Day 2 in Kyoto (8-13-12)

Today I woke up to the sound of rain falling. It’s scheduled to rain every day this week…my first feeling was of disappointment, because I figured the weather would improve. At breakfast I paid 500 yen for a glass of apple juice, two fried eggs, and and two pieces of toast. Great value. Checkout was 10am and I was sad to go.

When I checked out, the kind woman who tied my robe in a bow yesterday gave me a small package of chopsticks “as a small gift.” She walked out after I closed the door, which was unexpected. She then bowed and waved. I kept walking to the end of the street, and the two other times I turned around she was still there. When I got to the end of the street, she bowed and waved again. I don’t know if she does that with many guests, but I found it especially meaningful.

Khaosan Kyoto, street view.

I arrived a bit early to check into my hostel, (Khaosan Guest house)  so I found my way to Kiyomizu-dear, which was nice. Then I walked next door to Nishi-Otani mausoleum which was free. I watched part of a Buddhist service there. I saw some women who were dressed and painted up as Geisha and go a picture with them.  When I came back and checked into my single room at the hostel, I was disappointed. This was before I remembered that rooms in Japan are generally smaller yet more expensive.  The most important part was that I had a room to myself where I could hypothetically relax and breathe a bit easier.

My room at Khaosan.
Me with some Geisha!


I napped a little and then go t dinner at a restaurant nearby called Young Men. I ate Pork Yakisoba, or Japanese Fried Noodles. Next I walked through Nishiki market, but it was closing so I didn’t see all of the places there. The hostel was having a Japanese “Shodo,” or Calligraphy class. The teacher was less than impressed with my efforts, and barely commented on what I was doing. It was  a flashback to Elementary through High School, when the art teachers I had were always ignoring what I did because I wasn’t artistic. Blegh.  The upside was that I met two nice guys, Ray and Howard, who said I could go with them to some places if I wanted. They invited me out for Ramen but the day has left me feeling really tired so I declined.

My attempt at Japanese Calligraphy. It is supposed to say “Japan.”

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