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Published: February 27th 2016
Well I left off after a few days in Tokyo, since then there's been a couple more in Tokyo, a day in Nagoya, and now just finishing up with Kyoto.
The last couple days in Tokyo we didn't see anything very specific and the last day was definitely about relaxing and taking it easy. We checked out a couple parks and that's about it. Turns out the English pub had the wrong champions League game on. But oh well.
Our journey onward next brought us to Nagoya. It wasn't a huge stop or some place that most people go. But it's on the Shinkansen line that connects our other destinations; Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. It turns out that Nagoya is famous for its Miso Katsu - fried pork cutlet, and the fact that it is where the Toyota Corp started. Realizing that it cost us nothing to get off the train and spend the night there it was a done deal. The toyota museum was actually super cool. It starts off from day 1 when they made hand powered looms for turning raw cotton into fabric up until now when they still make looms but of course their focus
is on vehicles. The vehicle segment shows how automation has taken over, significant vehicle development, and has lots of examples, including demonstrations of casting, forging, and robotic welding. Seeing some classic Toyota automobiles topped it all off.
Coming to Kyoto was another short trip on the bullet train. The particular trip was 140 km in a brisk 33 minutes. Arriving at 11am meant we had a lot of time to see the sights on what was essentially a travel day. And sights in Kyoto are a plenty. In our 2 days here we saw a bunch of temples downtown which unfortunately had some scaffolding around big chunks of them, the Jijo Castle - which is a wooden castle from over 400 years ago, Arashiyama neighbourhood and its impressive bamboo groves, Kinkaku-Ji temple more commonly known as the golden temple, and the Inari shrine. On top of all this we also went for a high end meal and ate some Fugu. Yes, that Fugu you saw on a simpsons episode back in the 90s. It was delicious by the way - a 6 course fugu meal with sashimi, skin salad, fried fish, and a hot pot.
Since we're on
the topic of food - tonight we ate at the so called best Ramen restaurant in Kyoto. We both had the highly recommended burnt Miso pork ramen. Which sounds odd - but it's a Miso soy blend that is scorched in 600 degree lard and turned into a broth. The noodles were absolutely perfect, thinner than normal but with a perfect al dente texture, and the pork just melts in your mouth. Not only the best ramen or meals in japan I've had, maybe the best meal period.
Tomorrow we are on our way to Osaka, our last stop in Japan before jumping on over to Beijing. We don't have much planned - but it's faired us well so far so why change a good thing.
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