Nijo Castle, last full day in Kyoto

Waking up to more news of the horror befalling my home country wasn’t a great start. Fuck the liberals. Fuck Murdoch. Fuck everyone that’s had anything to do with the policies and corruption that have led to this truly horrifying state. That includes me I’m sure, so well, fuck me. This is going to be a short post for sure. Today was the day of “please don’t take photos here” places. [Read More]

Torii, Silver and the Palace

So it’s Friday the third, our second last full day in Kyoto and our first goal is to see Fushimi Inari Taisha and the Senbon Torii (The Thousand Torii Gates). A quick walk down the hill to the Kiyomizu-Gojo station of the Keihan line and we’re on our way to Fushimi-Inari station, the start of the Kyoto Trail. We’d seen these markers along the way to Shogunzaka, and a few times since, but this was #1! [Read More]

Arashiyama Adventuring

Today we’re doing things in Arashiyama, western Kyoto. A bus to the train station, then on the JR West train to Saga-Arashiyama station. Oh how I’ve missed trains. Kyoto is a very bus-centric city and Google Maps just isn’t great at indicating where bus stops are around here. You can keep the free internet of the big cities, and their automatic doors, just give me my rail-riding steeds. Off the train and through the suburban streets to a small section of bamboo forest walk before visiting Nonomiya Shrine, a Shinto shrine. [Read More]

Golden Pavilion and Kembu

Today we were off to the Golden Pavilion, which meant we had a little bit of a walk to catch the 205 bus. The first few were full (like, people almost hanging out the windows) so wandered up to the city centre hoping people were getting off there. It worked, we could get on, the bus was still packed, so I expected to stand for the forty minute trip to the temple. [Read More]

Shogunzuka Mound and Kennin-Ji Temple

This morning’s goal was to climb the mountain to see the Shogunzuka mound and the lookout which has been built next to it. A quick bus trip to the subway, then one stop to Keage station. These ticket machines are great. You can either use a ticket (the yellow slot) or tap the blue pad with your phone or NFC pass to tag on. They’re great. Even when you don’t tag just right and you break the light beam and the little yellow fence things pop out, the lights go red and it yells at you! [Read More]

Rainy day in Kyoto

Woke up feeling a bunch better today. Turned off the ever-present aircon last night and my sinuses got a rest. That might have moved it down into my chest a bit, but hopefully not. I’m still coughing like mad. -_- For the first time in the trip it was actually raining. Enough that we didn’t really see tramping to shrines and such as a doable adventure. I found the Samurai and Ninja museum, Kyoto. [Read More]

Tokyo to Kyoto

Today’s goal: Get to Kyoto. I went for a wander looking for the local chemist, my sinuses were spectacularly blocked last night to the point I was having panic attacks bordering on hallucinations. I swear, every time I go on holiday my sinuses just flip out. No ghosts! No punch buggies! We made our way to Tokyo station knowing it’d be a shit fight to find somewhere to stash our bags for a few hours before the Shinkansen. [Read More]

Star Wars, Comiket and all the things

Comiket at Tokyo Big Sight today, along with some other stops along the way. Warning: if you don’t like manga, or drawings of scantily-clad women, skip this maybe? Also this is hilariously long and full of images/video. Too bad. A’s running the schedule today so we are going to the Star Wars Identities exhibition on Tennozu Isle, Shinagawa, before going to Comiket. This exhibition showcases pre-production and production items from all the movies, with a storyline of how identity is developed for people and the characters alike. [Read More]

Akihabara and Kitchen Street

Today’s goal was to explore what Akihabara has to offer a couple of anime/computer/japanese pop culture loving geeks. On the way to the train station we came across the Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Centre, a collaboration between local traditional craftspeople and the municipality of Taito. Upon entering we were given a very informative introduction by one of the staff, then discussed the facility and its meaning a little more. The craftspeople of Taito don’t have skills or time to market themselves so the municipality puts this place together to show their wares in an increasingly competitive market. [Read More]

Imperial Palace tour and Manga Hunt

Today was the day we’d booked in an Imperial Palace Gardens tour through TripAdvisor. For an hour’s guided tour with a licensed guide, 2500¥ was really cheap in my opinion. Our guide was a lovely retiree lady called Eriko from Yokohama. She used to be an elementary school teacher, now does one tour a week of the Imperial Gardens. We met at the Otemon gate, the main entrance gate of the Edo Castle during the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1867). [Read More]