golden temple

End of day 2. I thought, for some reason, going to this temple, that the ‘golden’ part was a figure of speech. I was wrong. The crowds were pretty prodigious, but the whole thing is sort of a visual non-sequitur.

NB: the one picture of it across the lake is nice, but it would be nicer if I’d had a long lens, or been able to move better, but the crowds made that difficult. I almost posted a picture of it obscured by other people out of spite, but eventually decided that this isn’t a blog for spite (most of the time).

We walked around the temple, taking our time along the path, and then ended up taking a taxi back to our place and crashing early. Which meant we woke up very early the next morning…

Posted by Matt on 2018-10-31 17:10:18 +0900

nishiki market and the bengal cat cafe

After all that walking, we decided we needed a nice, refreshing stroll. We met up with our friends that we’re traveling with and walked around the Nishiki market, which is a big sort of open-air mall, but not just your typical stores like a Zara or the local Sacs equivalent, but fish also stalls and sushi on conveyor places and vintage stores and hand-made stamps (you bet we bought a couple stamps). Just all of commerce, packed in to one huge pedestrian area, multiple covered open air walkways.

Then there was the cat cafe, which was really interesting. You could tell the cats didn’t care about the people at all; I thought this was because they’re more wild or something, but reading about them on Wiki tells me they actually need a lot of stimulation, so maybe being around a bunch of new people all the time was good for them? IDK. I do know these seemed well-cared for (I am not a biologist or vet, so take that as you will).

Next up: a perfectly uncomplicated temple visit.

Posted by Matt on 2018-10-31 13:31:48 +0900

kyoto in the morning

First morning, Kyoto. We woke up early, rolled over, and went back to sleep. So far this trip, jet lag hasn’t been too bad, but we’ve been in a state of continual tiredness that is probably at least partially because of the interruption to our poor circadian rhythms. Anyway…

We were staying on the quieter side of the river, still fairly close to the central shopping district, and founds a lot of stuff nearby that seemed interesting. There was a nice little coffee shop that only served coffee of very high quality and really just a delight. We went to a smaller temple in the vicinity, just kind of wandered around the grounds. It was the sort of place that had been there continuously for 800 years or so, modulo a couple fires and rebuildings.

Posted by Matt on 2018-10-31 12:58:32 +0900

kyoto 1st evening

the first day in kyoto was really a half day; we arrived about 3 in the afternoon, and took a taxi from the station to our hotel. did a decent bit of walking, found a little beer bar and had some snacks. lots more walking, to a Ramen place where we ordered from a machine and ate like kings.

Then, we walked around the central shopping district, and I decided wherever the “The Body Shop” was, I needed to not be, so we made a couple sharp turns and ended up in a little bar off the river where they made fun absinthe drinks and there was a couch on the ceiling because when they went to move it out they discovered the door had been redone and was too small to fit the couch out any more.

That’s pretty much it for Day 2. Day 3 is also in the can, and day 4 isn’t even imported yet, but I’ve got another long train ride today, back to Tokyo.

Posted by Matt on 2018-10-30 17:59:41 +0900