January 25, 2005

A weekend in Kansai

January 25, 2005 - Categories: japan

I had a relaxing weekend in Kansai, hopping from Kobe to Kyoto and then to Osaka. Tita Cora is also fond of creature comforts, so instead of a set tour, I took her to a 100 yen shop to buy 32 (!) miso soup bowls and then to a hot spring some 15 minutes away from the train station. There, on the 7th floor of a building nestled among apartments, hotels, and curio shops, we indulged in a bewildering array of baths, including another wine bath.

She left early the next day, so I decided to make the most of my Sunday by going to Kyoto. I went to the Kyomizudera temple, a beautiful set of cedar structures set over a cliff. I rented a PDA audio guide (how could I not patronize such excellent use of technology?) and made my way around the temple complex listening to interesting audio snippets and looking at pictures of things not on public display. Although there were many tourists, the place felt serene, sublime.

On the way to Kyomizudera and back, I ducked into lots of little curio shops. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but I found all the different shapes and colors fascinating. There were shops with folding fans in a multitude of designs, parasols sold side-by-side with fancy yukata and slippers, pottery in every shape and style. I wandered until I felt myself no longer distinguishing new and interesting things, then I headed back to Kyoto station.

I had friends in Osaka, so I decided to go there instead of heading all the way back to Kobe. I called the night bus service to move my departure to Osaka instead, and asked them to e-mail me a map of the bus stop. I tried to get in touch with my friends, but none of them replied (that's the problem when you're such an impulsive person that you do everything on short notice), so I just wandered around looking for an Internet cafe. Yahoo! BB (broadband) had a free Internet cafe in Yodobashi Camera, and I checked my mail for the map before heading to the 8th floor of the same building for a wonderful tonkatsu dinner. Then I wandered through the shops some more. Nearly went for a facial (only 1000 yen!) but it was already too late by the time I found out about the offer. Got sucked into a toy shop and couldn't resist buying a Rubik's cube-like thing in the shape of a pyramid.

Then I headed back down to the cybercafe for a quick check. So now it's back to Tokyo, and work, and and the rest of life. Just one more month!

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Carelessness

January 25, 2005 - Categories: Uncategorized

I have misplaced both my very pretty black bonnet with stars and my black muffler, and am somewhat put out by my own carelessness. I must have left the muffler on the bus to Kobe, and the beanie on either the Chiyoda or Tozai lines this morning.

I seem to also have managed to drop my phone into the bath yesterday. While it is now strawberry-scented, it no longer works. I have lived without a cellphone before and was only going to be able to use it for a month longer anyway, so that's not so much a loss as the black bonnet is. I liked the black bonnet very much.

Note to self: be more careful in the future. No more cellphones in baths, even if I really find it hard to be away from my mail. ;)

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