After getting to the historical city of Japan and walking to 3 different temples, I realized just how tired my legs still were and so I went to the hostel to drop off my stuff in an attempt to lighten the load. While at the hostel, I asked the staff where I should go and they recommended me to rent a bike to go to a couple of places. Not having ridden a bike for years now, it sounded like a lot of fun and so that was exactly what I did. The bike rental place charged 1000 yen for a day’s use of a bike (due back at 7pm). The bike was a simple bike with a basket and the thing I was most impressed about the bike was the lock. So the lock for bikes in Japan are simply attached to the bike. When you want to lock it, you slide a small metal bar across the wheel of the bike and just like that, the bike is locked. Of course, it doesn’t lock up to anything so it’s just meant for day use. Anyway, the bike ride was a lot of fun; hitting up a lot of different temples, I didn’t bother going into any of them as I would just be paying to take a couple of pictures inside. Instead, I decided to go to 13 different places, take pictures along the way, and of course eat.
People actually just relax around the river.
Some sort of festival was happening that day.
So people in the past used to stare at these rock gardens as entertainment…
My awesome rented bike.
Most of Kyoto had their tourist places closing at 6pm so after returning the bike, I went back to the hostel and I was recommended two different ramen restaurants and man, those two places did have the best ramen that I’ve ever had. I don’t know what else I can say about it except that I hope that standard doesn’t stick with me when I get back to Canada.
Supposingly one of the best ramen shops in Kyoto.
On the second day of Kyoto, I didn’t really have any plans so after the hockey game (Toronto NHL game 6), I went to the second ramen shop and after thoroughly enjoying the ramen, and gyoza, I started walking to a temple of Kyoto that I skipped by bike (as I was suggested against it since it’s a tough place for bikes). Along the way, I noticed a shop selling green tea pocky. Being intrigued, I bought one and man, was that some awesome pocky! Not only was the coating green tea, but the stick itself had a hint of green tea. Slowly enjoying each nibble, I made my way to the temple and enjoyed tasting all the samples along the streets surrounding the temple. Taking a different route back, I passed by a small shop that sold kimonos and seeing that they had a discount rack, I browsed through it and saw that they had this deal where you can get a kimono and obe for 1200 yen. Not having any requests from one of my sisters, I didn’t know what to get her, but seeing this I knew that it would be perfectly cheap! So after much deliberation I picked out the two pieces and when I told the shop owner it was for my sister, she decided to let me choose some sort of thing you wear under the obe and a hairband for free! That was probably the highlight of my day: buying a kimono set for 1200 yen and I personally like what I chose.
Some spoils from Kyoto.
After going back to the hostel to pick up my stuff, I decided to go to a sushi bar for dinner before heading to Osaka. That’s one thing that I also enjoyed in Japan: going to sushi bars that have those conveyer belts. However, it can be very expensive so when I got there, I decided to just try sushi that I’ve never heard of. None of them tasted terrible and there was one with raw egg yolk that was actually probably one of the better ones. So after dinner, I headed off to Osaka. The trip to Osaka is about an hour by train and the train ride was actually quite cheap (390yen one way) and quite comfortable.
Gotta love sushi shops like these.