DAY 1Feb 12 2017
For my third day of Japan trip, my plan is to travel to Kyoto, visit Yawata, Uji, Gion, and Kyoto Imperial Palace.
I overslept! I woke up around 8am, did some preparations, ate breakfast, and had a little chat with other guests. The host was so kind, he even helped me locate the train stations. I even overstayed in this hostel. xD
I skipped Yawata and went straight away to Uji.
Uji is known for its high quality green tea. Since it was almost noon when I arrived there, I ate at Tsuen. I ordered a green tea cold soba set. Yeah, cold soba on winter. I even ordered a green tea parfait but canceled it because my stomach can't handle green tea and coldness anymore.
Then my Uji tour started...
宇治神社 Uji Shrine
The Tale of Genji is called as the world's first novel and its last chapters were set in Uji.
It was windy when I walked through the bridge. Imagine winter plus strong wind blows. Crossing the bridge was challenging.
After Uji, next stop was Gion and my hostel...
Along the way to my hostel in Gion, I found plum blossoms! I saw some photographers shooting these flowers and I asked one of them. "これは桜ですか？" (is this sakura?) then she answered in english "No. These are white plum blossoms and that store is called shiro ume because of these flowers". Then she asked where I come from and told me I'm good at speaking Nihongo. She also told me she has a lot of friends from my country. Such a friendly woman😀
I took a rest in my hostel and prepared for my next stop.
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace
While walking around my path to the palace, I passed to a shopping district and Kamo river.
I finally reached the palace but it was already closed. I found out that the closing time during winter is 4PM.
Although this mission failed, I still enjoyed this scenery. I sat for a while, took a rest, and observed the people passing me by. I still can't believe I'm in Japan. I was about to cry but held my tears back.
I went back to my hostel and had a bento for dinner. Since I ate soba for lunch, I craved for a rice meal. I'm thankful for Japan's conbini! Got a bento at Lawson 100 near my hostel. I also picked cream puffs at a discounted price!
While having dinner, there were two Korean guys having their dinner too. So I tried to talk to them.
Me: Hello. Are you here for sightseeing or studying?
Me: oh.. hmm.. visit? tour?
K: We're Korean
Me: oh! *embarrased*
After several minutes, an American guy came.
A: So how's Kyoto so far?
Me: *surprised at Koreans responded to him*
Me: It's very cold for me! Unlike you guys, who are used to this kind of cold. Philippines is always summer.
K: ah Philippines! (then talked in Korean)
A: Not me. LA is always summer too!
Me: I didn't know that!
That ends my third day of my Japan tour.
DAY 2Feb 13 2017
Second day in Kyoto and my fourth day of Japan trip.
The highlight tour for this day in Kyoto is Fushimi Inari Taisha and Yasaka shrine.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
I wasn't able to hike all the way to the peak because my right foot sore from walking. So I just spent enough time at the shrine. Since it was monday, there were a lot of junior high students visiting the shrine. Good thing I went there earlier and had good photos of the shrine and torii before it gets crowded.
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Gion has a lot of shrines and temples near with each other. I chose to visit Yasaka shrine and the pagoda only because my foot's pain has becoming worse with these long walks. I passed by Kennin-ji along the way so I visited the zen temple.
It was almost lunch time so I walked to the nearby ramen shop. Miyako ramen. In this shop , I was welcomed by frames of artists' autographs. I tried to read their names and searched for some familiar ones but the date on their autographs were from 90's!
After lunch, I walked to the shopping district of Gion. Shinkyogoku.
After Shinkyogoku, I roamed around Ponto-cho. Somewhere between Shinkyogoku and Ponto-cho, I found Book-off! I really wanted to go to Book-off and I planned to go to their branch in Osaka. But since I got excited and I have a time to spare. I went to shop. I think I spent an hour in this store and bought two CDs!
After my treasure hunt in Book-off, I went back to my hostel to pick up my luggage. Then I traveled back to Osaka and this is a sign that my Japan tour is about to end.