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Trip Report I've climbed the mountain, I've crossed the river, and I'm almost there!

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Day 8, cont.

More from the gardens...

























It was nearing lunch time, so we set out to find somewhere to eat. I should note that December 24 is the Emperor's birthday, which is a national holiday in Japan, and as a result lots of businesses were closed. Some restaurants noted their closing hours on Google Maps but not all, so we picked a route that would bring us by several restaurants in case one or more were closed. On the way...








An Episcopal church!



Up next: An unexpected lunch
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The blue sky sure does make a nice background in your photos ... which are still very awesome!

So was I seeing things, or were there three tall rocks on the ground with money all around them? Looks like some kind of wishing spot?
Yes, that is exactly what you're seeing. I'm not sure what the story is but it does seem like a wishing spot.
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 8, cont.

On the way to our planned lunch destination we saw this:



It's called Your Irish Pub in Kyoto, and we decided to give it a try.

A hostess greeted us in English and seated us. It was nearly empty inside and the jukebox was playing country music.



These snacks were on the table:


It was some kind of rice cracker snack mix.







M ordered a set meal that came with a drink, and she picked coffee.





I had a Camembert fondue:



S and J each ordered burgers. S had the Maiko burgers (sliders, named after young geishas-in-training) and J's was called the Shogun burger. It was HUGE!


M's veggie quiche set



Both S and J's burgers came with fries. J's burger was so big that he couldn't finish the fries, so he offered some to the rest of us. Obviously we all accepted. :hungry:


We have the same Ikea napkin holder, but we use it for mail.


I think this was in the bathroom?

Speaking of the bathroom, this place actually had a full fancy Japanese toilet. Ironically, it was the one place that didn't have an obvious flush button and didn't have the English word "flush" anywhere! But I managed to figure it out. :)

It was a good meal and I think all of us appreciated having some western-style food for once. We also managed to arrive before S and I got too hangry! I'd call this a win!

After spending a little more time in the area we guessed that a lot of English speakers live around here. Not only was there an Irish Pub and an Episcopal Church with English services, we realized there is an Anglican University nearby.

Up next: Walking through Kyoto, and the Shogun's palace!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So, all of your photos in Japan are outstanding. But, do you know which one caught my attention the most in day 8? It was that vending machine for umbrellas!!! :hilarious:
Thank you! So cool, right?

Woot, Woot!.
I am not particularly religious myself but I do like the Episcopal church, especially since I have held several staff singer positions in various Episcopal churches since college.
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 8, cont.

Our next destination, the historic Nijo Castle (palace of the Shogun), wasn't far away and the best way to get there was to walk.

On the way...


















As we approached the Castle, we were astounded at the size of the moat around it:









We paid admission (I think 600/person) and went inside.





At first we walked around the grounds, enjoying the architecture.




Eight languages!


No scribbling?

Up next: Castle buildings!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 8, cont.































We had to take off our shoes before going inside the actual palace (workplace and residence of the shogun) and photography wasn't allowed. I did take a photo of our shoes so we'd remember where we'd left them.

The palace was SUPER cool to see. We walked around the rooms where official shogun business would have occurred and there were life-size models to recreate the kinds of scenes that would have happened. There were information plaques in each area (in multiple languages) to explain the history and features of each room. If you ever go to Kyoto, I HIGHLY recommend a visit. Here's more info in case you're interested:


As I mentioned before, we couldn't take photos inside so I don't have any. The next post will pick up with the gardens outside.

Up next: GARDENS!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 8, cont.











There was an area where we could see the surrounding views from above. The problem: we had to climb some very steep, uneven stone stairs to get there. As usual, the problem wasn't getting up, but getting down. But we decided we had to do it since we were already here!




If only this metal structure hadn't been covering this building!!!







My knee injury made it pretty difficult to get back down, but somehow it happened.

Up next: Finishing Nijo Castle
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 8, cont.

After we climbed down from the viewing area, we made the long-ish journey out of the grounds and back to the city.




























At this point we split into couples and went in two different directions. S had planned for us to all visit another cool temple, but it involved another mountain and my knee was not happy with that idea. M and I were a little disappointed not to get to see it, but it was also nice to spend a little time together as a couple.

Up next: Another bus adventure!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 8, cont.

M and I managed to find the correct bus stop (there were several nearby!) and waited for the bus to arrive. We had a choice or three or four different lines and the service was pretty frequent this time of day, so when a few buses arrived very full of passengers, we waited for a less crowded bus to come. The bus stop was very clean and had clear maps with all the routes that stopped there, which was no surprise by this point! Sometimes two or three buses would arrive at the stop at the same time, but each would wait their turn to pull up and drop off and receive passengers.

We got on a bus that was standing-room only, but it wasn't super crowded.



At one point an older woman with a cane got on and a younger person promptly got up and offered her his seat without asking.

The ride back to Kyoto Station wasn't longer than 15 or 20 minutes and eventually enough people got off that M and I got a seat. Recall that the bus area is on the north side of the station and we needed to be on the south side of the station to get back to the hostel. With M guiding us (I still hadn't gotten my bearings!) we made it out! Woohoo!


I saw this poster on the way and it reminded me of this:



But I don't think the poster was actually Star Wars related.


HELLO, FRIEND!!


It's hard to tell but his delivery backpack says "Uber Eats!"

Back in the room M and I enjoyed more Kit Kats...





...and some of the pourover coffee we snagged from the airport hotel!



I posted a picture of the kettle before when it was blue. Blue=cold, red=hot!

We also enjoyed another vending machine hot beverage:



This time, with a BEE! I think it was a hot tea with honey.

Up next: Dinner, and finishing up our last night in Kyoto
 

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 8, cont.

S and J arrived back at the hostel and we all agreed we were hungry and ready to go eat dinner. Our destination was a ten minute walk away and required crossing a river nearby.

Since it was the Emperor's Birthday and a lot of restaurants were closed, I was concerned that this one might be as well, and we might find ourselves in another "Hangry Wanderers" type of situation. I considered calling the restaurant but I didn't know what to say if they answered. S suggested just saying, "Gomennasai!" (Sorry!) if they answered and we would know they were open because someone answered the phone. I called, they answered, I said sorry, and we were on our way!


Hi, Kyoto Tower!


This bird picture was covering a construction fence on the bridge.


Not here...


Here we are! Yep, it's another Indian/Nepalese place! That turned out to be one of the easiest choices for both vegetarians and meat-eaters!







One thing I was really missing was red wine. Not in a "I NEED A DRINK!" type of way, but in a "my body is used to having this a few times a week and takes comfort in the normalcy of it" type of way. So, I went for the cheap (300 yen) glass of mystery red wine.


As you can see it was VEEEERY chilled. But it was good and definitely worth at least $3! :hilarious:


The menu looked veeeeery similar to the one at the Indian place from the first night in Kyoto. I imagine they both got theirs from the same supplier, or maybe the restaurants are owned by the same person/company.


There was also an AYCE option, but we did not partake!


I ordered a set meal so I got a salad.


Palak paneer...again...don't judge me!


M's dal makhani


Garlic naan!

The set meals also came with non-alcoholic drinks. I think the others got cold drinks so they got their before the entrees, but mine was chai so I got it after:



This restaurant was also really good and had great service.

During the meal I got this notification from DuoLingo:


RUDE!!! I am here LIVING the language, I don't need you!!!
(BTW fun fact: the background is me and M dressed up for S and J's wedding back in February 2017)

We walked back over the bridge...







...and stopped at Lawson, which is like 7-Eleven but not quite as good, IMO. Everyone got breakfast things for the next day and we went back to the hostel to pack and prepare for our departure.



Day 8 Stats
Distance: 7.6 miles
Steps: 18568
Flights: 17


Up next: Day 9! Bullet train, cats, another temple shrine, and another BIG MISTAKE!!!!
 
Last edited:

bee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 9: Tuesday, December 25

Today we didn't need to wake up early, but of course M and I did anyway as we were still jet-lagged. We had our Lawson egg salad and instant coffee from the hostel. Everyone finished packing and we checked out right around 11am.


We didn't actually use this because there was someone at the front desk to take the key and check us out.


Bye, Mezame Kyoto!


Bye, PURRRRRecious kitty friend!

We made our way to Kyoto Station for the last time.




RAINBOW COFFEE BOSS!!


And cold milk tea for me!



We easily found the Shinkansen gates and found ourselves in a totally different part of the station. There were lots of shops and cafes for those waiting for their bullet train.






Uhhhhh...

Everyone bought something to eat for lunch on the train, and about 20 minutes before our departure we went out to our platform.







Up next: SHIN-KAN-SEN! SHIN-KAN-SEN!
 

krisri18

Well-Known Member
Day 9: Tuesday, December 25

Today we didn't need to wake up early, but of course M and I did anyway as we were still jet-lagged. We had our Lawson egg salad and instant coffee from the hostel. Everyone finished packing and we checked out right around 11am.


We didn't actually use this because there was someone at the front desk to take the key and check us out.


Bye, Mezame Kyoto!


Bye, PURRRRRecious kitty friend!

We made our way to Kyoto Station for the last time.




RAINBOW COFFEE BOSS!!


And cold milk tea for me!



We easily found the Shinkansen gates and found ourselves in a totally different part of the station. There were lots of shops and cafes for those waiting for their bullet train.






Uhhhhh...

Everyone bought something to eat for lunch on the train, and about 20 minutes before our departure we went out to our platform.







Up next: SHIN-KAN-SEN! SHIN-KAN-SEN!
All my knowledge of the bullet train comes from an old Playhouse Disney mini show called Choo Choo Soul. Lol
 
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