Saturday, November 19, 2005

My last week in Japan

{Edited on Nov. 21 - added Japanese version to end}

I am home now. Spent the last week in Japan without computer access, so wasn't able to make any updates. So will make one large update here covering the entire week.

I met my girlfriend at the Nagoya airport on Thursday, then headed to Kyoto. Was all a bit rushed - I even had to rush out right after classes ended and didn't have a chance to say good bye to many of the other students (sorry everyone).

First day was Kyoto. Kiomizudera, Kinkakuji (golden pavilion), kaiseki ryouri (multi course meal) for lunch at a tea house in Gion, drinks and finger foods at a Izakaya in Pontocho. Both of the meals were great - the kaiseki ryouri was very tasty, presentation was amazing (they used leaves as part of the presentation), and wasn't all that expensive (about US$35 per person). At the Pontocho bar, the food and drink) was good and we had fun talking with one guy behind the bar - he was very friendly and wanted to practice his English, so we chatted a bit and tried many different foods and drinks (some of which he didn't charge us for).

Second day we went down to Nara, visited the major sites, fed the deer, and ate some kakinoha zushi, chagayu (tea and rice gruel), and narazuke pickles (all local specialties). We made it back early, so went to the Arashiyama part of Kyoto and walked around the Momiji (fall leaf color) festival and went up to a monkey park.

Third day was Himeji castle, where we met up with a friend of mine (I met him at Yamasa 3 years ago, and he now works in Kobe). This was his first time to see the castle, even though he lives about a half hour away. After that, we headed back to Kobe for a Kobe Beef dinner. Expensive (about US$50 per person), but very tasty.

Next day was Osaka. Visited America Mura, which felt like a Japanese version of Haight Ashbury because there were lots of funky stores and interestingly-dressed people walking around. We also rode the Ferris Wheel above Osaka Station, but unfortunately the sky was a little hazy so the view wasn't that great.

After this, we headed down to Hiroshima. The train took a little while, so we only got there in time for a late lunch and then some sightseeing. Visited the A-bomb museum and dome (very touching), Shukkeien Garden (which was Ok - guess the fall is not the best time to visit Japanese gardens), and walked around the Hiroshima Castle at night. Had kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) for dinner in the basement of the Sogo department store - very tasty, yet also very affordable (less than US$30 for the two of us, and we weren't holding back on what we ordered).

Next day was Miyajima, which is where the gate in the water is located (pictures of this gate are used in just about every visit Japan advertisement made). Started with a walk through the shrine and then a hike to the top of the mountain for a view of the area. Back down to the shrine and out to the torii in the water (tide was out, so we could walk out to it at that point). Then lunch and a bit of shopping before heading back. That evening, the woman who ran the Ryokan we stayed at arranged for us to do a tea ceremony. Very interesting. Then we had Hiroshima style okonomiyaki for dinner.

The rest of the trip was in Nagoya. Visited Sakae at night. Then had a soy-themed meal (11 courses - all based on soy or tofu) for dinner at the restaurant floors above the train station. Then the Tokugawa Museum and park the next day, before heading to the airport.

This is likely the last post on this Blog. After this, it is more likely that I will be posting on my regular Blog.



セントレア空港に彼女に会って、京都へ行った。 忙しかった。 授業の後、今すぐ出てしまった。

まず京都に行った。氷魚水寺へ行って、祇園で会席料理を食べて、金閣寺へ行って、買い物して、先斗町の居酒屋で食べた。りょうほうの食事はすごいよかった。会席料理は美味しくて高くなかった (一人3500円ごらい)。居酒屋で美味しい食べ物を食べて、面白いバーテンダーに会いました。



次の日、大阪へ行った。 アメリカ村へ行った。ヘイト・アシュベリーみたいと思った。大阪駅の近くの観覧車に乗った。でも天気はちょっとので、よく見えなかった。

次の日広島へ行った。昼に着いた。原爆ドームと広島平和記念資料館としゅっけいえん公園を見て、夜に広島城を散歩した。 晩ご飯はそごデパートの地階の回転寿司を食べた。美味しくて安かった (たくさん食べたのに二人3000円以下)。



多分この日記は最後のStudying in Japan 2005の日記だ。その後、他のブログで書く


At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Nori姉 said...

You had a great time in Japan, didn't you...

At 12:03 PM, Blogger PeterD said...

The trip was great.

I will be continuing to write on my other Blog (in both English and Japanese).

When I write about difficult subjects, like politics, I will likely only write in English. Sorry about that.


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