Transferday from Kurashiki to Kyoto.
We started out at Himeji castle, a backdrop for many famous movies. We were in luck and got a goodwill tourguide who gave us some insight into the castle, things you would never have found in most of the travel books.
After the castle itself we went through the castle garden to a restaurant where we had the local specialty, Anago or salt water eel.
Back on the bus and on our way for a quick pitstop at the Osaka aquarium. The highlight of this aquarium is the basin containing a 3 meter whale shark. it was a calm and pleasant place to spend the afternoon but now it’s really time to go the the old capital of Japan, Kyoto.
Ve jussssst got back from a ssssssake tsating so the qualtie of this tekst might be slghity less thne bevore.
We started the day of with a quick supermarket breakfast, a few danish and melonpan (sugary bread)
Fist stop of the day was Kinkaku-ji, the weel known gold covered temple
After this tough of gold fever it’s time to come back to reality as we walked to the famous zen garden at Ryoan-ji temple. Students who want to practice their English offer volunteer guide services here, so you do not need to rely on a leaflet to visit the garden.
The special part of this garden is that the 15 stones in the sand are placed in such a way you can never see them all at the same time.
And then we were caught in a downpour of rain, glad we got that umbrella the day before.
Toji-in was next on the list, a more quite and less touristic temple but beautiful none the less.
For lunch our guide had reserved in a very small local restaurant (16 seats) where we had tempura. The owner was a lovely old lady who made little souvenirs love origami and little wool keychains for each of us.
Last stop was Nijo-jo, the castle of the Tokugawa shogun, another piece from the time that Kyoto was still Japan’s capital.
Enough with the history, on the way back to the hotel we stopped at the manga museum, lots of books but unfortunately only in Japanese (beside a museum its like a huge library), Luckily there were enough drawings from the history of manga to keep everything interesting.
At night we went to the Sake tasting, we had 6 different types waiting for us each accompanied with snacks. Highly recommended
While the rest of the group went on a walk through the city, Maaike made an reservation to have maiko makeover and we have an appointment at 11 ‘o clock. So instead of the city walk we make our way to the Geisha district of Gion.
At 11 they started with make-up and clothes and by 12 she was done, next was a photoshoot with a professional photographer. We had a dress up plan that included a walk through the city in full outfit.
After an hour on the geta clogs it was time to get back and after an half hour all silk and makeup was removed.
At almost 2 ‘o clock we were both famished so we went to the little restaurant we had spotted before. Another traditional set menu with tempura rice and vegetables.
The rest of the day was spent in the shopping street.
See Nara for the start of the day.
After the trip to Nara we had to be back on time in the hotel for a cooking class where we would learn to make sushi.
We make nigiri rolls with crab, egg, tuna, cucumber, … and afterwards we could of course fill up on our creations. The ladies from the workshop and provided tea, soup and dessert to complete the dinner.