Ben had work this morning but when he was done at 10:30am, I met him at the subway station to go on our day trip to Kyoto.

Kyoto is actually only a half hour away from Osaka so it was an easy day trip to take.   We arrived at the train station there at 11:30am.

First thing we did was climb the numerous escalators to the top of the station to get a bird’s eye view of the city.

Some Japanese students actually stopped us to practice English.   I would have loved to spend a bunch of time with them but our time today was precious as Ben had to return back to Osaka by 4:30 to teach another class.

We gave them a couple of minutes and they wanted to pose for a photo.   Naturally I gave the teacher my camera too so I’d have one too:

The highlight of Kyoto are the temples.   There are apparently dozens and dozens of them.

We decided to go to the oldest one – Kennin-ji.

It took quite awhile to get there – about an hour or so of walking.   By the time we arrived we were both pretty tired and I know, myself, I was questioning what the hell we were doing here.

But that all changed once we arrived at the temple…

This temple was so different from the ones I had visited in Thailand and Cambodia previously.   It was so peaceful and serene with bamboo mats on the floors and Japanese styled architecture.

Almost poetically it started to rain as we arrived.   Sitting by the inside garden courtyard listening to the rain pelt against the building was so relaxing and peaceful.

We stayed there for quite awhile before heading back to the train station in Kyoto.

On our way back we stopped for some food at a place that serves platters with an assortment of different things on it.

You choose the meat you want as your primary dish (I chose salmon carpaccio) and it’s served with a platter of eight different things (don’t ask me what those things were because I have no idea), some miso soup, rice and a dish of tofu.

After our late lunch we went back to the train station and on to Osaka again by 5pm.

Ben went off to teach his class and I took the subway back home.

Yuka came home soon after as well and we just hung out and relaxed for a few hours.

Well, I relaxed…

Yuka, on the other hand, cooked up a storm.

She literally spent the next 3 hours cooking up items for bento boxes for me and Ben.

You see, we’re both boarding an overnight bus to Tokyo at 12:45am and she wanted to make something special for us to have for the bus ride.

Now, that girl is a keeper!

Ben came back home around 9pm and we all watched a couple episodes of Lost as Yuka had just been introduced to the show and, of course, addicted.

Before we knew it, it was already 11:30pm and it was time for us to leave.

Yuka saw us off to the subway station and I said my goodbyes to her.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 7 days here in Osaka already.   I guess time really does fly by when you’re having fun.

In a few hours we’ll be in Tokyo in the bright early hours of the morning and then just 3 days later I’ll be back home.

Asia Trip 2014, Trip Journal

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