Alright, I'm in Okayama now, crashing at SonicLlama's pad. This is my last full day in Japan, and I take the Shinkansen up to Tokyo tomorrow and hop on a plane back to Good ol' Eugene. I am happy, though, that I have accomplished my one true goal for this trip. That's right, I got my picture taken with Astroboy. My life is complete. Behold His glory!
Since we're in Okayama, this means that SonicLlama has to get back to work. Which is sad for him and for me. Since this means I have to walk around Japan without a native guide. Fortunately, this is really easy. The train system in Japan is amazing, and the signs all have English, so getting around is easy enough. After that, stumbling around with a couple sumi masens and arigato gozeimashs, and I was able to spend a day yesterday stumbling around Kyoto looking at the tourist sites. Mind you, Kyoto's apparently the most tourist-friendly city in Japan, so it may not be the most impressive accomplishment. I'm still proud, though. We'll see how today goes, as I try for a repeat performance, this time in Hiroshima.
So in Kyoto, I managed to see Nijojo Castle, an impressive little edifice constructed by the Tokugawa Shogunate. This was my first time getting to see a non-European style castle, and yes, it was large and intimidating. Also it had moats, so that was cool. No alligators in the moats, though. Also managed to see Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple complex that dates back to the 8th century. It's one of the defining sites of Kyoto, and it's pretty easy to tell why. At right: the front entrance overlooking the rest of the city.
And that's that. No time for interesting annecdotes/stories. I'll try to have more interesting posts that are more than just "here's what I did today". Or maybe I won't be that ambitious. We'll see.