There is Something I Don't Understand
Trip Start Aug 11, 2010
21Trip End Sep 02, 2010
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There are a number of things that I don't understand but the buses do have me puzzled.
I was up pretty early today...before 7 am I think...and I got ready slowly and checked my emails, tried to respond to the ones I couldn't successfully send last night. I set out a little after 8 and hoped that I could get to the moss garden by 10...now that I realized the letter mentioned 10 specifically.
I couldn't believe it...even with my hard-earned orientation toward Kyoto Station, it took me a half-hour before I got to the proper bus stop: #73 according to Frommer's guide. I looked at the sign for the Kokedera michi to be on the list of stops but I didn't ask why it wasn't...perhaps because of my serious language barrier
I made it in time! There were lots of others and we were ushered into an open pavilion with low tables and calligraphy equipment. I managed to spill the water for the ink. First I thought I spilled ink but it was watery so I thought they had washed the trays. No, it was water to mix with the ink block. I can't sit at this low table to type on the computer much longer. Anyway,, we were to write our names and addresses on one side of a little wooden board and our wishes on the other. Mine with Roman alphabet was definitely not as artistic looking as the Japanese letters. After we did this, we got to give a donation and lay our boards on a table with a prayer. Oh, I forgot ...at the beginning, several monks chanted...and it was very restful after my hectic arrival.
After the preliminary, we were allowed into the garden
I didn't realize it but everyone else had left and they were waiting for me to leave too. So I did. I was very hungry at this point...around noon...and got a black sesame soft ice cream cone. Just as I was about to finish it, a bus came...#73...that was heading back to Kyoto Station. Why didn't my bus come here? As I listened to the stops, one appeared to be on Anne's list so I decided I would try to go there. Of course, I was still having problems figuring out what the stops were. I got off at one that looked promising, asked some European-looking people what this place was and they said they didn't know. It turned out to be Arashiyama so life was golden. Oh, I forgot when I got off, that city bus card that I had bought and thought I used on the first #73 bus didn't work on this one. The driver was a little huffy about it. It was a mystery and is still a mystery.
Arashiyama was a very scenic place for Japanese people to go for a nice time in the summer: boating, walking around in the woods, beautiful scenery and food. There were rickshaw boys giving people rides on land and boats for rides on the river
I manged to get back to where I started with only a few false trails = one uphill. I was not happy about that but I figured I needed all the training I could get for Fuji-san. I bought some water from a vending machine and caught a bus back to Kyoto Station - #73. It left us off very near where I caught the original one but this driver wouldn't take my card either....unless they were just telling me I needed more money because the card only goes within the inner zone.
I wandered around Kyoto Station a very little bit before I found the restaurants and I picked a different one tonight. I had some tempura today - good but not so good as yesterday's sushi. The young staff had to do some kinds of yelling one to attract customers and the chef while he cooked - I am not sure why, but it did add some excitement to the meal.