28.03.2008 - 28.03.2008
My final day in Kyoto, and there wasnt much left that I hadnt done!
I got the bus ticket again and headed with Brad to the Golden Pavilion (well i had done the silver one, so I had high expectations for the Golden one!) and i was not disappointed! This pavillion wasnt under restoration for a starters! And it was gold... very gold!!! Gold leafing has been applied to the outside and in the early morning sun it looked quite spectacular. Unfortunately it was not possible to go inside, or even very close to it, but from a distance it looked good.
Then there was a short walk around the gardens which was quite nice. There were a couple of places where you could throw coins into a bowl by a statue. I tried first with a 1 yen piece, but since they weigh absolutely nothing the wind just took it away. SO then i gave it a go with a 5yen piece and got it in straight away. Now there was no sign telling me why i was doing this, but i took it to mean that I could make a wish. Though it could just have been that one person started it and it jsut kinda stuck! I then bought a candle for the first time at a shrine, i chose the candle that was for "a family in safety" which I thought was a nice message. I then lit it and placed it with the others at the shrine.
After this Brad and I went our seperate ways, but only after he had told me a very typical Roppongi story. He had been in Tokyo for a couple of nights and had decided to check out Roppongi. After a couple of drinks he took up the offer from one of the street hustlers to go into a strip club. After a few more drinks he decided to get a lap dance, by this stage he probably would have spent about 50quid at least. When he came out of the strip club he headed to Shinjuku and decided to take up the offer of a "massage", paying 15000 yen (about 65quid) he went up to a hotel room, which charges by the hour, and waited for his massager. SHe arrived and instructed him to shower, after this he lay there as she quickly massaged his back and then instructed him to turn oer. He did this and she quickly massaged his front. And then declared herself finished. Through the language barrier Brad protested that he thought he had paid for a little bit extra. She told him that mouth was another 15000yen. After a brief discussion and some more money parting hands he got what he paid for, well he said it wasnt great but... ANyway, once he was all finished he decided that he had parted with enough money and decided to walk from Shinjuku to Asakusa... which are at opposite sides of Tokyo! He then told his girlfriend about all this and no suprises she wasnt impressed!
SO back to my adventures, which im afraid arent as exciting. I went to Ryoanji temple, which has one of the most famous rock gardens. Which has 15 large rocks but only 14 can ever be seen. And thats true! I wandered around the rest of the gardens, saw plenty more cherry blossoms. It was just a shame that the lake was having work done on it, so that didnt look so attractive.
After this i went to Nijo Castle, which was the first castle that I have visited in Japan so i was interested to see how different it would be to European castles. It was much smaller in scale and seemingly a lot more decorativly finished. Other than that, there wasnt much on display inside, and it wasnt furnished or looked like it had been lived in for many years.
From here I walked to the Imperial Palace gardens. Having seen the gardens in Tokyo, I was quite disappointed by these gardens. Just a load of trees really and a wide gravel path. The best thing i saw were some turtles in the lake, which i wasnt expecting. And of course the usual carp! There were also some very nice blossoms in full bloom. I wanted to take a photo of myself on a bench in front of them, so i set up the camera, and went to walk over in the 10seconds before the picture was taken and just then a Japanese Mr Bean type character came and sat on the bench with no real purpose except to ruin my photo unintentionally. Luckily it wasnt long before he left and i was able to take another photo. ALready i noticed that some of the flowers are starting to fall from the trees.
Last stop of the day, and in fact for Kyoto was the Nanzenji temple, which I had missed the previous day when i had walked the path of philosphy, but with some time to kill i thought i would check it out. I mostly wanted to see the SAnnon and the view from it as i had not yet been up one, and the view was supposedly quite good from the top. And it was a very nice view of Kyoto.
After this i went back to the hostel and was told that they were having a bit of a party tongiht because one of their staff ws leaving. So the manager prepared for us some homemade sushi which we could roll ourselves. All of the usual ingredients were there, rice, eel, salmon, prawns, octopus, wasabi, tuna, crab. I just opted for the safer options of tuna, salmon and crab. I wasnt in the mood for being adventurous.
And so was my last night in Kyoto.