Sunday, November 4, 2012

More of Kyoto

Getting around without a car consists of a LOT of walking (or biking but given they drive on the left I was not willing to even think about biking) and figuring out train schedules. Karyn and David seem to have this down. And you have to be careful about getting on the right train. On a trip years ago returning from Hiroshima we ended up on the express train to Tokyo. We did not want to go to Tokyo but the train doors locked before we figured out what was happening. Katie did a lot of bowing and apologizing. I don't know if they had a stop scheduled or if they stopped to let us off but in any case we did not go all the way to Tokyo!

So....outings generally began with a walk to the nearest station if I was lucky, only a few blocks. Karyn and David live amidst about 3 stations. This is the closest one. I cannot remember the name.

Nearest train station

On this particular day we went to what I think is the main station in Kyoto. See that oval in the middle? It's a good meeting place.

Main train station  

Now for a cool escalator ride all the way to the top......

Last of the ride up

.......where we saw a bamboo garden and great views of Kyoto. Kyoto is in a big valley among the mountains (hills?) and is around 1.5 million in population, about the same as San Antonio.

Bamboo garden
Not a lot to the garden but the view was great. And now to look back down to the lower levels.

Looking down

I love the design of this building. There is only one arched area on the left and the one on the right is a reflection. There is a stage next to that red thing in the center of the picture. The stage is about half-way down to the bottom level. All the steps above the stage also serve as seating in the amphitheater formed there. Pretty cool.

On the way to a local shopping area we passed this building. Karyn doesn't think it fits in at all but I kind of like it. Every city needs one of these!

Kyoto's 'needle'

Guess what I found in the shopping center?! Fiber!!! Made my day. 8^)


Knitting needles. Bamboo, what else?!

Swedish fabric in Japan!

Just like home!  

At the end of our outing we found a nice place to eat. It is infinitely helpful to have someone who can interpret the menu. Thank you Karyn for making sure I always got something I liked!

Look at the size of those bowls!

Karyn had tempura

Lastly, we browsed a 100 yen store. You never know what you might find there. I could spend hours browsing but this was a quick run. My most memorable sighting....

Huh....butt pads!

No, I did not buy them. And yes, I know it says 200 yen. Go with it. I didn't buy fabric either....or yarn! I was very good plus I could not read most of the labels. Harumph!


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