Last Night in Kyoto

I slept well. The sun is out and I jump onto the sidewalk. Good Lord, the sun! I feel great.

The receptionist informs me that it’ll be tough getting to Tokyo this weekend because it’s a holiday. D’oh! There’s a tourist office nearby that I can try so I’m on my way. At first I couldn’t find it. Each building has levels and tons of shops and such so I’m a little lost here…. There’s a sign for it though just where is it? Upstairs, downstairs, somewhere in between? I do find it blending in with a shopping area.

I explain to the person that I’d like to leave today or tomorrow to Tokyo. I know, I know, this is terrible planning on my part. They think so too. They ask where I’m staying because there are several options. I didn’t get that far yet in my planning. I quickly try to think of something… All that comes to mind is Shibuya, the Times Square of Tokyo. I figure I can easily get to anywhere from there.

They try every combination they could think of without any luck. If I wait till Monday or Tuesday there would be something but I’m antsy with no desire to wait. There’s a flight still to book too. As with all my last minute bookings in Japan, something has to give and this time it’s my budget. I buy a ticket for tomorrow on the expensive train I was trying to avoid. /Sigh

The employees are so helpful though and I’m sure they are disappointed too. They must think I’m silly. As a consolation prize they give me this cute eraser.

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I felt better knowing that I’m on my way to the next area and not cutting out future stops. At the same time I’m sad to be leaving Kyoto. I’ve done what I wanted to do here though and I still have this one day to squeeze in a few more.

But first I need to eat! I get another budget meal from that cheap restaurant I’ve been to before. My budget took a heavy blow today.

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This is a good time to check up on the Ghibli Museum. Deep down I know I screwed myself over on this one but I need to confirm. I stop in the nearest Lawson and wait for the kiosk to be available. It’s my turn and I find the ticket option. To my surprise, the interface is terrible. Instead of showing which times are sold out, you have to select each time to check availability! I gave up after awhile. It’s clear the museum is not meant to be. One day Ghibli…! I console myself with the fact that the museum offers no translations.

How to fix this? Sweets, of course! The desserts in Kyoto have been so fun and delicious! I get a fancy sundae. 🙂

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Also I buy some sweets for home outside the department store. They have a couple stands here, maybe for the upcoming holiday season. Earlier I bought some hair ties from a kind old lady. She’s not here today, only food items. I pick a box of hazelnut wafers covered in white and green tea chocolate. I’ve been eating samples of them every time I walked by. They’re so good!

The hostel isn’t far from here so I can drop off the box of sweets. I look on my phone to see if there’s anything I’ve missed but nothing jumps out at me. There’s probably a hundred things I haven’t done yet.

I walk towards one of the older sections in between some temples and shrines. Just another walk, taking in atmosphere.

It’s dark by the time I reach the Kodaiji Temple. I’ve seen the outside before earlier in my trip. They’re still open late for some kind of event. I’m curious so I go for it. There’s a lot of people but the ticket line moves quickly. I’m guessing it’s part of some autumn festival. I saw a pilgrimage route around some other temples.

I take a break soon after buying my ticket and sit looking over the view of passing people and a peak of downtown below. I’m perhaps thinking too much about all the wrong things. I scold myself and start exploring whatever this event is.

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All the trees and sections are lit up. It’s lovely.

The first part has people walk inside one of the temple buildings with kimonos on display. The majority rushed through which surprises me because the kimonos are so pretty! Most of the designs are based on the seasons. Pictures are not allowed. /Sigh

Then I found out why everyone rushed through. There’s a zen garden in the back where they setup a short light show. Maybe it describes a legend of the area? Something about the holiday? I don’t know but it’s cool.

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Next is another temple building near a pond where people offer their prayers.

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And another building uphill.

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Then you walk down through a small bamboo grove that brings you to the exit.

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Should this be my last stop in Kyoto, it’s a good one. 🙂

Reluctantly, I walk towards the hostel… A slow walk through the older section near the temple for night photography.

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There’s packing to do and whatever last minute things I can think of. The good part is, my ticket does not have a set time so I can leave for Tokyo whenever.

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