It was freezing last night. I went out with only a long-sleeved shirt, and got very cold, to the point where I had to go to the toilet about every 10 minutes (other old blokes will sympathise with this). We had dinner at a curry place. Helen hadn’t eaten Japanese curry, but enjoyed it. We then went wandering around the bar district (which is HUGE). We were looking for two Indonesian bars, mentioned in Lonely Planet, which seem to have disappeared. However, we did find one called “Ing”, which the guide gave a big rap. If sitting in a window-less place, paying exorbitant prices for drinks, with only unfriendly expats for company, is your thing, then this is for you. We tried a few other places, which were even more boring, and gave up.

This morning’s breakfast was edible, but I didn’t eat the “bacon sashimi” – ie: bacon which looked like it had been waved at the stove. We jumped on the bus to Ryoanji. Uptown somewhere it turned right, when I was expecting left. I had confused “Ginkakuji” with “Kinkakuji”. We walked back a couple of hundred metres and got the correct bus.

Ryonanji was nice, although Helen didn’t really seem to appreciate the rock garden. From there we walked to Kinkakuji, and the Golden pavilion. Both were really beautiful.

We caught a bus back to the main station and caught the escalotors up to the 11th floor of the Isetan department store. It was amazing. We had lunch in a French cafe, and then began our journey, `a pied, back to the hotel.

First,  we stopped off at Sanjusangendo, and looked at the 1000+ buddha statues, each with about 40 arms. We then walked (a fair way) to Kiyomizu, up the hill, through the souvenir stalls. We caught up with most of the school kids in Japan.

From Kiyomizu, we had a lovely walk down the hill through beautiful old-style shops and houses, and encountered a couple of geishas off to work. (They weren’t that beautiful, although their clothes were stunning.) We ended up at Maruyama park, which was disappointing – it was clean, but most of the trees looked scraggy, and it needed weeding.

On the way back to the hotel, we bought a $4 bottle of Japanes white wine, which was drinkable. After a rest and a shower, we again headed out to face the Kyoto night life.


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