With our last day in Kyoto, Josh and I did a speed tour of a bunch of Japanese landmarks in Kyoto. We hit Kiyomizudera, Ginkakuji (the silver pavillion), and Kinkakuji (the golden pavillion) in the span of five hours. While certainly not the recommended route it was the only way to see a bunch of places before we left. But before we left for our trip Josh got racially profiled by Kyoto police at the trian station. The police, in order to prevent crime by foreigners, have been asking foreign looking people travelling alone to show their passports. Given the way we were walking through the station it looked like Josh was travelling. He was approached by an officer asking him if he spoke Japanese, at which point I intervened. We both ended up showing our passports to the officers. While they were copying down our information I made some small talk with the officers. They were amazed by my Japanese ability remarking that, "they couldn't believe I was Canadian," and other such things. I wonder how Josh would have been treated had I not been there. Needless to say it's not an experience I enjoyed much.
The sights were all quite nice and given the speedy nature of our sight seeing I don't have too much to say about them. About the only major highlight was watching Josh gasp for air climbing up the hill to Kiyomizudera. Pictures are being uploaded as we speak. The lesson learnt here is to leave plenty of days open for sight seeing in Kyoto in case of rain.
In other news, we found a hot food vending machine today. It was selling things like fried-chicken with fries, hot dogs, hot rice balls, and other exciting hot foods. Josh got the hot dogs, and like may foods profiled in this space, he says they weren't bad but not recommended. Continuing on the whole food theme I found cantalope flavored Kit-Kat at the convenience store yesterday. Unlike the pinapple Kit-Kat these suckers had an orange stripe pattern on the bars. They tasted sweet like canalopes, and you guessed it, I thought they were OK but not recommended for repeated consumption. Just to be clear Josh and I have been eating good food here, it's just some of the more off-beat flavors are not the greatest. In fact i've found it easier to eat healthier here, and I'm certain I've lost weight.
We leave for Okayama tomorrow morning, and I'm not sure what my internet availablity will be but I promise to update at least one more time before I disappear into the woods of Oita.
BTW my first Facebook album is now full. Part 2 of my photos can be found at:http://mcmaster.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2110597&l=30866&id=72600013