On our second (first full) day in Japan we went to quite a lot of places. We got up at around six to get ready. We called our parents and then went down to breakfast. The beakfast was a combination of Western food and Japanese table and seating. After we finished we went back to the hotel room and got ready to leave and heading back downstairs.
We got on the bus and our tour guide for the day introduced herself. She told us a bit of the history and just fun facts about the places we were going that day on our way there. The first place we would go was the Golden Pavilion.
The Golden Pavilion was originally used as a villa for the Shogun Ashikaga and was later repurposed by his son into a Zen temple. When we got there we were able to look at the beautiful nature that surrounds the area. There is also a resting place where you can use the restroom, get some refreshments (from a vending machine), and/or get some ice cream. We made our way to the actual Golden Pavilion and Mirror Pond on which the Golden Pavilion seems to be laying. There were so many people there trying to get pictures of the Golden Pavilion. I was finally able to get some that didn’t have many people in the shot.
We also saw a Bonsai tree which in designed to look like a ship. The tree is was planted in the 1300s and is one of the most famous trees in Japan.
There are a few paths that can be walked, but the main one has a small coin toss, a small waterfall, and the Fudodo Hall. There are smaller bodies of water in the area.
After getting back on the bus we made our way to a Kimono show at Nishijin Textile Center. We were let to look around for a while. The silk fabric used to make the Kimonos at the show was made at the very center. They had one of the machines that is used to make the fabric in the lobby/gift shop. We made our way to the Kimono show at around 11. It wasn’t a very long show (only about 30 minutes).
After the Kimono show, we went to the Nijo Castle. My favorite part although it may seem foolish was the floors. The floors are design in such a way that they creak when steped on. This is a way of knowing if anyone was walking in the castle. We were not allowed to take any pictures inside the castle, but I took some of the exterior.
Lunch was eaten at a mall. The mall had some different food choices. After eating some lunch we made our way to the second floor where there was an arcade and even more Gashapon machines. I got a small mug from one of the machines (it had a really cute panda on it). The arcade was in fact very noisy (in a full way) and there were so many claw machines filled with all types of stuffed animals and prizes. We didn’t go too into the arcasde, because it was almost time to go, but it was very fun.
We went to a bamboo forrest after eating and it was a very peaceful despite the amount of people there. The bamboo did block the sun so it made the walk even nicer and cool. Once we were out of the bamboo forrest there was some water and there where small boats with people in them. The view was very pretty. The tour guide let us walk around with our groups so we did that and got some ice cream to eat while walking.
When we were finished we drove to dinner. Dinner was in an underground resturant an the place was really different that anywhere I had ever gone. It was very Japanese styled so the table was almost at ground level. We took off our shoes and put them in little cubbies. If I am completly honest, I didn’t really like the food that day. The rice had a fishy taste. Many people got sushimi (really raw fish). The noodles in our soup were quite good. Once we had finished we made our way to the street and walked to our next location, which was slightly outdoor mall. There were many different shops in this road. There was a Daiso (the Japanese version of a dollar store), Spins (a sort of Japanese mixture of Hot Topic and Spencers), a store that sold just umbrellas, a phone store, some food places, and other shops.
We walked to the subway station and got on a train followed by a bus that would take us to the hotel. The people in the subway were very organized when getting into the cars. Which as quite surprising. It was kind of late by the time we got back to the hotel.
Once we got back to the hotel we were super tired so we kind of just went to sleep immedietly.
* Ariel smiling despite being stuck. Just a lesson from a Disney princess: Smile, even in the most stressful situations.