Day 22: Back to Kyoto

Saturday I took another trip to Kyoto with the school.  This wasn't officially part of the program I'm in, but it was part of the foreign exchange student program for those people who are staying for full semesters, and we were invited to join in.  Only two other people from my group came along.

We visited another temple, Byoudouin, and saw the Phoenix Hall from the outside.  We would have had to buy separate tickets to go inside, and the group sizes are limited, so it would have been hard to get in anyway.  Also, I've kind of seen enough temples and shrines by now, they're starting to all get mixed up in my head.  This particular one is famous as being the image on the back of the 10-yen coins.

It was raining on and off all day, but nothing too bad until late at night, when I was already home.  I did get some use out of my umbrella, though.
A shot of the Phoenix Hall as a group is starting to enter for the tour.

Probably my favorite angle of the building.

A more frontal view.

I don't actually know these people, except the one on the far left, but they were in the exchange student group that we joined in on.
I like the look with the lillypads, too.
This was on the temple grounds.  Some sort of trellis with trees growing up underneath and all the branches collected on top.  It looked pretty interesting.
After that, we walked through the museum section, which had a lot of the typical style of ancient statues and scrolls and things.  Since I can't read the details about most of them, they all end up looking basically the same to me, no matter which temple or shrine I visit.  Still, kind of interesting.

When we finished there, we left the temple area and went out in search of lunch, but found none.  Instead, I got some pictures of the surrounding scenery.

A flock of birds perched on a tree near the river.

The calm river.  It was hardly moving at all.  This was taken from atop the bridge.  I'm pretty sure they designed this river specifically for the reflection.

The clouds/fog in the mountains looked pretty impressive.  I had to get a shot of it.  It was probably like that because of the rain.

A shot of the second river, which was basically rapids.  The water was moving way too fast to be safe, and they had big signs saying (in Japanese only) not to enter the water, because it moves too fast and is dangerous.  I could actually understand the whole sign, kanji and all, which was nice.
When we toured as much of the area as we cared to, we headed back to the bus and waited to go to the next stop, which was the center of Kyoto city itself.  We did a lot of walking here, roughly 25 minutes from the bus drop off point to the first stop, then another 20 minutes backtracking to the shops.  Along the way back, my friend and I grabbed some bread from a Family Mart for lunch.  I bought three things, but ended up getting full after one and a half.  I saved the rest for later.  Bread is always good because it's so cheap and filling.

Our first stop.  Another temple.  This one was packed with visitors as well, but seemed to cover a pretty large area.  We looked around inside the grounds for a while, but didn't see anything particularly impressive, so we headed back.  If you want more pictures anyway, I do have them.
This was the main shopping arcade where we spent most of the time.  It was really long, taking probably a good 10 minutes to walk from one end to the other, and there were two full streets of it, next to each other.

One shop was nothing but crane games, where nearly all the prizes were anime figures, pillows, pictures, clocks, or other goods.  Most of them looked completely unwinnable, without even accounting for the pre-programmed failure rate of these things.  And if you did manage to pick up a figure and drop it down the chute, it would probably break.  Needless to say, I didn't try any.

I also found another shop that had a ton of anime figures, posters, wall scrolls, etc., which was where I spent most of my time.  There were a few 3D pictures there from different series, but the most impressive thing about them was that...

...not only were the images 3D, but there were 3 images on each poster.

I ended up buying this one.  It's just too cool.
I also bought a couple of small, cheap stick posters (vertical-hanging wall scrolls, about 8 inches wide by maybe 20 inches long).  Those had a couple Touhou characters on them.

After shopping, we went to one of the shops, where we learned how to make a type of candy called yatsuhashi.  This was part of the group's planned activities.  Everyone got to try their hand at it, and make 16 pieces of candy.  In the end, they gave us each 33 pieces of candy (32 in a bag, and 1 freshly made) and a can to carry them home in.  The candy itself is sort of cinnamony, and very stiff and crunchy.  It wasn't spectacular, but it was pretty good.

We had to wear the aprons, gloves, and hair nets while we worked there.  I'm pretty sure they ended up selling all the candy we made to random other people.

At any given time, there are 8 pieces under each board, and one or two extra sets at the end, for a total of 48 or 56 pieces.  You put on a new set, then rotate the board on the far right (left in the image) to the second uncovered set, remove the pieces that were under it before you moved it, and press them into the curved shapes with the metal dowels.  Each of the other boards has a specific action you have to do to the pieces under it as you go, sliding them all one space to the right each time.

Receiving my gift of candy after having finished my two rounds.
After all that was done, we headed back to the bus and came home.  It was raining again by then, so I had to use my umbrella.  I'd walked to school instead of biking that day so I wouldn't have to worry about biking in the rain.

Another thing: despite the rain all day, it was still really warm.  Not as hot as it has been, but uncomfortably warm all day anyway.  It's not as hot as it is back home, though, and probably roughly as humid.  The real problem is the lack of AC.  Except in rare cases, the temperature inside and outside are basically the same.  There's no comfortable place to cool off, so I just sweat all day long.  That's not very fun.

Only one more week of school left, and then I'm off to Yokkaichi and Tokyo with my friend for another week.  Then back home.  Time has passed really quickly.

1 comment:

  1. HI! We are really glad you are still finding many things to learn and do. I liked the photos showing you in action doing things. :) You are good at conveying your activities and the feeling of the places you visit. Enjoy all the time you have left there!!