Pictures from Kyotoland


I just got back from a four day, whirlwind of a mini-vaca in Kyoto and Osaka.

Here are some of the highlights: Drinking hot sake at a night-time Cherry Blossom viewing party, counseling the distraught mother of a rebellious teen at four in the morning in a youth hostel, taking a knitting class at a coffee shop, teaching a drunk man how to say the Pledge of Allegiance in a 10 person ‘standing room’ bar, and eating cow intestines and raw liver. Yum.

I think the best part of the trip was the new friend I made. She’s this really interesting neo-hippie Japanese chick who’s lived in Oregon, Hawaii and Sri Lanka. Her dad and brother are Buddhist monks! Cool, huh? I only met her for the first time two weeks ago, at a friend’s dinner party in Shimokitzawa. I told her that I was planning on visiting Kyoto the following weekend and staying with some random dude who sounded a tad on the creepo side, so she invited me to crash at her place.

Her ‘place’ ended up being my very own furnished apartment in a building that her grandmother owns…in the heart of Osaka. We spent the weekend riding our bikes along the riverside, eating, sitting in parks and drinking coffee ice cream floats and then eating some more. Parts of Osaka reminded me of Paris or 5th avenue in New York. I wouldn’t mind living there if I ever move back to Japan.

Parts of Kyoto (land of tourists and temples), reminded me of Disneyland; costumed, heavily made-up Geisha (both real and tourist), pristine blocks re-created to look like 15th century Japan (ala ‘Frontier Land’ in Disneyland)and hordes of camera-toting tourists on the search for that elusive celebrity spotting. In the case of Disneyland, that would be Cinderella or Mickey Mouse, but in Kyotoland, it was a cherry blossom tree in full-bloom or a true-blue, honest-to-God Geisha.
I saw both, but didn’t get a chance to take a picture of either one.


I don’t know why all of the fox statues had baby bibs pinned onto them. A very thoughtful touch, no?









This is a picture of me in front of a shrine praying…for a husband. It is said that if you are young and single and looking for a spouse, you should visit this shrine, give an offering, ring the bell, clap twice, bow and make a wish. I prayed that the Shinto God would kindly overlook my meager 30 cent offering and send a good husband my way…Preferably one that doesn’t live with his parents or own a cell phone charm. : ) This is Japan though, so I might have been a bit unrealistic with that last part.

I’ll let you know how that works out.

PS Vielen Dank, Domo Arigato and many Mahalo’s to Julie for her many helpful sight-seeing suggestions.

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Comments ( 9 )

  1. aimlessambition

    The bibs are put on the kitsune (messengers of O-Inari) out of respect. The kitsune are associated with red, so that's why a lot of the bibs have red detailing. It's left there for ritual purposes or to gain favour with the messenger.

    I guess basically it's just good luck?

    Anyway, this answer brought to you by Wisdom in the East (86:132) of Brandon University. :/

  2. Martin in Bulgaria

    My goodness I wish I could have had the opportunity to travel and experience the world as you are when i was young. you really will take all this and reflect in years to come on how lucky you are. Enjoy and continue to find adventure before you get 'tied down'.

    Realyy enjoyed readin this post and the thinks yo got up to and the people you met. Raw liver!? Are you sure - I assume it wasnt' attached to a cow a the time!

  3. Sarah

    I'm glad you had fun and that you're going to try to spend a night in Koyasan! Your pictures made me really nostalgic for good old Nihon!!

  4. asha

    HAH! Good luck finding that husband in Japan.. ;)

    It looks like you're enjoying the travels. Good luck with everything!

  5. medula

    i really enjoy following your blog...i hope you continue to update it even after you leave japan...i wish you luck on your next big adventure!

  6. Reannon

    Aimless (Yeah, I know that's you, Kira!) Thanks so much for taking the time to look up that info for me!

    Martin in Bulgaria - Just how old are you? You're never too old to travel and 'experience the World'. And aren't you doing just that, being that you're living in Bulgaria? You're from the UK, no?
    I'm never going to get tied down, I think... at least, not for long. If I have kids, I'll make them travel with me!

    Thanks for reading... : )

    Sarah, No I didn't get the chance to go! I didn't have enough money because I spent it all having to take the Shinkansen (long story)...but I def want to! I also didn't get a chance to go to Nara (I want to visit that deer park). Maybe I'll squeeze in another quick trip before I go?

    Asha and Medula,

    Thanks for reading! No, I prob won't find a husband here...I don't think I'd fit into the typical Japanese guy's definition of a 'good wife', but that's okay since I'm leaving soon! I'll definitely continue this blog wherever I end up next...I really love writing.

  7. Kelsey in Japan

    Hahahahaha at "Preferably one that doesn't live with his parents or own a cell phone charm. : )"

    Still laughing in Hayama

  8. Julie

    >>Preferably one that doesn't live with his parents or own a cell phone charm. : ) This is Japan though, so I might have been a bit unrealistic with that last part.

    This just made me laugh out loud.
    Wow! You did everything! I'm glad you liked Osaka/Kyoto. I love it here, too. Too bad we didn't get to meet up, but I'm glad you had an awesome time.

  9. Reannon

    I really liked Osaka. Seriously. I had sooo much fun there! And people were more laid back and friendlier. But there's so much that I didn't get to do...I wouldn't want to live in Kyoto though...the lack of subways would kill me. I hate taking the bus.