Welcome to Day 9 of Janet, Randy and Family Japan Adventure 2016
Friday, April 15th, 2016
As it had been a long day in Hiroshima for Harold, Lil and Kay, we decided to have a later start to the day and meet up at 9:00am. Today we were heading to the Nishijin Textile Center and Kinkakuji temple. Randy and I had breakfast at the Starbucks before meeting up with everyone in the lobby (there were no cute messages on our cups this morning, though - highly disappointing I know, but the warmth of the staff is far in excess of any place we would normally frequent at home).
We walked down the street to catch a bus to the Nishijin Textile Center - arriving at 9:30am. We had time to wander around the shop before the kimono show started at 10:00am (and before the bus loads of people arrive). They put on a show 7 times a day - showing off some gorgeous kimonos that they make at the center. After the show was over, we continued on to Kinkakuji (again by bus). The bus we got on was already very full (standing room only), and just got more and more packed as the bus got closer to the temple (probably doesn't help that a number of school kids piled onto the bus too). From the bus stop, it was as short walk to Kinkakuji.
On a normal day, Kinkakuji is a very popular destination for tourists. With the extra school groups, it was that much busier. We bought our tickets and entered the temple grounds. When you first enter, there is a little area to the left that has the best view of Kinkakuji (or the Golden Temple). Of course, this area was totally packed. We managed to find room at the railing to take a few pictures, then we continued on through the grounds.
The grounds at Kinkakuji are nice, but not nearly as nice (or as peaceful) as the Heian Shrine. We wandered around, taking some pictures, and then stopped for tea and a small cake at the tea house there. With nothing more to see, we went to catch a bus to the Kyoto train station.
We decided to take a longer, but less packed route to the train station. We took one bus that was heading away from the station, but to a large transfer station. On this bus we were able to get seats for 4 of us (Randy and I stood), but it was a fairly short trip. Then once at the transfer station, we got on another bus that was heading to the train station. This bus was quite empty when we got on, and so all of us were able to get seats for the entire journey to the station.
Once at the station, we went to the Tourist bureau to get some more information for the trip that Randy's mom and aunts were going to take on Sunday. Then we decided to try to find a noodle shop that Randy and I had eaten at on our last trip. I don't think the place we found was the one we ate at before, but the one we ended up had excellent food anyway (finding good food at the train station in Japan is usually a sure thing). Randy and I got a set lunch - which had ramen soup, fried rice and gyoza for me and fried chicken for Randy.
After lunch, Randy's aunts decided to stay at the station to do some shopping, while the rest of us headed back to the hotel. As we already had our bus pass for the day, we decided to take a bus back instead of the usual subway.
After being on our feet all morning, we relaxed in the room for a bit before heading out to the Nishiki Market. Again, since we had a daily bus pass, we caught a bus to take us most of the way to the market ( I would go with only part of the way since we had to walk 3 blocks to the nearest bus stop - out a journey of maybe 10-12 blocks, ok then most of the way). We went back to see if that knife place was open (that sold the nail clippers we wanted) - and lo and behold is was open - Hurray !. So, apparently they are just closed on Thursdays for some reason. We picked up some nail clippers and then wandered around the market some more. Oddly enough we walked past another store in the market that was a knife store and it was not open on Thursday either. What is the likelihood that both knife stores are closed on a Thursday. During our wanderings, we came across a game arcade and saw a person playing a video game that involved Taiko drums. The kid playing it seemed to be really good (although we couldn't really tell if he was winning or losing the game - but it was fun to watch him play). Around 5:00pm we caught a bus back to the hotel and shortly thereafter we met up with everyone to go for supper.
As we had been having mostly Japanese food since we got to Japan, we thought we would take a break and just grab a burger. Rather than go to McDonald's, we found a Japanese fast food restaurant called Lotteria. There was one only a few blocks away, so we headed over there.
They did have an English menu that they brought out for us, so that helped in the ordering process. However, when Randy and I ordered and paid for our meals, we saw on the receipt that she seemed to have rung in an extra item. We weren't totally sure, so we didn't bother trying to rectify the situation. I had ordered a teriyaki burger with a friend egg on it, and Randy had ordered a special Kobe burger (both with fries and a drink). When she gave us our tray of food, it had my teriyaki burger with egg, and another plain teriyaki burger. They also had given us a plastic number - which indicated that they would be bringing out something else when it was ready.
We were pretty sure that we had just ordered 3 burgers, and a few minutes later it was confirmed when they brought Randy his Kobe beef burger (the picture to the left is before the 3rd burger arrived - a bit of lost in translation going on here, but it is not the end of the world). Well, at least we didn't end up with an extra fries and drink to go along with that third burger! The burgers were your typical fast food burgers - although, it was the first time I had a burger with a friend egg on it - which I didn't mind. We ended up sharing the third (plain teriyaki) burger and went back to our room feeling quite full. The burger wasn't overly large, in fact one could say it was wafer thin, because it really was wafer thin. Just out of frame of the photo to the left is small container of ketchup. One does not automatically get ketchup with their fries, and you have to ask for it. I got this coffee creamer sized thing of ketchup. Yes, this is all you get and it has to come out of the kitchen, as it's nowhere close to the napkins or any of that type of stuff. It was a fun experience and it doesn't really matter as it is a good story.
I spent time catching up on my journal and uploading pictures, and continued for a while after Randy went to sleep.
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