Saturday 21.09.13 42,24 km
We were only 2 out of 8 left in our dormitory last night, so when I quite
exhausted was going to lie down and sleep, we started talking. A dutchman who
had did the opposite of me. Had started from south by going to Kagoshima in
south Kyushu. He had also visited the island more to the south which was also on
my programme once. But he wasn't on bicycle.
Our impressions of Japan were very much the same. Each of us had our examples of how the rules are driven into the extreme.
He had a good advice, if I was going to visit the Fushiminari temple: Wear long trousers - he didn't. But he now had 50 mosquito bites on his legs.
That's what I did from the morning after a meal that today included orange marmelade! It wasn't as far as expected. Here is not only one shinto gate, no they're standing close to each other up the mountain so it's like walking in a tunnel. Every single one is, as far as I understand, bought and paid by someone. The only thing I could read was the name of some travel agency!
My Shinto gates
I took my photos - with no people on - and went on. It got more and more steep and I realized, that it probably WAS right, what I ment to have read somewhere, that it was 4 km in all! I have to admit it: my usual stubborness failed today. When I reached "crossroads" the mosquitoes had started attacking my hands and arms and the blood sprayed... That's when I decided I'd seen enough shinto gates for today. I went down "the backway round", that surprisingly went through the village, but ended where it all started.
You can load a lot on a bicycle
Went home and changed to shorts and went for a long tour first north east to "The silver Pavillion" with all the pretty moss the dutchman had told about and after that north west to "The golden Pavillion". Both spot were crowded.
The golden Pavillion
I've achieved a certain capability in riding in the sidewalk and change to the road whenever it's more convinient, but save me from the traffic lights it can't. You wouldn't think waiting 30 sec or 2 min would mean a lot - but it does.
In the big crossings the rythmn goes like this: first the green for pedestrians/cyclists start blinking. Then it gets red. Then after a while - long you think - the one for the cars get yellow and then red and at the same time a green left arrow pops up. That takes a while again, then yellow again and red for all - and 2 sec later green for all those waiting...
And that's how you spend your day...
I was home again to have lunch. Toast with mackarel. It's the first time I've risked buying a tin. I was pretty sure the picture was fish - and it tasted good!!
Next on the schedule is "the Castle". The part you cannot enter is surrounded by a wonderful stone wall and moat. In the other part lived the shogun. After we've taken off the shoes (put mine in box number 375) we walk round following the arrows and look at the different rooms. One where the shogun received the noble men. Another where he received the imperial ministers. You're not allowed to take photos. It's built in 1603 as an official residence for the first Togukawa Shogun. At this time Kyoto was serving as capital (794 - 1868) and residence for the imperial family.
You can talk a lot about shoes in this country
On my way back I pass by first Nishi Hongan templet, men der kan jeg ikke parkere min cykel. Så kører jeg til Higashi Hongan templet. There is this big farmhouse like thing I saw from Kyoto Tower while I wondered. It's a temporary steel construction while they're refurbishing the buildings. The "main hall" is finished it's the worlds biggest wooden construction. You're not allowed to take pictures here too, which I don't realize until afterwards, but I don't use flash. Even that's after japanese rules no doubt isn't a valid excuse.
I dine "almost" out - in the cafee next door, where you can get pizza and draught beer. I need that after all those pre-prepared dishes. It wasn't big but tasted a bit of pizza it did.
Then I go "skydiving" in Kyoto Station. It's really amazing. I hadn't even seen the special architecture. Six escalators take you to 11.floor, where there's a view to the south. The air is warm and there are some plants where a single cikadee sits trying to sound like an orchestra.
Kyoto by night