Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day 2 - Kyoto Expedition

Today we felt kind of sorry again for that we slept until 10:30 a.m. like we slept almost the whole day yesterday, but not so much at night. Jetlag really is a depressing feeling that makes you wanna be home with your normal time running, but I give you that one important advice: don't stay at home in your bed - go and walk around, explore your surrounding area! Lucky as we are we rented 4 bikes simultaneously to the house rental, though we made a half-day bike tour through a part of Kyoto. And I tell you: please pay attention. No matter how strict and rule-following Japanese are, the do not give a damn about anything when they ride their bike. If you believe they care about pedestrians or any markings, you're absolutely wrong. And it's quite difficult to choose the right side as a European: it's left-hand driving. 

One part of the Heian Shrine with wishing well trees

However, on our way to town we came across the lovely Heian Shrine, where I could watch several interesting situations at once: one man shook a metal bucket where after some time of shaking a metal sting came out of a small hole on which something was written in Japanese characters - I believe in the function as a fortune cookie. The man on my right threw a coin into a duct: the longer the coin clinks, the more luck you have.

Hullo you friendly bunnies :)
Traditional Japanese loo
After visiting the Shrine we not only drove right through a huge Tori but also were greeted by lots of friendly plastic bunnies and froggies serving as construction fence for road works.
By the way: don't be surprised to be confronted with traditional Japanese toilets from time to time. That must be the cause that they put so much attention of not mixing up regular sandals and toilet sandals. The only difficult thing is not to walk into the wrong toilet (often Chinese characters instead of pictograms). 

Portrait of my sister and me in Anime style
Fortunately we went to the Kyoto International Manga Museum! The exposition is incredibly amazing (also for a comic-repudiator like me). Perfect timing to put ourselves onto the waiting list for a special Anime portrait. It took the painter half an hour for this beautiful comic-painting! Note: I first was confused about them not taking the money or pens or whatever but holding their tiny white hands open and waiting for you to put it in. And I still ask myself for what reason they wear their face masks...

Chocolate cookie with Green Tea filling

Recommendation on: This so called Milk Tea! If you like tea you should certainly try this amazing sweet delicious liquid. Also the several types of Green Tea are good and so different! I see now that pretty nearly everthing is made of Green Tea: chocolate, ice cream, cookies, bonbons and other sweets and it's unbelievably awesome! Talking about food: you should try everything that seems tasty, most of the times you're right. And to prevent starvation please do not refuse onigiri ! There doesn't exist a better more or less healthy snack when you are hungry!..

What I learned? Always carry some water or tea with you, if you don't want to croak of thirst. Even with overcast it's definitely hot and stuffy enough... And whenever you can order Bukkake Udon, but never take too much tempura, even if it looks like yummie... Wrap some soft stuff around your bike saddle if you don't want your butt to become numb.
And never forget to bow and smile and study basis vocabulary.

Finally no rain - but the rivers seem more like dirty rapid streams...

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