February 26, 2009: “Day #9: A Bullet Back to Tokyo”

Sanjusangen-dō, a buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan

Image via Wikipedia

We are currently on the shinkansen headed back to Tokyo to meet Lisa and Brad. The shinkansen departed Kyoto at precisely 1:56PM and will arrive in Tokyo at 4:40PM. We then have to take the Marunouchi subway line to Ginza (the 90210 district of Tokyo), switch to the Hibiya subway line, and then get off at the Hiro-o Station.

This morning we awoke, packed our luggage, managed to communicate to the front desk that we wanted them to hold our bag until noon, and then headed to the Kyoto Station. We then visited our last temple in Kyoto – the Sanjusangen-do Temple. This temple was incredible but no photos were permitted which was strictly enforced. Once again we had to remove our shoes out of respect for the temple. The Sanjusangen-do Temple contains 1001 life-size statues of the Buddhist deity. The statues were carved between the 12th and 13th centuries from Japanese cypress. The 120 meter long temple is the longest wooden structure in Japan. In the center of the temple, surrounded by the 1001 life-size statues is a giant gold Buddha. This temple really is amazing, yet it was unfortunate no photos were permitted because it was absolutely spectacular and breathtaking.

We have only purchased a few small souvenirs – three postcards, inlaid chopsticks, a couple key chains, and a few cell phone charms. We have managed to make the most of our trip by focusing on sightseeing which has afforded us experiences that will be with us for a lifetime. Never again will I lay eyes on such ancient Asian historical venues. This has truly been a once in a lifetime experience.

My hubby and I both agree that Kyoto has been quite an experience – both historically and culturally but most importantly it was a huge navigational learning experience.

Because it had been raining Tuesday and Wednesday I wore a hat on our excursions. Today the weather was overcast so I gladly packed away my hat and I noticed people starting to stare and I saw one Japanese girl take our photo. That is when I realized my blond hair stands out like a neon light in a crowd of brunettes.

We both agree that the Nijo Castle was our favorite historical site in Kyoto. I wish we had been able to visit during cherry blossom season but c’est la vie. Visiting during an off-tourist season afforded us far less crowded venues.

An interesting note is that only poor quality sake is served warm and the best quality is served cold. There is definitely great truth in this as the cold sake has a very smooth finish that the warm sake definitely lacks.

Once again we have been enjoying a mikkusu-sando-itchi (an assortment of sandwiches). This time around the varieties are egg salad and BBQ pork cutlets. We shall be arriving soon so I will sign off.  We can hardly wait to see what adventures Tokyo may hold.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bill met us at the train station and we walked to the hotel. We were able to get a suite tonight which is beautiful and exceptionally comfortable. We ate dinner tonight at a local Thai restaurant down the street. The menu consisted of Thai dishes not readily available in a typical Thai American restaurant which was a pleasant surprise and a unique experience. The food was absolutely delicious.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: