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6:49pm JST

Getting a quick bite to eat at the udon restaurant down the street before heading out to Osaka for a night of … well who knows what. I have a simple, inexpensive bowl of udon but good lord is that udon good!

7:15pm JST

I arrive at Kyoto Station with time to kill, so I graze in the book store, and hey, they have Doraemon volumes 2 through 42!

7:30pm JST

I begin to stare at my cell phone, pretending to be popular and busy, as opposed to frightened and confused in a big city train station.

8:00pm JST

Eric arrives and we decide to head down to Ponto-chou, another of Kyoto’s geisha towns, for sushi and sake. This relieves me of worrying about catching that “last train” from Osaka before the rail system closes.

8:30pm JST

After much wanderage, we settle on a sushi restaurant, other than the one Eric originally had in mind. Apparently that restaurant has closed and been replaced by who knows what. What we’re ordering tonight:

Cold Sake: “Momo-No-Shizuku” and “Super Dry”

Maguro, Salmon, Unagi
Tora-Maguro and Tora-Salmon
Specialty Unagi Tempura
Conger Eel Tempura Style

[ First-Time Travelers Tip: Order two pieces for one by saying “Toro-Salmon Ichi Ni Mae” ]

10:30pm JST

We leave the sushi restaurant and are back on Kawaramachi-dori within five minutes. Instead of walking a half a dozen blocks, I hail a cab and am in the hotel in another five minutes for only Y650.

Toji Temple

posted in: Japan Trip 2012 | 0

7:33am JST

What a lovely sunrise against a crystalline sky! I was too late to video tape the sunrise, but I did capture scenes of the Komagawa in the morning, and heron against the river. Also captured the early morning sounds of Kyoto on audio.

8:30am JST

Back at the hotel started loading this morning’s shoot onto the computer. Then headed to 7-Eleven to pick up some onigiri for breakfast, while the videos load and render.

10:00am JST

Packed and ready to role to today’s photo shoot: Toji Temple, home of the five story pagoda that is the tallest pagoda in Kyoto. Once again I exercise my new found super powers of bus navigation by purchasing a City Pass and catching the number 4 bus at Kawaramachi Matsubara headed to Sanjo.

Ah, the air is fresh and the warm sun under a blue sky feels so good, especially after the past few rainy days.

Here comes the number 207 bus, headed through Ponto-chou on its way to Toji Temple!

10:45am JST

We pass one of many large and impressive temple/shrines as we turn onto Karasuma dori (????) and head south to Toji.

11:26am JST

The Toji pagoda is directly ahead as the bus drops us off at the dates to Toji! You can enter the gates for free but entry to main area, including the five story pagoda is Y500. More impressive than the pagoda are the grounds and garden, and pond filled with monstrous prize winning koi!

12:00am JST

Huge koi the size of Hakuho!

1:30pm JST

Wind is really picking up, but a cool breeze in the hot sun is pleasant.

2:00pm JST

Walked through the Kodo Hall admiring the Buddha’s, guardian kings and bodisvavas (one of which I believe is the fearsome Enma Daiyo) brought to Japan by Kobo Daishi from China. Truly national treasures. Disposed of my loose change in the offering box appropriately and paid my respects to the deities.

4:00pm JST

Time to stop whipping this dead horse and go home.

4:25pm JST

Found a store right next to Toji Temple that apparently sells kokeshi dolls, at least they have a huge collection of them and these are OLD too. I wonder if they could help identify the maker and other details of my sister’s kokeshi. I catch the 207 bus as it loops around Kyoto and back to Kawaramachi Shijo.

5:06pm JST

It’s that time of day, the time when crows serenade us good and loud. I like the sound of crows.

Waiting for the number 4 bus, easy as pie

Another elderly person wants to help me with my bus schedule and etiquette. I think they see themselves as the local village elder, with plenty of knowledge and wisdom to bestow upon the young. Little do they know that I’m not far behind them…

5:20pm JST

Back at the hotel I’m loading the video and photography from the day’s shoot. Need to rest up for more fun in Osaka tonight.