2010 04 01 - Kyoto day 3

Kyoto Travel Blog

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Temple, in the rain. One of many I visited while walking through West Osaka on my first REAL vacationday
I wake up really late so I miss breakfast. But I don't really care. I feel so much better after finishing all the paperwork and restructuring the travelplan. I make sure I can stay in the hostel for another 2 nights, I buy some food (at a market, not a store. Markets are almost half price) and I pack my small bag for a good hike westwards.

The weather started out decent, but quickly becomes rainy and a lot colder. But I don't really care and enjoy the Japenese customs that I have hardly noticed before. I already mentioned the word 'effective', but I didn't mention 'virtually crime free' yet. I am a very trusty person, but the Japanese would actually stop what they are doing (a touchscreen presentation), help you find the right department on the other side of the mall (leaving their equipment completely unattended) and then be entirely sure the equipment would still be there when they come back (and it was indeed).
Several temples in a big complex
And all the streets are really clean. Not because there is a hefty fine if you litter (it is only 10 Euro), but because other people would point out and correct your behavior if you would mess up. There isn't even a single person (except me) that ignores a red light, even if it would be just fine to cross because the other road is entirely deserted. I noticed that after a few times I also started waiting for every red light. A typical case of 'monkey see, monkey do' where it isn't just the police enforcing the rules, it is everyone. Last example: In the train you are not allowed to talk on the phone, but when you are near 'disabled' seats you simply shouldn't use your phone, so nobody does. It sometimes becomes scary how well behaved everyone is. And when somebody doesn't conform to the rules, other people correct them and that works.
Guardians of a temple
No angry looks, curses or violence from the 'anomaly', just an apology and adoption of 'normal behavior'

Anyway, I saw some temples, statues and a big complex it got dark (around 6). But I felt like exploring and continued to go out of the city towards the westhills surrounding Kyoto. It was there that I had my first real 'Arnaud Vacation Moment'. I went to Osawa-no-ike Pond when all of a sudden I heard a noise close to me. I hadn't expected anyone to be there so I got a good scare. I turned my head towards the noise to say hi when I saw 3 big deers standing there for a moment, then they took off in the other direction. I tried following them and finding them, but it was to dark.
It looked like a conference hall, Japanese style
I never went back to see the fishes.

30 minutes later I had reached the hills and it seemed I needed to turn back. But I didn't want to see the same thing twice, so I walked around for a bit, found a road with some house up the hill and decided to go over-and-around the hills instead of back. But soon the road stopped and turned into a forest walkway that was pitchblack. I walked as careful as I could but I put buying a flashlight on my mental 'To Do' list. It took about 15 minutes to reach the top of the hills, but then I got my first overview of Kyoto and it looked great. I also had a general direction to aim for and was hoping to be back at the hostel before midnight. 10 minutes later I was down the hill when I saw a big "beware of bears" sign. I guess I got lucky again, just like when I walked back to the car in Florida and saw the "beware of alligators" sign. The walk continued without any further problems and I loved walking through the fields, across a 'dojo'-style restaurant with a beautiful lit cherry blossom and eventually back into the city along the river.

I knew my vacation had really started when I went to bed
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Temple, in the rain. One of many I…
Temple, in the rain. One of many …
Several temples in a big complex
Several temples in a big complex
Guardians of a temple
Guardians of a temple
It looked like a conference hall, …
It looked like a conference hall,…
Bear warning
Bear warning
Magical light on a cherry blossom …
Magical light on a cherry blossom…
A bridge across the road that look…
A bridge across the road that loo…
photo by: ys484