More Trips

Japan9 October 19


Frangland July 19


Korkong April 19


Japan8 October 18


China4 April 18


Japan7 October 17


Taiwan4 March 17


Japan6 October 16


Europe May 16


Japan5 November 15


Korea2 March 15

Even More Trips

HongJapWan March 2014
Sichuan March 2013
Tokyo3 October 2012
China2 August 2012
Japwan March 2012
China November 2011
Korea September 2011
Taiwan March 2011
London3 June 2010
Japan May 2010
London2 February 2010
London September 2009
SE Asia December 2005

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Page 4

Day 10 - Monday, 30 October 2017

Equal best ever scenery

Hiking Mount Atago then continuing to Arashiyama via Toriimoto

I am going to cut to the chase.
Today was probably the equal best scenery I have experienced in my life, a tie with Yamadera / Omoshiroyama which is near Sendai.
Even though I was too early for peak leaf season, I took a record number of photos.
My path was from Takao (not the Tokyo Takao) to Jingo-Ji Shrine, down the nature trail along the river to Kiyotaki, up and down Mount Atago (highest in Kyoto ward) on a loop course, then further down the nature trail before going over another mountain with amazing views, before descending into Arashiyama through the old streets of Toriimoto.

Total distance, almost 40km. And if you told me I had to do exactly the same thing tomorrow, that would be fine.
Now onto too many photos.

Well almost, its halloween, which is a big deal in Japan, not sure what that means for where I go later.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There are 41 photos to get through, so done expect witty banter, just matter of fact descriptions, in other words, get your scrolling wheel / swiping

There are 41 photos to get through, so done expect witty banter, just matter of fact descriptions, in other words, get your scrolling wheel / swiping finger ready.
This is at the bottom of a valley after getting off the bus at Takao before ascending to Jingo-Ji temple.
I took a direct bus from Kyoto station which took just under an hour.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There were many red bridges today, at least 4.

There were many red bridges today, at least 4.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Ascending the steps to Jingo-Ji shremple (shrine and or temple). It had a small admission fee, I paid cause I heard theres a sporting event to partici

Ascending the steps to Jingo-Ji shremple (shrine and or temple). It had a small admission fee, I paid cause I heard theres a sporting event to participate in.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Its not peak color, but already quite colorful. Lots of old people are here. Old German people filled the bus, they seem to have a thing where they ge

Its not peak color, but already quite colorful. Lots of old people are here. Old German people filled the bus, they seem to have a thing where they get stamps for each shrine they visit.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Quite average looking, but I guess its old.

Quite average looking, but I guess its old.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Nice colors, I will say that a lot today.

Nice colors, I will say that a lot today.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I nearly missed the best bit. I decline the map at the admission booth, but when I went back out I asked where the thing I was here for is, and took a

I nearly missed the best bit. I decline the map at the admission booth, but when I went back out I asked where the thing I was here for is, and took a map.
Should have taken a map in the first place. The walk up to it was splendid. Yes, SPLENDID.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Here is the view. I was ready to jump cause this probably cant be improved on, its all downhill from here.

Here is the view. I was ready to jump cause this probably cant be improved on, its all downhill from here.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Me pondering existence.

Me pondering existence.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This is the sporting event I mentioned. You buy these clay discs and fling them off for luck, if you get too enthusiastic you might accidentally fling

This is the sporting event I mentioned. You buy these clay discs and fling them off for luck, if you get too enthusiastic you might accidentally fling yourself off too.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I gave this one more of a matte look, for variety in amazing colors.

I gave this one more of a matte look, for variety in amazing colors.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Once back at the bottom, I had to joing the nature trail along the river, this is not the way! I went over thinking it was.

Once back at the bottom, I had to joing the nature trail along the river, this is not the way! I went over thinking it was.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Instead of the trail, its a big open air restaurant. There is without exaggeration about 100 metres of seating like this along the cliff.

Instead of the trail, its a big open air restaurant. There is without exaggeration about 100 metres of seating like this along the cliff.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Now I am walking along the magnificent river, yes MAGNIFICENT.

Now I am walking along the magnificent river, yes MAGNIFICENT.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There are lots of places where you cross over on little bridges, allowing for great photos.

There are lots of places where you cross over on little bridges, allowing for great photos.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The light was really tricky, but I think some of the photos are OK. I took a lot, many appear similar and were removed.

The light was really tricky, but I think some of the photos are OK. I took a lot, many appear similar and were removed.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Now I am at the start of Mount Atago. They give you a map! How convenient. This hike to the highest mountain in the Kyoto area is popular, and impossi

Now I am at the start of Mount Atago. They give you a map! How convenient. This hike to the highest mountain in the Kyoto area is popular, and impossible to get lost, they have a sign marker every hundred metres.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Which means this guy 'went to the forest'. Missing since 2014, hes a skeleton now.

Which means this guy 'went to the forest'. Missing since 2014, hes a skeleton now.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There was actually not much of a view, and none from the top, so I am glad I took this on the way up.

There was actually not much of a view, and none from the top, so I am glad I took this on the way up.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - A bit more view, hard to see Kyoto all the way down there.

A bit more view, hard to see Kyoto all the way down there.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The top was a huge shrine complex. They have electricity somehow, and toilets, but there is no road up. So this was all constructed at the top somehow

The top was a huge shrine complex. They have electricity somehow, and toilets, but there is no road up. So this was all constructed at the top somehow, long ago.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - When you think you are at the top you actually have to keep going. The markers on the trail are to the toll gate. Thankfully there is no toll anymore.

When you think you are at the top you actually have to keep going. The markers on the trail are to the toll gate. Thankfully there is no toll anymore. I couldnt believe how much work has gone into the shrine village at the top.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The shrine itself is all wooden, and apparently houses a stone tablet of some kind, which is all sealed away not to be opened for years.

The shrine itself is all wooden, and apparently houses a stone tablet of some kind, which is all sealed away not to be opened for years.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This is the best I could do for a view from the top, actually a few hundred metres down from the top.

This is the best I could do for a view from the top, actually a few hundred metres down from the top.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Just a random shot of the mountain path. The lower bits were all wooden/stone stairs cut into the mountain and steep. The upper bits were a wide rolli

Just a random shot of the mountain path. The lower bits were all wooden/stone stairs cut into the mountain and steep. The upper bits were a wide rolling trail, I could jog down.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Now I am back at the river. I turned the color DOWN on this shot!

Now I am back at the river. I turned the color DOWN on this shot!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Most of the restaurants along the river seemed to still be in use, but not this one.

Most of the restaurants along the river seemed to still be in use, but not this one.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Another red bridge! There were so many I didnt even photograph them all.

Another red bridge! There were so many I didnt even photograph them all.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Although I did photograph this one twice, I almost managed to hide the sheds behind it.

Although I did photograph this one twice, I almost managed to hide the sheds behind it.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - At times the path along the river was slippery rock, but most of the time it was a very well developed path, with excellent signage, and only 10 peopl

At times the path along the river was slippery rock, but most of the time it was a very well developed path, with excellent signage, and only 10 people in total.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - More river, I am running out of adjectives.

More river, I am running out of adjectives.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Red bridge plus tunnel, what a combo!

Red bridge plus tunnel, what a combo!


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And now surprisingly, to get back to Arashiyama I had to leave the river. You can continue along the river to another station, and its actually shorte

And now surprisingly, to get back to Arashiyama I had to leave the river. You can continue along the river to another station, and its actually shorter distance, but for whatever reason I was determined to get to Arashiyama.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - That is a railway bridge. This trail over the top of a smaller mountain was bitumen, but only used by cyclists.

That is a railway bridge. This trail over the top of a smaller mountain was bitumen, but only used by cyclists.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Some really tricky light, but thats the river I was walking along.

Some really tricky light, but thats the river I was walking along.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - More railway bridge. I missed the train going over by seconds.

More railway bridge. I missed the train going over by seconds.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And then I descended along the cycling road through a dark wooded valley into Toriimoto, which I had no idea I was going to, but was very nice, quite

And then I descended along the cycling road through a dark wooded valley into Toriimoto, which I had no idea I was going to, but was very nice, quite a few tourists.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Its a mix of businesses and private houses, I think these people are quite wealthy, I saw nice cars in garages.

Its a mix of businesses and private houses, I think these people are quite wealthy, I saw nice cars in garages.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - One last one of Toriimoto, there were lots of expensive tiny eating houses. It was now that I realised I had forgotten to eat all day! I wasnt even hu

One last one of Toriimoto, there were lots of expensive tiny eating houses. It was now that I realised I had forgotten to eat all day! I wasnt even hungry though.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - To get back to the station I still had other shrines to go through. This one is Seiryo-Ji and is apparently a temple not a shrine.

To get back to the station I still had other shrines to go through. This one is Seiryo-Ji and is apparently a temple not a shrine.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Last photo finally, I enjoy the contrast of the temple gate and the coke machine. I will re read this later, its probably typo riddled, time to go get

Last photo finally, I enjoy the contrast of the temple gate and the coke machine.
I will re read this later, its probably typo riddled, time to go get dinner.


Its not Halloween

Exploring Sanjo Dori in Kyoto

I thought it was Halloween, I saw no one at all in costume, turns out its tomorrow, thats how much I know about that holiday (is it a holiday in the USA?) as someone who grew up in Australia.
So now I have to wait until tomorrow night to see Japanese Halloween costumes in Kyoto.

I did not take many photos tonight, despite unintentionally walking quite far. Despite a lot of walking today, due to my awesome shoes my feet remain in perfect condition without any additional taping to prevent damage. The Altra shoe company should have me on their payroll.
On my way back today from Arashimaya I rode the elevated JR train back into town. From here I liked the look of Nijo, so thats where I headed to this evening.

Nijo is famous for a castle thats not open to the public because it contains the divine wind itself protected by nightingale floors.
I was not there for any sort of palace, I had seen enough similar things earlier, I was there for dinner, having only eaten a cookie all day, but then I got distracted.

Nearby Nijo station I wandered into Sanjo Dori, which is possibly the longest covered shopping street in all of Kyoto. I had not been there before and had no idea it existed.
For the sake of completeness, I decided I had to walk its length. It was mainly shut at 7pm, and is not at all for tourists, there are regular supermarkets down here as you will see.
However I was nearly killed on several occasions by cyclists. For whatever reason the covered tunnel surrounded by shops is a thoroughfare for speeding bicycles.

To calm my nerves I found some cats to chat with, we agreed that the cyclists are a menace.
By this time I realised I might as well keep going back to the main shopping area, my best chance to find dinner. Actually thats an exaggeration, there is dinner everywhere, including over 9000 places at the main station (no exaggeration).

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Sanjo Dori, a beautiful expanse of metal roller doors.

Sanjo Dori, a beautiful expanse of metal roller doors.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - My favourite way to drink it. Actually I have no idea if real beer is fizzy? I had fake beer at the Tokyo motor show in the form of Asahi Zero, and th

My favourite way to drink it.
Actually I have no idea if real beer is fizzy? I had fake beer at the Tokyo motor show in the form of Asahi Zero, and that was really fizzy, and tasted like my socks smell after a 40km hike.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Kyoto is very popular with cyclists. This is a supermarket, everyone comes by bike. Then they all aim at me. Also bicycle lights are way too bright, m

Kyoto is very popular with cyclists. This is a supermarket, everyone comes by bike. Then they all aim at me.
Also bicycle lights are way too bright, my retinas are damaged.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - These cats are now my only friends in Japan. They live here, the white one is a lot friendlier, and as a result, a lot fatter. He doesnt seem interest

These cats are now my only friends in Japan. They live here, the white one is a lot friendlier, and as a result, a lot fatter. He doesnt seem interested in moving at all.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - My mother asked if there were any fabric shops in Shizuoka. No idea. Heres one in Kyoto. I am very helpful.

My mother asked if there were any fabric shops in Shizuoka. No idea. Heres one in Kyoto. I am very helpful.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And finally, my dinner, a long time coming. This may be close to the greatest pasta I ever ate! It took ages to prepare, I watched as it was prepared

And finally, my dinner, a long time coming.
This may be close to the greatest pasta I ever ate! It took ages to prepare, I watched as it was prepared fresh.
It is beef and mushrooms and the last stage of preparation involved a blow torch.
I dont eat pasta often, but on this occasion I was very glad that I did.


Day 11 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Thwarted

The Kurama to Kibune hike was blocked by typhoon damage

Thwarted is one of my favourite words. Normally because I use it to describe how I prevented someone else from achieving their nefarious goals.
Today I was thwarted by fallen trees and landslides. I suspect this wouldnt actually have been an issue for me, but the path I had selected over a mountain was a very popular route between two shrines, and therefore popular with old folks, who might struggle to climb over a fallen log.
Japan took this closing of the path seriously, with guards, and fences erected with barbed wire. So I had to back track down from the first shrine and find out where to go to next.

This was an issue for all of ten seconds. ALL OF KYOTO is hiking trails over mountains. Really, I just walked up the steet and there was soon a sign showing me another path in the other direction.

After a small mountain, I now found myself in a valley far from public transport. No problem, I will just go for an extended walk back to the nearest train.
There actually was a bus option, but just like Taiwan, buses do not operate at lunch time, at all. They come twice an hour beween 7am and 11am and 2pm and 6pm, but between 12 noon and 2pm, there are no buses.
I dont really get this, I have noticed it all over Asia. It would seem the greater Asian Oriental bus driver union has a hemisphere wide agreement to not operate buses between 12 and 2.

The train line I was on today is primarily constructed for Autumn leaf viewing. In all the tiny stations they had signs explaining the increased schedule during leaf season. They also run trains with window facing seats! Something I had never seen before, see photo below.

And now, I am confident today is Halloween, the BBC just told me so, they said 'Today is the day where the rest of the world celebrates Halloween whilst here in the UK we go to work and talk about the miserable weather'.

Oh and one more thing, on any other day I would have been raving about how great the scenery was today and that the photos are awesome etc. They are, its just that I am still overwhelmed by yesterday.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Another great day of weather here in Kyoto. The BBC should take note.

Another great day of weather here in Kyoto. The BBC should take note.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The first train was a double decker train, just like in Sydney. Except here in Japan they are fully carpeted! Imagine having a fully carpeted train on

The first train was a double decker train, just like in Sydney. Except here in Japan they are fully carpeted!
Imagine having a fully carpeted train on the run from Sydney Town Hall out to Blacktown.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - My second train making the run up the valley of hysterical leaf experience is tiny. I like it. At each stop the driver opens a window to take your pay

My second train making the run up the valley of hysterical leaf experience is tiny. I like it. At each stop the driver opens a window to take your payment.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I caught it all the way to the end of the line, Kurama. Where the famous shrine is.

I caught it all the way to the end of the line, Kurama. Where the famous shrine is.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - These pinocchio demons are very popular here.

These pinocchio demons are very popular here.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The streets of Kurama are quite traditional. The light today was absolutely blinding.

The streets of Kurama are quite traditional. The light today was absolutely blinding.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Now we start to ascend the steps to the shrine in brilliant color. There are bear warning signs, an elementary school and a kindergarten on the ground

Now we start to ascend the steps to the shrine in brilliant color.
There are bear warning signs, an elementary school and a kindergarten on the grounds. A tasty combination.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - THWARTED! At first I thought I would just ignore this sign and take the path to Kibune anyway. But that proved to be impossible.

THWARTED! At first I thought I would just ignore this sign and take the path to Kibune anyway. But that proved to be impossible.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Yes, quite colorful.

Yes, quite colorful.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Here is an enormous tree. Lots of people were looking up at this tree, so I looked up at this tree. A Japanese man standing nearby had his hands on hi

Here is an enormous tree. Lots of people were looking up at this tree, so I looked up at this tree.
A Japanese man standing nearby had his hands on his hips looking extremely satisfied with the tree. He then decided to excitedly tell me about it in Japanese whilst pointing at its features.
No amount of telling him I dont speak Japanese could stop him, so I just let him run his course.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Todays view, nice clouds. Hard work in such bright sunlight.

Todays view, nice clouds. Hard work in such bright sunlight.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Pretty close to peak color here! The sky was also extremely blue depending on the direction I was looking. I had to stop and marvel at various points.

Pretty close to peak color here! The sky was also extremely blue depending on the direction I was looking. I had to stop and marvel at various points.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - A bit more marvelling from here.

A bit more marvelling from here.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - They caught a baby dragon and bronzed it.

They caught a baby dragon and bronzed it.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - There are a lot of steps to the top if you are a pathetic weakling. If you are even weaker than that, theres a cable car. That will save you a good 5

There are a lot of steps to the top if you are a pathetic weakling. If you are even weaker than that, theres a cable car. That will save you a good 5 minutes of walking and ensure you get no view.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The Temrine (temple/shrine) at the top is underwhelming compared to the view.

The Temrine (temple/shrine) at the top is underwhelming compared to the view.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - View from top. Too much sun.

View from top. Too much sun.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - More Shremple (shrine/temple). Still no way to get over the top.

More Shremple (shrine/temple). Still no way to get over the top.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I climbed to the top and was standing in front of this bell when a small Japanese grandma used her ninja skills to sneak up behind me and dong the bel

I climbed to the top and was standing in front of this bell when a small Japanese grandma used her ninja skills to sneak up behind me and dong the bell with full force. I nearly plummeted.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - After climbing back down to the bottom and finding an alternative path, I briefly followed a lesser quality path which I thought was heading more towa

After climbing back down to the bottom and finding an alternative path, I briefly followed a lesser quality path which I thought was heading more towards where I wanted to be.
Unfortunately it disappeared and became a sea of fallen trees so I had to double back.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - However, here is a random spot deep in the woods, where my poorly formed path meets 3 others, with a plethora of signs and maps. I really do think thi

However, here is a random spot deep in the woods, where my poorly formed path meets 3 others, with a plethora of signs and maps. I really do think this was quite a remote path, it really doesnt go anywhere anyone would want to go, and yet, Kyoto has provided lots of info to assist.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - After a while the path became a bit more like a real path, so I bounded along, not really knowing where it would come out.

After a while the path became a bit more like a real path, so I bounded along, not really knowing where it would come out.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Then I came across this, deep in the woods. Its not a toilet. I think someone lives here! There are curtains and signs of life. No electricity. I didn

Then I came across this, deep in the woods. Its not a toilet. I think someone lives here! There are curtains and signs of life. No electricity. I didnt hang around to find out what goes on in the mysterious rape cabin in the woods on Halloween.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And then this is where my path came out. There were signs further up the valley to various shrines, but I needed to head back to a station.

And then this is where my path came out. There were signs further up the valley to various shrines, but I needed to head back to a station.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - My path took me past a huge quarry. I enquired if they needed me to run the rock crusher for a few hours, they didnt speak English.

My path took me past a huge quarry. I enquired if they needed me to run the rock crusher for a few hours, they didnt speak English.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Whilst I was mainly walking down a road, there was plenty to see. And unusually for Japan, most of the way had a footpath, so I would not get run over

Whilst I was mainly walking down a road, there was plenty to see. And unusually for Japan, most of the way had a footpath, so I would not get run over by quarry trucks.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - After about an hour I arrived at Ichihara station. A tiny station.

After about an hour I arrived at Ichihara station. A tiny station.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And here is the previously mentioned leaf spotting train, with window facing seats. In certain areas with high levels of colored leaf density, the tra

And here is the previously mentioned leaf spotting train, with window facing seats. In certain areas with high levels of colored leaf density, the train slows down to walking pace, and the carriage echoes with gasps of astonishment.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - After such a nice day I stopped off for a natural dandy perm. Everyone in Japan is a dandy.

After such a nice day I stopped off for a natural dandy perm. Everyone in Japan is a dandy.


Halloween was Saturday

The abandoned streets of Higashiyama

Apparently Halloween was Saturday, not yesterday, and not today as it should have been, but Saturday. Japan will move any event so it doesnt clash with school homework.
So that ends the great Halloween saga of 2017, basically I missed it. On Saturday in Shizuoka in the morning there were kids wandering about. On Saturday evening in Kyoto it was pouring with rain. That was it. It was a much bigger thing in Sapporo last year.
It is hard for me to understand why every single shop in Japan has spent money to completely Halloween theme their stores for no reason.
Thats ok, theres a real life Halloween south of Tokyo, where police have found parts from 9 different bodies in a guys apartment. Everyone living nearby said it smelt strange.

Anyway, this evening whilst out looking for trick or treaters to yell at I found myself at the top of the hill in Higashiyama, famous tourist trap street selling chopsticks and fans.
I was safe, it was shut, but I decided to hang about and take photos in the dark and hunt for a public toilet. Two of my more regular activities.
There were a surprisingly high number of people doing the same, and by that I mean people with huge cameras and tripods, and people charging around looking for the toilet. Once I had the toilets in site a woman charged past me yelling something and ran straight into the toilet half removing her pants without breaking stride! Impressive.

After all that excitement, it was time to locate dinner, and it was great, I cried from its greatness. I mentioned the other night I hadnt been to to the food hall at the top of what I call the binary store, since it appears to be called 0101, now I have been there, lots of choices, good prices, can recommend.

Tomrrow I go to Osaka, I havent been there for a few years, its a huge place and I am staying right in the busiest part. Okonomiyaki is in my future.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - On my way up the hill I passed a huge number of bowl shops. I also learnt from posters affixed everywhere that from tomrrow, it is officially Kyoto bo

On my way up the hill I passed a huge number of bowl shops. I also learnt from posters affixed everywhere that from tomrrow, it is officially Kyoto bowl week. It goes from the first to the eleventh of November.
This means Japanese weeks last 11 days.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The view from the top of the street. The actual temple area is closed and guarded, from 6pm. Security guards were convinced I was going to leap over t

The view from the top of the street. The actual temple area is closed and guarded, from 6pm. Security guards were convinced I was going to leap over the chain and ignore the signs and flashing lights and go in.
I get approached by an angry little man with an LED lit baton a lot in Japan.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - All these shots are handheld, some are 1/20. Quite sharp, low noise, camera nerd.

All these shots are handheld, some are 1/20. Quite sharp, low noise, camera nerd.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Dark.

Dark.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Still dark.

Still dark.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This is the main photo spot. Millions of photos have been taken from here. Even now I jostled past 5 guys with huge tripods.

This is the main photo spot. Millions of photos have been taken from here. Even now I jostled past 5 guys with huge tripods.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Last one, lower down a few shops were still open selling I heart Kyoto t-shirts and sashimi flavoured toothpaste etc.

Last one, lower down a few shops were still open selling I heart Kyoto t-shirts and sashimi flavoured toothpaste etc.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - JAPAN STILL SELLS IVORY! Its even banned in China now.

JAPAN STILL SELLS IVORY! Its even banned in China now.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - My dinner was great. Yes its a ramen shop, but they are advertising an unedible style of Ramen from Chongqing containing Sichuan death peppers. Challe

My dinner was great. Yes its a ramen shop, but they are advertising an unedible style of Ramen from Chongqing containing Sichuan death peppers. Challenge accepted.
If you look closely at the photo, there are two spoons, the white normal one and a metal one that had lots of holes in it like a teabag strainer, for those too weak to eat the soup.
The waitress gave me all kinds of warnings when I ordered, but I really enjoyed it. It was actually numbing and spicy, I cried a little and couldnt feel my lips. Good times.


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

jenny on 2017-10-31 said:

Never been to Kiyomizu Dera at night, only in the day time when all the shops are open, but it does lend itself to good photo ops in the dark. I'll give the ramen a miss though.


David on 2017-10-31 said:

I read nothing and carry nothing.
My thoughts are 100% distilled purity of my own mind. No exceptions.
We covered this on page one.
If I quote or borrow, I put it in quotes.

Doubters will not be tolerated.


Mother on 2017-10-31 said:

My favourite sentence of the day - 'It would seem the greater Asian Oriental bus driver union has a hemisphere wide agreement to not operate buses between 12 and 2.' It's almost poetic. Also like the plethora of 1930's style verbs and adjectives - leads me to wonder what type of reading material you regularly peruse or are you carrying round a thesaurus of synonyms for creative writing.



Day 12 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The temple run

Exploring every Kyoto temple and shrine on foot

Now I am in Osaka, its only 30 minutes from Kyoto on the cheap $5 train.
Therefore, I had time to visit all the temples in Kyoto this morning before grabbing my bags and heading to the station. I have seen every temple anyone could ever want to see, after a while they are all the same.
Apparently they are for different religions and purposes, but I dont believe the average Japanese person even knows or cares, they just have all these cool buildings to look at, get their model toys blessed at, show their flowers at, and store the spirits of immortal beings at.

Most of the temples near the main station of Kyoto are the brown variety, not the red variety, and certainly not the white castle variety of small hamburger.
They all claim to have something special inside you are not allowed to see. Really, thats the thing, theres always an ancient treasure within (allegedly) but its locked up inside a wooden fire hazard tomb to be shown once every 500 years.
My theory is whatever it is, is actually at some guys house, and once every 500 years he drives it back to the temple the night before.

Anyway, since the weather was splendid and the leaves are changing colors, me and everyone else was on the temple run, some people are collecting stamps, even the shut temples have a temporary stamp collection point so you can say you stood at the gate and imagined what was behind the blue plastic sheeting.

Once I arrived in Osaka, I had to change from the train line to the subway line, no issue, I am a seasoned rider of Asian transport systems, so under the city I go stand on the platform and wait. Trains keep coming to the other platform but none to mine.
Eventually I noticed this was the terminal platform and they were all arriving behind me and then reversing direction. Only took me 4 trains coming and going to realise.

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Another clear blue day! Tomorrow is cloudy I think, but theres no rain on the forecast at all. Enough weather talk, onto the temples.

Another clear blue day! Tomorrow is cloudy I think, but theres no rain on the forecast at all. Enough weather talk, onto the temples.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Higashi-Hongan-Ji. This is the main one everyone sees walking from the station to Gion.

Higashi-Hongan-Ji. This is the main one everyone sees walking from the station to Gion.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Made from real gold.

Made from real gold.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The grounds of temple number 2 have the flowers on show. The emperor sits on a throne made out of these and hurls insults at his daughter.

The grounds of temple number 2 have the flowers on show. The emperor sits on a throne made out of these and hurls insults at his daughter.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - NishihonganJisensodoriyamaguchibashi. 'Possibly the largest wooden structure in the world'.

NishihonganJisensodoriyamaguchibashi. 'Possibly the largest wooden structure in the world'.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Still quiet here this early.

Still quiet here this early.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - 5 storey pagoda lurking in the distance, this sect of buddhists collect money for everything, get ready to run when you visit, they chase you.

5 storey pagoda lurking in the distance, this sect of buddhists collect money for everything, get ready to run when you visit, they chase you.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Toe-G

Toe-G


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - A bit more of the Toji pagoda, I snuck around the back but the militant orange/brown robe army was in pursuit.

A bit more of the Toji pagoda, I snuck around the back but the militant orange/brown robe army was in pursuit.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - These are normal residential houses, between 2 train lines. The ultimate trainspotters paradise! I noticed the streets around here were littered with

These are normal residential houses, between 2 train lines. The ultimate trainspotters paradise! I noticed the streets around here were littered with garbage, rent is probably cheap here.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Tofuku-ji. Everything here costs a huge amount of money! To climb up the gate, $10, go inside $10, go in the garden $10, use the bathroom, $5, get you

Tofuku-ji. Everything here costs a huge amount of money! To climb up the gate, $10, go inside $10, go in the garden $10, use the bathroom, $5, get your shoes back when you exit $5.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - They are also running a market on the grounds selling I heart Kyoto and 'KEEP CALM I'M A BUDDHIST' t-shirts.

They are also running a market on the grounds selling I heart Kyoto and 'KEEP CALM I'M A BUDDHIST' t-shirts.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I managed to get a view of the $10 garden without paying. A huge number of Japanese grandmas also were not paying, and standing here and making noises

I managed to get a view of the $10 garden without paying. A huge number of Japanese grandmas also were not paying, and standing here and making noises interspersed with coughing fits and uttering the word MOMIJI over and over again - clearly suffering from early onset leaf dementia.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Heres some more leaf view, I started to feel a bit dizzy.

Heres some more leaf view, I started to feel a bit dizzy.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And now heres my hotel room in Osaka, its marginally bigger than the one in Kyoto. Fantastic location about 100 metres to Dotonbori. It is a dormy inn

And now heres my hotel room in Osaka, its marginally bigger than the one in Kyoto. Fantastic location about 100 metres to Dotonbori.
It is a dormy inn.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - The bathroom has some alarming features. I cant work out how to correctly position this lever or why I would even need a lever at all.

The bathroom has some alarming features. I cant work out how to correctly position this lever or why I would even need a lever at all.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Then there is this mystery tank of petrol below the sink. The text at the bottom says FEI CHANG YONG, which is important use, or perhaps, very useful!

Then there is this mystery tank of petrol below the sink. The text at the bottom says FEI CHANG YONG, which is important use, or perhaps, very useful! For what?


Lost in expansion

The Glico man and surrounding neon of Osaka

Let me translate that for you, I managed to get lost twice in central Osaka. I have been here twice before and generally know where stuff is, but it is massive, and on two occasions I was walking in the opposite direction to what I thought and had to check GPS to find my way.
I then needed to use the GPS to find my way back to my hotel again.
Somehow, I think Osaka has expanded since I was last here, including the main Dotonbori street with all the restaurants which seems to go further, have brighter lights and have more people.

Around the Namba area there seems to be a lot more bigger stores, but also a more extensive underground network, and I accidentally stumbled upon the awesome Admski nerd products store near where I found dinner.
It was full of vintage toys, instruments, audio gear, toy cars, I spent an hour looking at stuff in here. They even have fan drawn signed artwork of Japanese bands, some of which were terrible.

There are a huge number of tourists around too, I think lots of them are from South America, apparently when you travel from those countries its important you wear the Brazilian, Argentinian or Chilean flag as a shirt at all times.

Unfortunately, the Dormy Inn hotel I am staying at has old fashioned keys on a giant keyring, and they insist you return it to them every time you leave.
So when I came back this evening, I had to line up for the key to my room, which is pointless and stupid. Of course she says, passport please, which is in my room. So now I am getting a lecture for not carrying my passport.
I showed her photos of my passport on my phone and she handed over the key, but then she spoke to me in Japanese about the police. Cool. I have read a few stories of foreigners being jailed for a week for not carrying their passport, I can ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE YOU that if I had of been carrying my passport on the day I got saturated that it would have been ruined beyond repair.
Theres a possibility I might get saturated, covered in mud, set on fire or have my passport chewed on by a bear any day of the week!
What then Japan, WHAT THEN?

I dont think tonights photos are great, they are only the standard set of Osaka photos, I must do better!

Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Glico man. And what is Glico? Nobody knows. When you type it into google, all the hits are for the neon sign in this photo, however they make Pocky! I

Glico man. And what is Glico? Nobody knows. When you type it into google, all the hits are for the neon sign in this photo, however they make Pocky! I should have known that.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - People on a boat enjoying the view.

People on a boat enjoying the view.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Shinsai Bashi, and lots of people.

Shinsai Bashi, and lots of people.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Some more Glico man from the rivers edge.

Some more Glico man from the rivers edge.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - Dotonbori, with added lighting. Those are bags of shopping rather then bags of rubbish. Future rubbish. Most things people buy are useless rubbish.

Dotonbori, with added lighting. Those are bags of shopping rather then bags of rubbish. Future rubbish. Most things people buy are useless rubbish.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I was starving so I stopped off for some Fugu, fresh from Shimonoseki. Deadly poison, deadly poison, deadly poison... tasty fish.

I was starving so I stopped off for some Fugu, fresh from Shimonoseki. Deadly poison, deadly poison, deadly poison... tasty fish.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I thought if I was going to die of fugu poisoning then I had better see the 6 boobed woman before I die. I waited in line but they never opened.

I thought if I was going to die of fugu poisoning then I had better see the 6 boobed woman before I die. I waited in line but they never opened.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - VEGETARIAN curry. And its lots and lots of colorful delicious vegetables. Why dont we get more Okra in Australia?

VEGETARIAN curry. And its lots and lots of colorful delicious vegetables. Why dont we get more Okra in Australia?


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - This is the window display cabinet of the Admski nerd goods store. Plain blank cassette tapes. Some of them are $70 AUD each! Glorious analog wow and

This is the window display cabinet of the Admski nerd goods store. Plain blank cassette tapes. Some of them are $70 AUD each! Glorious analog wow and flutter.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - I forgot that running perpendicular to the above ground Shinsai Bashi covered streets that there are mile long underground malls either end. I dont un

I forgot that running perpendicular to the above ground Shinsai Bashi covered streets that there are mile long underground malls either end. I dont understand how they need so many shops and restaurants, but they are all full, on a Wednesday.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - We had the cock lever early, so why not Cyunt 2 by Katy 3? Katy 1 and 2 died testing Cyunt 1, an earlier version before they perfected the formula.

We had the cock lever early, so why not Cyunt 2 by Katy 3? Katy 1 and 2 died testing Cyunt 1, an earlier version before they perfected the formula.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - One of the quieter streets running off the busy streets.

One of the quieter streets running off the busy streets.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - It is actually the 300th anniversary of Shinsai Bashi shopping street. Here it is in 1909, quite busy back then too.

It is actually the 300th anniversary of Shinsai Bashi shopping street. Here it is in 1909, quite busy back then too.


Back to Japan for even more - Oct and Nov 2017 - And this is the very colorful corner my hotel is on. There are disaffected youths hanging about. I joined them and they all left because they knew I w

And this is the very colorful corner my hotel is on. There are disaffected youths hanging about. I joined them and they all left because they knew I was way tougher than any of them.
Or maybe because a nerdy white grandpa had turned up and dorked out their hangout spot? I am fine with either version, cause I am the winner.
Pleased with my achievements I headed to the family mart and bought a warm cocoa to enjoy on the steps.


There are currently 4 comments - click to add

David on 2017-11-02 said:

refresh, page 5 just got added from today, you were seconds too early!
Normally you read it seconds after I upload


Mother on 2017-11-02 said:

I didn't get lost in translation


mother on 2017-11-01 said:

yes you did. I've been waiting to tell you that the water is not suitable for drinking and is for emergency purposes. Your Chinese reading was pretty close. Not sure what sort of emergency purposes though. maybe the hotel turns the water off and you need it to flush the toilet.


David on 2017-11-01 said:

and now I realise I forgot the comments link again



Go to page 5 now for more photos of mildly amusing signage.

Contents

Day 0 - Saturday, 23 March 2019
  Retrospective
Day 1 - Saturday, 21 October 2017
  26 hours door to door then more
  I want to murder your children
Day 2 - Sunday, 22 October 2017
  The journey is still not quite over
  Typhoon Lan
  Saturation point
Day 3 - Monday, 23 October 2017
  Fortunate train cancellation
  Wasted ramen opportunity
Day 4 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017
  Lost on twin peaks
  The new shiny Tokyo
Day 5 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017
  Snot pump
  Bus confusion
Day 6 - Thursday, 26 October 2017
  Mountain goat
  Shimizu ghost town
Day 7 - Friday, 27 October 2017
  Train to mountain stroll ropeway beach bus
  Second opinion
Day 8 - Saturday, 28 October 2017
  Drowning in a sea of tissues
  Artful rain dodger
Day 9 - Sunday, 29 October 2017
  Rain concentrator
  Better than forecast
Day 10 - Monday, 30 October 2017
  Equal best ever scenery
  Its not Halloween
Day 11 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017
  Thwarted
  Halloween was Saturday
Day 12 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017
  The temple run
  Lost in expansion
Day 13 - Thursday, 2 November 2017
  My trusty old friend is a shining light
  Umeda me a hamburg steak
Day 14 - Friday, 3 November 2017
  Primordial typhoon deer attack
  Resurrection
Day 15 - Saturday, 4 November 2017
  The wind arrived
  Surprisingly great
Day 16 - Sunday, 5 November 2017
  First everybody then nobody
  Pyramids of Sannomiya
Day 17 - Monday, 6 November 2017
  The turn for home
  You would never ever get wet
Day 18 - Tuesday, 7 November 2017
  Exposed
  Short visit to big city
Day 19 - Wednesday, 8 November 2017
  Castle in the fog
  I have seen all of it
Day 20 - Thursday, 9 November 2017
  Decline
  Resurgence
Day 21 - Friday, 10 November 2017
  Clinically clean
  Ready for action
Day 22 - Saturday, 11 November 2017
  All the views
  Here are your shops
Day 23 - Sunday, 12 November 2017
  I have returned
  Ueno to Shinjuku is not far
Day 24 - Monday, 13 November 2017
  Central mountain route
  Surprise downpour whilst tired
Day 25 - Tuesday, 14 November 2017
  Value extraction
  Night of the long exposures
Day 26 - Wednesday, 15 November 2017
  Between the tracks
  The last supper
Day 27 - Thursday, 16 November 2017
  Narita procedural update
  The end