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6:00am JST

Up bright and early and getting ready to meet Eric Cooper and tour the Ishiyama Temple outside of Kyoto. Lady Murasaki Shikibu began writing The Tale of Genji, the world’s first novel, at Ishiyamadera. We tried to get in to see this temple five years ago but the main halls were closed to the public, probably for repairs. This time for sure!

10:00am JST

I have an early lunch at the corner “kippu” noodle place: an order of beef bowl and udon noodles in spicy soup combo, and for only Y540! Ticket machine restaurants are a god send for tourists and restaurant proprietors alike because we don’t have to listen to each other mangle each other’s languages.…

Kiyomizudera Temple

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5:00am JST

Watching the sunrise over the mountains through my hotel window and rolling out the media from yesterday’s photo and video shoot onto disk to make way for more material today.

8:00am JST

Successful photo shoots always start by tanking up: fish, eggs, rice, vegetables, sausages, miso, orange juice, tea and natto! I wouldn’t mind the taste of natto if it didn’t look so awful and wasn’t so damned hard to maneuver about.

[ First-Time Travelers Tip: Natto is good for you, mix it with rice and wash it down with miso soup! ]

10:00am JST

Kiyomizudera Temple, within walking distance of my hotel, is a natural place to start the “First Time” touring.…

Arrival in Kyoto

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1:00pm JST

The Nozomi Shinkansen speeds into Kyoto after only two and a half hours of travel time! Too bad the stations don’t seem to have many escalators, because I had to lug all of this luggage up and down several flights of steps before arriving at the ground level and a taxi. The cab driver hadn’t a clue as to where the hotel is located, and silly me of course he can’t read the address of the hotel in romanji which I had thoughtfully provided.

Kyoto streets can be very busy and the hotel is much MUCH farther away from Kyoto Station than it appears on the map.…

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