Kyoto, Osaka, Kyoto again

Trip Start Sep 14, 2005
Trip End Feb 04, 2006

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Sunday, November 6, 2005

Hi there! Since I finally have the time and feel energetic enough, I thought I`d remember to write a new post to my travel log. This week has been a rather busy one, but not because of school but because of two national holidays - altogether five days off for, starting from Wednesday. As my roommate Josefine went to Tokyo, I had to think of something to do since I didn`t want to be stuck in my apartment staring at the ceiling. So, here`s what I did this week.

On Tuesday I was feeling bored, so I send an email to my friend Masaya, asking whether he wanted to go to Kyoto for some sight-seeing. Turned out that (direct quote) "I`ve been bored all my life" and so we decided to meet the next day, 1 pm, Kyoto Eki (=station). After having bought the buss passes (a 500 yen which is nothing for being able to use the city busses as much as you can for a whole day), we headed for Kiyomizu Temple, one of the best places to admire admire the city. Unfortunately I can`t load the pictures from this week, maybe later, if I have the time and patience. Anyways, after Kiyomizu we went to see Heian Shrine, which has one of the biggest shinto gates in the whole Japan, if not the biggest. It was indeed gigantic. After Heian Shrine was Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion (which we didn`t really see, as it was getting late, and the entrance was sukoshi takai, a bit expensive). We returned to Kyoto Station, which is actually a pretty gigantic place, having two underground malls, a hotel and many places to eat. We grabbed something to eat, and went to the top floor to have a look at the city at night - nice!

On Thursday I didn`t do much worth mentioning. I ripped some mp3s from Tofu`s computer (Chinese Malaysian exchange students with good skills in electric guitar and competence in four languages).?@Otherwise I dedicated the day to my semester project - I will be showing Finnish comedy shows to Japanese students and then (this is a fancy name my teacher gave to the project) I`ll do a "cross-cultural study on humour." Anyways, it`s a lot of work doing all the subtitles in English myself, and the Finnish in Kummeli and Studio Julmahuvi isn`t exactly the easiest to translate. But it`s all coming along (I think... I hope!)

On Friday I went to Osaka to meet up with Mariko and her Swedish boyfriend Matias (or Mattias.. or Matthias - anyway!). We went to play some billiards and had a bit of a Finland vs. Sweden competition going on. I won one game and lost the other, and then there was a really quick five minute game (our time was running out). But let`s say it was a pretty much of a tie. After that we went to ride the huge ferris wheel of Osaka, I have no idea how high it went but I was about on the same level with some skyscrapers so pretty high. The view was gorgeous, Osaka at night. Then it was time for dinner, and then I returned to Seta again. Meccha tanoshikatta desu!

On Saturday I continued my tour in Kyoto with Masaya. We went to Rokuon-ji, or more famously known as Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion. It`s a beautiful small villa of some ancient emperor, surrounded by a lake with tiny islands. The gardens were very beautiful too, and I was being Japanese and took a lot of photos, mochiron! After Kinkakuji we went to Fushimi Inari Shrine. It has thousands of shinto gates, and there`s actually a path up to the mountain that is entirely made of the shinto gates. The path is 8 km so we didn`t feel like going all the way, but anyways, took nice pictures, and now I can say I`ve pretty much covered all the major attractions in Kyoto.

On Sunday (which is today) I was planning on going to Osaka, but the weather is bad, and my tutor has a head-ache, and the digital cameras are actually cheaper here, so we are going to Midori later on instead. That`s okay, I must say that perhaps I wouldn`t be able to keep up this pace of activities for more than a week.

Some of the plans for the coming weeks include Kiyomizu shrine again (the autumn leaves are going to be burning in red and yellow in a couple of weeks), and perhaps the Universal Studios near Osaka. Obviously I`ll also be very much concentrating on my project as well.


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