knees bented to a perfect 45degree, to their way of walking which looked like they were floating! I was a amazin show! only 2000Yen, for a seat on tatami floors, for 4000yen we could have been seated on normal chairs on the first floor, but it was sold out for the night. And as we get out of Gion Corner, what do we see! A real geisha, with her little bags getting to her appointment for the night. She was being accosted by businessmen, she even got a gift (jewelry box) from one of them. And then off she was back on her appointment! After this big day, we were pretty hungry, guess what my BF decided to eat….. SUSHI!!!!! YATTA!!!! So we go to the same place as before, and had to wait 30min to be seated since there was a line-up! But damn was those sushi good! And I beat my record, I ate 13 plates! We then went on the 11th floor of Kyoto station, and on our way found about 6 sets of stairs illuminated, like a giant screen! And up on the roof, we had a beautiful view of kyoto city and kyoto tower that was just beside us! It was a great last night in Kyoto!
Day 20: Last morning in Kyoto, a relax one, we wanted to do some more shopping before we left, but we couldn’t find any coin lockers, so we took an early train to Tokyo instead! And like the Japanese do, we bought some bento box from the train station for our 3 hours long train ride! As I asked in Japanese what we wanted the lady told me that my Japanese was good…. so not, but i like people realizing the effort into it! The shinkansen ride was smooth as usual, we even got to see Fuji-san! Magnificent in it’s size, alone as mountain in the middle of the plains! Great view! Something about shinkansen is the comfort of it! nice view, plenty of leg room, clean bathrooms, some vending machine, and a lady with her stroller, selling food, from snack to bento boxes, to ice cream, to coffee and tea! As we get in Tokyo, we realize one thing, OMG IT’S SO BIG! Buildings, and more buildings, sky scrappers and people, so many people,….. and I’m getting tired of so many people! We get to our last Hostel, which is located north east of Ueno, a big district, but we are in a residential one, so we got that for us! It’s an old house, remodeled inside to accommodate many people, but in a original way, since it is a protected house, by the government. It has a nice garden, with a mini mount Fuji, because people, from 400 years ago wanted a mount Fuji in their backyard. So they transported some rocks of Mount Fuji and made a mini man-made hill, with a small shrine on top. And because of that this house is protected! After we settled in, out we go toward Asakusa, a district known for it’s temple and a shopping street with mostly shops of restaurants and kitchen purpose! That’s where we will get out custom knife with our name on it! But for us, our destination was supper, and then a cat cafe we had heard of! We had a blast, the cats a way more friendlier, and the lady is great! After that taxi ride to our hostel! 750Yen! Cheap ride it was!
Day 21: Shopping day in Akihabara, the Eletronic town! Which includes, anything electronic, from TV to Arcades, to Camera, cellphones cover….. It was a long day of shopping, but we stayed reasonable, as always! I found some bags to put your feet in again! so got some, and for the hands as well! Now My feet and hands are super soft and moisturized! Bought some other things, kit kats, fancy color contacts, makeup, cookie monster hat and more! Spending is fun, mostly at the end of your trip, since you know more what you can spend! Yatta! Back to our hostel, we bought our supper on the way in the convenience store, some instant ramen and some fresh one to make yourself! Fresh one was better! And what is the best thing to eat with ramen…………… GYOZA!!!! Delicious!
Day 22: Well, it’s past noon, we ate breakfast and did some laudry, and Ben is taking a nap Oh I almost forgot to mention the best thing with this hostel, there is a bar in the first section, which is open to the people living in the area, and we get discount for our drinks! A lot of Japanese people come here to practice their English. Our first night, we went and met some people there, and an old man that comes almost every nights to practice and drink Carbonated water, was very suprised to know I knew some Japanese! It was really fun night! And we also tried some Japanese drinks, and found out that plum drink is pretty good, Yusumeshu, I have to buy some, but I won’t be able if there is only big bottle ones!
Alright, well for the rest of the day we’ll probably be heading towards Shinjuku. We don’t know, we feel like doing nothing…. toff day! :p
Talk to you another time!