If you go to Kyoto, just accept what everyone says and don’t faff around like me. Hire a bike. It really is the best way to see the city. I spent a few days getting the bus around which was an easy way to get oriented but it takes longer to get around many places, and one a bike you can stop wherever and whenever you want and you feel a lot better for it.
Initially the maps may make Kyoto seem a huge city and it does appear like that at first (especially if you look at the multiple maps in ‘The Book’ (Lonely Planet)).
Today I was meant to head to Nara, but I had to go souvenir shopping and still had to see the Nishiki food market so that was my mission. It was great, and I was great at it. Which maybe isn’t such a good thing. The food market was interesting – lots of things I didn’t recognise, and lots I did but have only seen in Japan! I ended up leaving there and having a nepalese curry at the Yak and Yeti for a late breakfast / lunch. I had a quick wander around the downtown shopping area and saw a really cool sake set, which was not as cool a price as I was originally going to spend…but I bought it anyway. My spending habits seem to be going the other way nearer the end of my trip spending way more for some form of therapy about going home.
(Picture : Some £34 tomatoes..erm I assume they are tomatoes)
I eyed up a really cool Patagonia lightweight rucksack (like I need another one) then decided not to buy it. Then I headed to the handicraft shop and spent more than that on not very much, and also decided to ship it home which wasn’t cheap but seemed far less hassle. So sushi candles (apparently the No.1 souvenir winner!), tea set, and sumo ornaments are on their way back mum!
I did dare myself and entered another outdoors shop but walked out empty handed after standing gawping at a Japanese trekking DVD fora while.
I had to head to another temple after that, but on my way home and more side street exploration I found some hollowed out bamboo to be used as vases……something I was determined to craft myself in Borneo but never got the chance……so in they went to my rucksack.
Hopefully…….that’s all my shopping done.
Tomorrow I’ll be heading to Osaka and maybe a whistle stop side trip to Nara.