Saturday, December 22, 2007
Kyoto Vacation: Day 3
We stated off day 3 much early. First stop: Himeji Castle. It's actually about an hour away from Kyoto, but it's one of the four World Heritage castles in Japan and Janet had been before and really recommended that we go, so we went. And I'm glad we did as visiting the castle was my favorite part of the vacation. We got a free English guide to show us around and while the tour stated with just Janet and myself, by the end we had a group of 8 or so people. They obviously must have missed the giant 'please ask for an English tour' signs.
























I ran across a few interesting tidbits while touring around the castle. One, it seems they have problems with people writing on the castle as everywhere you go, there are these 'no scribbles' signs. Also, this castle is where they filled part of the Last Samurai! And, remember the film The Ring? Well, the well pictured below is part of the legendary story that the movie was based on.



One the way back to the train station, we ran across a rather interesting display of cakes. There was apparently some sort of cake competition going one, so I took a few pictures in honor of some ex roommates of mine who are addicted to the food network and I thought would appreciate the cake artistry. And that last pic is of a crazy multi colored train that went through the station. Way more exciting looking than the plain, boring looking trains, in my part of Japan! Even Tokyo doesn't have anything like it!







After Himeji, we stopped in Osaka on our way back to Kyoto and went to see Osaka castle. Didn't get to go in the castle as it was closed, but it was still quite nice and I got some really nice night pics of the castle.












When we finally made it back to Kyoto, we had enough time to stop by Second House for dinner (yes, we went twice, it was really that good!), pick up some omiyage (basically, vacation gifs) at this huge omiyage store, and then met up with my JTE Ryoko, who was also visiting Kyoto, to catch the bus back to Kofu. I'm really glad we had Ryoko with us too, as the bus ended up being about 1.5 hours late due to a bad traffic accident. I doubt without here me and Janet would have been able to figure that out! Bus back home was about the same as before. Slightly uncomfortable, but not bad for being a bus. Got back into Kofu at about 8ish and then went back to home sweet home for a nap. And thus ends my Kyoto vacation.

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