31.05.2010 28 °C
The night bus was a bit of a rough way to travel, sleep came intermittently and we were dumped at Kyoto bus station at 6am. Wearily we wandered in search of a map in order to locate the hostel. Kyoto was more subdued and refined than the hectic Tokyo and the traditional history drenched ancient city that was relayed in the guides prevailed itself as such in front of us as soon as we left the station. The slight eyesore of the Kyoto Tower being the only anomaly. After a quick Maccies we found our accommodation quite easily. It was more spacious than the K`s House in Tokyo and there was more of a travellers buzz as everyone socialised in the common room about their individual adventures. Feeling quite shattered I grabbed a quick shower and we decided to only visit the temples and shrines within close proximity of the hostel.
The shrines themselves were rather basic Japanese style arches and didn`t provide too much to write home about。The temples on the other hand were examples of quite brilliant ancient Japanese architecture. The attention to detail and the layout and subsequent ambiance gave a great sense of what I imagine was the intended feng shui that was intentionally imposed on these religious masterpieces. We sat in on one ceremony. Everyone present was knelt on their knees intently listening to the deep murmurings of two monks either side of a statue of Buddha as incense filled the air. After another wander and visiting two more temples that were largely similar to the first we went home and slept, exhausted from the travelling the night before.
The next day we got up early and rented a couple of bikes in order to see the temples further away from our accommodation. On a hot sunny day we cycled around, as much of the locals do, lead by a map that was the paper form of a back of a lorry sat nav, up to the outskirts of the city. The bikes were a great way to get around and on a scorching day provided a great alternative to the stuffy underground. First we went to the monkey gardens. We paid 550yen and trekked up the steep hill to see what awaited above. Suddenly after 10minutes of climbing there were monkeys in the trees all around our heads.We started snapping and after Dave had an altercation with one that chased him for a bit we went further up the hill. At the top the view over Kyoto was impressive and there were Japanese Macaque monkeys of all ages everywhere. We spent a long type photographing and feeding them as they lazed at our very feet. So much time that by the time we cycled over to the Golden Palace Temple it was closed, a bit disappointing, but the monkeys more than made up for it.
The next day we relaxed and saw one last temple. On the way back we decided to get some food in to cook. We grabbed a few ingredients and knocked up a dish that we decided to call `Rabble` (details below). Later on we got some beers in, 7% Strong Off, and had a few cans on the terrace with a couple of English lads before heading uptown to `Hub` to watch England vs Japan. The British themed pub was crammed with Japan supporters with made for a great atmosphere. After an unconvincing win and sharing some banter with some English speaking locals we got a kebab and headed home for a log sleep before we headed off to Nara in the morning.
How to make rabble*
-Go to the crappiest, cheapest supermarket you know
-Buy some meat (preferably one that you cant quite tell what it is and that`s discounted, if there is no discounted meat, find good random meat and throw it on the floor multiple times, come back later in the day and it should be discounted)
- Sauce (this should never be the same, rabble is an organic thing and constantly changing to suit the dietary needs of no-one)
- Cook dat shit
- Warning, rabble can often taste disgusiting and in some cases can lead to stomach cramps, diarrhea, blindness, paralysis and death.