Hiiii. I'm back. Still struggling with the jet lag but it's worth it to have had such a good trip. I've downloaded my 752 photos but have only posted a few on Flickr. This will take you up to noon on the first morning of my holiday, so, yeah, more will be coming along.
The problem is where to start. There's a lot to tell about those eventful two weeks. Let's begin with a quick summary, shall we?
Selected happy moments:
- zooming through the streets of Kyoto on a rented bike
- relaxing in the outdoor bath at Kurama Onsen with a view of the mountains (my train of thought: I'm naked, I'm in public, I'm outside... and I'm loving it!).
- drinks, food and catching up with the Izakaya Club
- riding the trains, anywhere
- wandering around Arashiyama in the blazing sunshine
- knitting (then napping) under the kotatsu in my temple room on Koya-san
- people-watching and trend-spotting at JR Kyoto Station, Umeda and Shinsaibashi
- shopping at Loft, Muji and all the little traditional goods stores in Kyoto
- walking along the riverbank in Kyoto, also riding along the Path of Philosophy
- exploring Nara-machi, which I somehow missed on my 4 previous trips to Nara
- the gardens at Tofukuji and autumn light-up at Kodaiji
- lunch at this cool place with this cool girl
The very few forgettable moments:
- carrying my 30kg suitcase up 5 narrow flights of stairs upon my arrival at my first hotel
- the descent of Mount Kurama in the dark, slipping and falling a lot
- being pulled over by two motorcycle cops for committing the criminal offence of being a white girl on a purple bicycle (although it makes a good story now)
- waking up at 5 or 6 am day after day, then crashing at 8pm
- my butchering of Utada Hikaru's 'Keep Tryin' at the inevitable karaoke party
Black sesame Pocky? Yes please! Black sesame mochi? Yum! Black sesame muffin for breakfast? Excellent. Black sesame soft serve ice cream? So necessary after climbing Gojo-zaka. Black sesame gelato? It was the last thing I ate in Japan, sitting at the airport gate, watching the sumo on TV. Perfect.
More stories and photos are on the way, for real.