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Published: March 20th 2018
Keiko warned us to rug up but I didn't really take her seriously. Very,very bad rookie mistake to think that we would be going in and out of places and therefore not cold for very long. Don't get me wrong... I layered up..... just not enough. First stop was another castle similar to Osaka castle (because it was built by the same bloke... I mean Shogun), only it was smaller as it was only needed to impress the emperor, until the Shogun lost his power which happened a short 300 years later, I think. Anyway, it was very beautiful with magnificent murals painted on the screen doors and is the oldest intact wooden building (400 years). It even has a floor that sounds like a nightingale when you walk on it due to the metal braces holding the floorboards rubbing together. A very effective and moder alarm system for its time! So it was drizzly, overcast and cold but I was managing to cope and still enjoying everything. I didn't even know what cold was at this point though as we were heading off to have lunch before going on to the Bamboo forest. For lunch we had individual hotplates inserted
Modern day girls in ancient clothing
Girls and boys can hire kiminos for about $30 a day and walk around Kyoto. This apparently is a big money spinner and can be done in other parts of Japan as well. Look out for a photo of me in one!
in the table top and we cooked our prepared chicken dish. This was eaten with so many different little tastes of food and washed down with delicious roasted green tea. We headed to the Bamboo forest and I honestly thought it would be a bit of a let down due to the miserable weather that was not only cold but overcast. Again, fortunately, I was very wrong. A walk through the main street filled with shops dedicated to all things sweet, touristy and girls dressed in Kimonos, led us to the main entrance of the forest. Not very impressive to start with but the further we walked, the more green the forest became. Rickshaws taking people through different trails added to the atmosphere, which I was keen to be part of until I found out that atmosphere cost $40 for 7 mins. Mal and I walked back the long way which led to the river and crossed over the bridge to investigate the Monkey Park. While I was quite happy to participate in a steep walk up stairs to get to the top for the view, the wind chill factor coupled with the thought of fighting off stinky monkeys was
Bonsai Cherry Blossom
Just in case I miss the big one.
not enough to entice me to make the journey to see probably nothing due to the cloud cover. Instead Mal and I did the only logically thing we could think of.... found a coffee shop and warmed up with a tall latte and pancakes. Thawed out a bit but after walking around a bit more because we had to kill time before we could get on our bus, we did the only next logical thing we could think of ... no, not find a pub.... but soak our frozen tootsies in a hot spring for 2 bucks. Best 2 bucks spent ever! Next stop was the golden temple and it was definitely worth freezing my arse off to see this. Beautiful setting and even the overcast day couldn't take the shine off the 20 kgs of gold covering the temple. Getting back to our motel saw me finding that big coat I had bought on a 35C day in Torquay just last week for the soul purpose of keeping me warm, putting it on with another scarf and a vest so that I could walk back from dinner in comfort. Just as well because the temp had then disintegrated to
Golden Pavilion again
It really was a sight to behold!
a mere 5C. As we pack our overnight bag for our bullet train trip tomorrow, I am thinking of all the layers I will be wearing - not packing! because we have a max of 8C to look forward to while we try and find Mt Fuji in all that cloud. We decided to take the minion to dinner and on the walk back to the hotel took the opportunity to show him the lights of Kyoto and intoduce him to the doorman. Mal's concern that my juggling act with the minion may have resulted in a photo of the doorman throwing said minion in the air, was unfounded. Even though my skillful juggling to prevent dropping the minion to the ground (while at same time trying to explain in sign language we simply wanted a photo with the doorman holding it was definitely another possible photo opportunity), I have the picture to prove it all ended well.
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