We were staying in the classily titled “Kyoto Cheapest Inn”. Oh how we envied those staying at “Hotel Rich” down the road.
I jest, the inn was great. Twas an 18 bed mixed dorm and all the little bunkbeds had their own little pully over curtain around them This was all after a monumental struggle down the road with our bags – we both swore to ditch everything once we hit Paul in Akita. . (Paul, how would you like a few sleeping bags, some peanut butter and a few Tupperware? He he)
Later we headed into town to an Italian restaurant (I had had my fill of noodles for a while) and we plodded aboot town taking some pics and geisha hunting. We headed to a narrow alley called Poncho-cho which has tons of cute Japanese restaurants and bars. Then we headed to an Irish bar for a pint. Lol.
The following morning we decided to go and check out the main man Tokogawa’s castle which was only around the corner from where we were staying. Togo built it as his gaff during the time of his ruling. He was in charge of all the provincial warlords (daimlyo) and the rest of the gang in Japan and himself and his chaps ruled for over 200 years. The castle was mighty impressive. It had a huge moat around the whole thing and some fantastic gardens inside, as well as the tatami matted floors inside the building which played host to all kinds of visiting samurai and feudal lords. It had what was called a ‘nightingale floor’ inside the building. Whenever anyone walked on the floor, it would creak and squeak which made the sound of a nightingale bird. It sounded hella cool.
Unfortunately it was absolutely pissing rain. We thought it rained in Ireland, well it doesn’t Everyone in Ireland thinks we have lots of rain. We have teardrops compared to everywhere in the southern hemisphere an that’s fo sho. So my trousers were absolutely soaked. My rain jacket protected my head somewhat but my arse and front half of my trousers were drenched. I was not really enjoying the walking around and I phoo phooed the idea of more temples in the rain. So instead we went to the Nishiki Market place, which is a long covered street selling every type of fish you can imagine, as well as sweets, herbs, vegetables, trinkets, sandals and tons more. We glowed blissfully in it’s dryness and decided to go for Nepalese for lunch. We went to the Yak & Yeti, which was yum. Lunch specials in the Yak & Yeti. Fanbloodytastic.
We continued looking around for some fancy umbrellas and sandals for me to alas, to no avail. So we decided to head home. But alas we spotted a “Happy Hour” sign in “The Hill of Tara” and so we had to stop by and test their Guinness out. So we popped back a couple then headed to look for some grub. We came across this cute little lane that seemed to lead to a restaurant, so off we went. It was a pork cooking place. There is a name for it. I think it’s Okinayarimari or it begins with O anyway. I ordered some non-pork stuff and we both chowed down on another small feast and some sake (sans orange crush). Japan is fantastic. It’s very full on though. You wouldn’t want to be old like – say if you were 27 you’d probably feel a bit old and tired, what with all the individual tv’s advertising everything.
When we got back we started to this slightly crazy slighty racist Slovakian dude who was a lil funny and a lil scary. We joined the three girls from England (spotty spice, posh spice & blonde spice) and Joseph (the Slovak) started dishing out the vodka… straight… except for I went up and got the orange crush out… lol.
We had a right ould laugh with the Slovak discussing the merits of vodka and how he hates the Italian football team, whilst drinking nice vodka.
The following morning, we stayed in bed later than planned due to vodka overdose. Eventually on the advice of the Slovakian, we decided to visit Konkuja-ji (I think) or what’s known as the golden temple. We trained it to a stop that was 25 mins from it then tried to walk the rest of the way. The heat was crazy and we stopped off at a vending machine for a tasty beverage.
The temple itself was amazing. It was all covered in gold lacquer and gold leaf and it was shiney mcshine. Brillopads. Twas marvellous. :D
After a green tea icecream we headed to the Kyoto imperial park and wandered around admiring the beautiful stuff. Then our feet were on fire from all the walking and we were sweaty betties so we had to retreat home to have a cold beer on the roof of our building as the sun set (behind tons of clouds). He he.
The next day we were due to bag up our stuff and head to Hiroshima for two days, but after much reading of the lonely planet, coupled with the fact that we couldn’t get accommodation in Hiroshima for love nor money, it was decided that we were going to stay a couple of more nights in the Cheapest Inn in Kyoto and just go to Hiroshima on a daytrip. It was a good decision as the train is much more enjoyable when you’re not carrying 20 kilos, ten of which you have yet to use.