Japan Day 12, Finally Kyoto

Side note…I hate selfie sticks…I don’t hate the people…I just think the sticks themselves make people look really douchey.

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So…the closer I get to day 16 the sadder I’m feeling. I don’t want to leave. There’s still so much more I’d like to do, to go, to experience…and I love that there are so many language meetups so that I can keep practicing my Japanese…

Today I went to Kyoto to visit the Bamboo Forest…which I was dying to go to…and now, regret going to. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to go there, but it was so crowded…I’d rather visit in the winter or something when there aren’t so many crowds hanami (sakura flowers) makes being in Japan amazing, but difficult to efficiently get around.

Like a chump, I lost my ticket for my reserved seat, within minutes of getting it…how? I think I accidentally left it on a counter when I was buying something, forgot to grab it, and the guy who was running the counter threw it away. So…yeah…I had enough time, so I decided to step out and get another ticket and found that the reserved tickets were ALL sold…so I tried my hand at getting on one of the non-reserved cars and was able to get a seat there (whew)…I mean, if I couldn’t get on I would have just gotten on the next train that I actually had a seat for.

It is about 2.75-hour ride from Tokyo to Kyoto if you take the Hikari train (fewer stops), there are other trains like, Nozomi (NOT covered by JR Pass) that takes 2 hours because it has even less stops, and Kodama (more stops) that takes 3.5 hours. I spent my time catching up on my blog posts and working on my paper that was due on Tuesday…yes, it is Wednesday my time, but still Tuesday back home 😉

My only regret is I couldn’t pull myself out of bed earlier…I decided to take the long way to the Bamboo Forest by bus. It’s a nice ride through Kyoto so I can’t complain that it took an hour; there is a faster way, via JR rail, I chose to not take it there. This is definitely worth the trip…the only issue I had is there were SO MANY people! I guess when I came to Japan in the winter there was hardly any tourists so I was taken aback by how many there were, I don’t blame this, Japan’s cherry blossoms are so amazing…I’ve lived in many places with cherry blossoms, Korea, DC, Seattle…and Japan tops it with the quantity and beauty. Since I was here I also took a stroll through Tenryu-ji Temple

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It costs ¥500, and totally worth walking through the gardens to get to the forest.

I have a feeling that if you can get here early in the morning the crowds will be much less…it was almost painful seeing this area as it was so crowded, but it is worth it.Bamboo3

After leaving this area I decided to take the JR line back as it would be much faster getting back to Kyoto station and took a stroll through the surrounding town and it was definitely worth it to do so. I bought some gyoza on the way to the station, which was very yummy! As you walk through the town you’ll find many food stalls with reasonably priced foods…I didn’t get it this time, but one of my all time favorite items is dango…

 

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Dango

 

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One of the things I love about Japan is how they raise their children, the kids here are taught to be independent, I took a photo of this little kid waiting for his train, he couldn’t have been older than 6. I hope when I have kids that I can raise them to be independent.

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On the ride back to Tokyo I admired the view from the Shinkansen, I mean…why bother getting a window seat if you don’t, right?

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One of the things I love about Japan is all the rivers that come into the island

 

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Beautiful sunset…now if only I could wake up early enough to get a sunrise

 

One of the reasons I was rushing back is because I wanted to see the blooms at Naka-Meguro, along Meguro River. They turn off the lights around 9, so time is of the essence.

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I love how the cherry blossoms hang over the river

 

And, now I’m starving…it’s time for me to find some food. I really wanted to try teppanyaki so I found this place in Shibuya, Han No daidokoro and it was AMAZING!

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Oh Tokyo…you have some of the best Korean food…you know…I mean…other than Korea

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