Published: December 30th 2011December 29th 2011
This morning we took a taxi to Nanzen-ji Temple which is one of the most famous Zen temples from the 1600's. It was about 9:30 am when we arrived so there were not many tourists. After hiking around the temple we went to a sub temple to the rear which backs up to the mountain and then we hiked up into the mountain to a beautiful waterfall and more little shrines in the mountain. It was beautiful and I can only imagine it is more beautiful at Cherry Blossom and Fall color change. It would sure be a lot more crowded then and we are enjoying having everything in Kyoto not so crowded.
Next we walked to Choin-in temple and visited a temple where they were holding a Buddist service in a shrine that had a giant golden Buddah. We also visited the part of the temple that had the largest bell in Japan. The striker is like a big log. We ran into a nice older Japanese couple at the bell and the wife wanted her picture with us because she thought it was entertaining that she is so tiny and we are so tall. They were sweet and
we chatted and found out that they have a relative buried at the shrine and they always come around New Years for a visit.
We returned on foot to the hotel. We didn't mean to but we kept not finding a subway station and then we were supposedly a mile away but it was really more like two. Yesterday we walked 6-7 miles and today we walked another 4 so I was completely worn out.
We retrieved our bags and went to the station to get on the Shinkansen train to Tokyo! We traveled at speeds up to 160 mph. It was cool! It's like watching a video on fast forward. I wondered what the people in the sleepy little villages thought when this train started zooming by their house recently.
After 2 hrs. we arrived in Tokyo, covering about 400 miles, way cool. It's like taking an airplane on the ground! We had to make a transfer before arriving at Ueno Station. I was worn out from all the hiking.
Fortunately our hotel was only 1.5 blocks from the station so we did well with that. The room is TINY here! Reminds me of a
room we stayed at in NY city. There are so many funky things here like the sink faucet swivels around and doubles as the spout for the bath/shower. The toilets are another story for later.
We went out wandering for food, the restaurants are everywhere and we found Bibinba Korean Style food.
We did a bit better tonight, no chicken fat sticks but we ended up ordering double the food that we meant to but it was a good thing, we snarfed it. We cooked thin slices of pork and onion called Yakaniku and made it into lettuce wraps with all sorts of different vege condiments. We also ended up with huge bowls of rice in hot bowls with meat and eggs. The bowls are super hot and the egg is raw but it continues to cook when you stir it up. They are into completing the cooking at the table here. Very interactive eating.
Went back to the room and crashed early
There are more photos below