Morning in Kyoto
Kyoto Travel Blog› entry 12 of 15 › view all entries
It was my last day in Kyoto and the very last day in Japan as well.
I had to return back to Tokyo first because I had a plane departing from Narita to Gold Coast at 8.30pm. I already booked a bullet train ride from Kyoto to Tokyo for 2.30pm. I still had time to explore Kyoto and I already had a plan to go to near-by Toji Temple Complex.
When I planned my vacation I made a mistake - I marked my return as 14th of April forgetting the fact that I'm leaving Japan on 14th at 8.30pm and the flight takes 10 hours. After that I had to wait for a plane to Sydney and so on... Yep, I only discovered it a couple days prior my departure and had to re-arrange a lot of stuff.
At 9am I was already almost packed, for the last time I played with yukata's belt and had some fun making flowers out of it. I took the last pictures from my room's window and floor's balcony and went down to finalize my hotel stay account. After that I checked my emails for the last time and left the hotel. It was a pleasant stay and I wished I had more time really!
I walked 10 minutes from the hotel to Toji Temple Complex. The streets were almost empty and sun was shining nicely. However it was very cold, my guess is that it was about +9C.
I had a walk around Toji Complex grounds and then bought a ticket to the garden with Five-Story Pagoda. According to the powerful Internet I learned that it is the tallest pagoda in Japan. That was really surprising so I headed straight to it to check it out for myself (not with the tape measure though =))
The garden was full of blooming Cherry trees and there were plenty of fallen petals on the ground. The team of cleaning workers was picking them up but it was pretty much useless since regular wind gusts like some sneaky naughty children were ripping new petals off the trees again and again.
I felt really overwhelmed staying next to Pagoda, it was somewhat spooky feeling, it was so massive that I imagined myself being a tiny ant and that I was in the land of giants.
I went around the pond and saw some cute turtles placed on the big stones which I assumed to be sculptures. After that I went to explore other parts of the park. There were benches under Cherry trees near the pond and I decided to sit there for a bit. When I came back there I found out that turtles were actually pretty much alive moving around and swimming and even wrestling with each other for the best place under the sun! =) I was so excited and spent some time watching their games.
People started to arrive and also some school excursions so I moved from the pond to a quieter part of the park.
I decided to move on and may be go and take some pictures of Kyoto Station during daylight. I said my last good-byes to Five-Story Pagoda and slowly walked along the streets. I took some last pictures of my hotel and surroundings and found myself inside Kyoto Station.
I climbed up the second level of Kyoto Station and realized that it was too freezing to go higher. I felt really useless and suddenly I remembered that I haven't yet visited shops for more souvenirs! Instead of feeling upset I drowned myself in shopping - the best thing I could never get tired of =) I bought a lot of chocolates and cookies and some toys, even bought a tiny model of Hikari - bullet train I was traveling on a couple times =)
Then it was time to board my train.
I got a seat near the window again and next to me there was an old couple. They were in their 70s I guess, quite lively though. They were talking almost all the time... At one point grandpa grabbed my hand, shook me hard like some apple tree and started to point towards the window (I thought my heart would stop... =)) - we were passing by Fuji-san and since the weather was clear I was able to catch the magnificent view of the Great Mountain! Surely I forgave him for stunning me =) Than he grabbed me for the second time (but I was already prepared =)) and showed me the glimpse of Odawara Castle. That was a nice ride with lots of funny surprises so I enjoyed it!