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Friday, June 9, 2023

Kyototime travel to the past (for old souls). Part I

Tokyo to Kyoto: My tour guide told me which side of the train to sit on so that I would have a view of Mount Fuji. I think I sat on the right side.


My not so healthy breakfast…

The place where I stayed had a view of the Kamo river, and in the mornings, I watched people riding their bikes to work.

On one of the days, it rained, and I noticed men and women in suits biking as slow as molasses with their messenger bags/backpacks, and umbrellas in hand. Now, that’s what I call being able to maneuver through traffic.
On that same rainy day, I discovered that my wonderful waterproof backpack was not so waterproof. My money and phone got soaked. My phone stopped working completely and I had to use a hair dryer and a lot of praying to the universe to get it to function. Lucky for me, by the time morning came, it was working. Lesson learned: Don’t trust labels and test out your backpack before you go on a trip. 

I had one of my not so healthy breakfasts as I sat by river, enjoying the view. There is also a Starbucks in the area with a perfect view of the river. I wish there was one like it in Los Angeles.

If you go to Kyoto, it’s well worth getting a hotel by the river. You can go for long walks, meditate, and enjoy time slow down. Take a book to the unique Starbucks with lovely views. Also, the Gion district is within a walking distance.
There are restaurants with balconies with views of the river, open at summertime. This is where Toshiro and Tessa have dinner and make plans to meet up again in Osaka. Here are some more scenes where Tessa and Toshiro spend an entire day together.
Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)
a retirement villa in Northern Kyoto turned into Zen temple. I talk about this more in my book.
My guide took me to a room which felt like a workshop with long rectangular tables and chairs. He pointed to one of the notebooks on the table and showed me how to write in Japanese by tracing the paper. If you look closely at the notebook in the photo, you’ll notice a tracing paper over another paper with writings. You can trace the letters/words. I asked him how did I do? He said good, which translated to: “Well, you have a long way to go.”
Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) – upon entrance, there is a Sand Garden and sand sculpture that represents Mt. Fuji. This was also a retirement villa turned Zen temple. It belonged to the grandson of the Shogun who owned Kinkakuji.

The grounds of the Silver Pavilion will take your breath away more than those of the Golden pavilion. Highly recommended.
Philosopher’s path – where Tessa and Toshiro take a stroll. The path extends from the silver pavilion to Nanzenji Temple – a famous Buddhist temple.
It’s a relaxing path and is easy to get lost in its beauty and serenity. My tour guide wanted to show me Nanzenji Temple, but it was getting late, he looked tired, and I told him no we should go back.
He guided us into a bus, even though I would have gladly paid for a Taxi. The ride was a big mistake. It was rush hour. The bus was packed. I managed to barely stand to the side on the steps because I didn’t want to be smooshed. My suggestion: do not take public transportation during rush hour. It’s an incredibly unpleasant experience. Besides that, I had a fun day and I really appreciated my tour guide who went out of his way to accommodate me.

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