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Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Page 7

Day 19 - Wednesday, 15 November 2023

Castle of failure

Hikone castle

Today was one of the biggest failures in all my travelling history. I got up at 5:45am to get the early train around lake Biwa, connecting to a local train to Omi-Nagaoka, where I ran for 6km to get to the start of a long hike up Mount Ibuki. It was going to be about a 24km day, and the highest mountain on this trip. It was a hike I had done before only that time I approached the mountain from Gifu city, I enjoyed it very much.
So I ran up the familiar road past the shrine only to arrive at a whole heap of signs advising that the hike was closed due to landslide, since July, with no plans to reopen, and also 'a bear is coming'. I was already 2 hours into this adventure and had run 6km to the middle of nowhere. At first I did not believe it so I walked around looking for another entrance, of which there were none. I still did not believe it so I loaded up and translated Yamap, the Japanese hiking site, and only 3 people (as far as I could tell) had climbed it since the landslide and all 3 said it was foolish and suggested not to try it. So that was the end of that. I walked slowly back down to the station looking on my phone for where to go to instead. As it turns out, the next town over has an original castle.

So... a day of failure turned into another castle day. A lot of castles on this trip and another one tomorrow too. I suspect most people prefer castle pics to hiking pics, but now I am over fuelled and over rested!

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is Maibara station where I changed from a JR west train, using my pass, to a JR central train, using my IC card. It is actually a Shinkansen stat

This is Maibara station where I changed from a JR west train, using my pass, to a JR central train, using my IC card. It is actually a Shinkansen station even though it is a small place.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is the view from the station at Omi-Nagaoka. A big mountain. Weather was good. I was excited.

This is the view from the station at Omi-Nagaoka. A big mountain. Weather was good. I was excited.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Getting closer to it on my run up from the station. That enclosed roadway is a conveyor with quarry materials coming down from the side of the mountai

Getting closer to it on my run up from the station. That enclosed roadway is a conveyor with quarry materials coming down from the side of the mountain.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - FAIL. I do not really believe the bear sign, after a few hundred metres of forest it is ski fields and than a bald mountain. I think the bear sign is

FAIL. I do not really believe the bear sign, after a few hundred metres of forest it is ski fields and than a bald mountain. I think the bear sign is mainly there to assist in discouraging people (like me) considering ignoring the warnings. Yamap had an explanation that it was due to a large landslide following heavy rains in July and much of the trail no longer exists.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Time to head back down to the station and start thinking about what to do next. Those mountains are small and far away.

Time to head back down to the station and start thinking about what to do next. Those mountains are small and far away.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A nice view across the farmers fields on my lonely walk back to the station. I remembered this bit, it is an old train line that used to go to the clo

A nice view across the farmers fields on my lonely walk back to the station. I remembered this bit, it is an old train line that used to go to the closed mountain ski fields.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - One last look at Mount Ibuki...

One last look at Mount Ibuki...


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - One stop south of Maibara, is Hikone. A bigger place, sun had come out by now.

One stop south of Maibara, is Hikone. A bigger place, sun had come out by now.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is a grave stone making factory. Everyone wants a be-horned helmet wearing kitten as their grave marker.

This is a grave stone making factory. Everyone wants a be-horned helmet wearing kitten as their grave marker.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Approaching the castle, swans appeared.

Approaching the castle, swans appeared.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A castle boat! Patrolling the moat looking for marauders.

A castle boat! Patrolling the moat looking for marauders.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is an original castle, not a re-creation made out of concrete. Well maybe not this bit, it has glass windows.

This is an original castle, not a re-creation made out of concrete. Well maybe not this bit, it has glass windows.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - But it has an area to buy capsule toys.

But it has an area to buy capsule toys.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Quite a small castle, smaller than Matsuyama. $8 entry fee.

Quite a small castle, smaller than Matsuyama. $8 entry fee.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - You have to take your shoes off and carry them in the plastic bag they give you. Which is a health and safety disaster, because you have to climb stee

You have to take your shoes off and carry them in the plastic bag they give you. Which is a health and safety disaster, because you have to climb steep ladders, while holding a bag full of your shoes. Thus making it impossible to always maintain 3 points of contact. Also that sign saying this is a good view spot was no joke...


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - View from the view spot, which is actually not a great view compared to every other direction.

View from the view spot, which is actually not a great view compared to every other direction.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - But other than that one window spot, every other window is covered in chicken wire, to keep out enemy chickens. That is lake Biwa.

But other than that one window spot, every other window is covered in chicken wire, to keep out enemy chickens. That is lake Biwa.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Here is the inside of the top level of the castle. The wood is allegedly 400 years old or thereabouts. As far as I could tell, not one had recently ca

Here is the inside of the top level of the castle. The wood is allegedly 400 years old or thereabouts. As far as I could tell, not one had recently carved their name into it.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The elevated grounds around the castle are quite nice. Still no real leaf colour! Which reminds me, back near the castle entrance a guy was using an e

The elevated grounds around the castle are quite nice. Still no real leaf colour! Which reminds me, back near the castle entrance a guy was using an electric leaf blower, powered by a petrol generator.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A bit more Lake Biwa on the left, but also a very large stadium, seems way too large for a town like Hikone.

A bit more Lake Biwa on the left, but also a very large stadium, seems way too large for a town like Hikone.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I descended down past the high walls.

I descended down past the high walls.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The ticket also lets you into this garden, quite a good garden.

The ticket also lets you into this garden, quite a good garden.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Genkyuen garden. Note the castle in the background.

Genkyuen garden. Note the castle in the background.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Another one with a bit more castle.

Another one with a bit more castle.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And so there you go, when the hike cannot be done, the next town over has a castle and garden as a backup plan.

And so there you go, when the hike cannot be done, the next town over has a castle and garden as a backup plan.


Behind the station

Kyoto station area

I forgot to go to the helicopter pad on the top.
I like the Kyoto station, it is very modern and vertical, with a roof garden, which I forgot to go to. Maybe I will go there when I am too early for my train back to Tokyo.
Somehow despite missing my hike today I still ended up with 36k steps, super boring fact I know, but it was surprising to me. So tonight I just wandered down the central street to the Kyoto station, tried to find my dinner, realised it was too busy, and then headed around to the back of the station.

There are large groups of Australians here, travelling in groups, old and young and a mix of both. Quite unusual. Also I just learned that less than 20% of Japanese people have a valid passport! Even in the USA, 37% of people have a valid passport, Australian's hate being in Australia, so 57% of Australian's have a valid passport. The reason most Japanese people give for not travelling overseas is, other countries are too frightening. No wonder they won't sit next to me on the train.

While I am talking about nonsense, I also just read that for the first time, some drugs will not need to be re-tested on a control group of people with pure Japanese blood before they can be administered in Japan. Up until now, and even during COVID trials, there was a belief that 'pure' Japanese people were somehow a different species to the non pures. With members of parliament openly stating that the pandemic would be no match for superior Japanese blood. That did not turn out how they expected and has now resulted in policy change.
So to explain all this, let me just leave this here - 'The solution was the Humanity Declaration. This was an announcement issued by the Meiji emperor Hirohito on the first of January 1946, in which he denied any and all claim to divinity, asserted his status as a human being, and debunked the idea that the Japanese held a holy mandate to rule he world'.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I remember the gates to this shrine near the station being open at night. Maybe I have developed additional false memories. Also, giant pink phallus,

I remember the gates to this shrine near the station being open at night. Maybe I have developed additional false memories. Also, giant pink phallus, that I remember.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The clapping monkey with cymbals seems to be the top selling toy of the 2023 season. Not even joking.

The clapping monkey with cymbals seems to be the top selling toy of the 2023 season. Not even joking.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - My busted camera is still not buy-able anywhere. Not for at least another 3 months.

My busted camera is still not buy-able anywhere. Not for at least another 3 months.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The place to go to not get a camera, but to get a clapping cymbal monkey is of course the giant Yodobashi.

The place to go to not get a camera, but to get a clapping cymbal monkey is of course the giant Yodobashi.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The underground shopping centre has a great eating street, but all places I was interested in had big lines.

The underground shopping centre has a great eating street, but all places I was interested in had big lines.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Not everywhere was busy though! I followed an emergency exit staircase into the station and found myself near the top with this long alleyway of nothi

Not everywhere was busy though! I followed an emergency exit staircase into the station and found myself near the top with this long alleyway of nothingness.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I headed around the back of the station, when the words Aeon and Mall come together, that spells food court.

I headed around the back of the station, when the words Aeon and Mall come together, that spells food court.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - There is no point in modern history (post Humanity Declaration) when every shopping centre in all of Asia has not been renewed and undergoing a grand

There is no point in modern history (post Humanity Declaration) when every shopping centre in all of Asia has not been renewed and undergoing a grand open. As far as I can tell it has not changed in a decade.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Top floor food court has a great place with 3 big model railroads. This one is a model of Kyoto station, so meta, with the giant phallus.

Top floor food court has a great place with 3 big model railroads. This one is a model of Kyoto station, so meta, with the giant phallus.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I found the food court. Not just a food court but a Food Garden. I was excited.

I found the food court. Not just a food court but a Food Garden. I was excited.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - All the best food comes on brown trays? Hmm perhaps not tonight. I got Tsukemen, something I have not had before, which is basically deconstructed ram

All the best food comes on brown trays? Hmm perhaps not tonight. I got Tsukemen, something I have not had before, which is basically deconstructed ramen. Noodles are cold, the soup you dunk in is dense and hot. It is ramen you have to work for. I ended up just mixing it all together, how very uncultured.
Tomorrow, more castles, as was the plan all along, today's castle, was not part of the plan.


There are currently 1 comments - click to add

jenny on 2023-11-15 said:

well your day turned out interesting after all.


Day 20 - Thursday, 16 November 2023

Over castled

Himeji castle and Engyoji shrine

That all took longer than I thought, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Today I did 2.5 activities in Himeji. First the castle which I somehow had never been to before, followed by the somewhat attached excellent Koko-en garden and then finally some distance away, the Engyoji shrine. All were excellent, getting to and from all of this from Kyoto required 6 trains and 2 buses.

I took a lot of photos, so I will explain all of that below, but the bus back from Engyoji shrine is worth discussing. The bus came down a one way street, where a car was parked illegally (nice late model Lexus), hazard lights on, guy sitting inside it. The bus waited for a couple of minutes before sounding his horn once. The driver roared off as fast as he could, got about 100m in front of the bus, then slammed on his brakes. The bus came to a sudden halt behind him again. Then the driver of the car repeats this. Then we turn onto a main road, and the car is cutting in front of the bus as close as he can, forcing the bus to stop again, and then he was along side the bus, leaning on the horn, and swerved at the side of the bus causing the bus to swerve onto the wrong side of the road. Finally we got to a bus stop, and the car stops sideways in front of the bus in the bus stop lane.
I considered getting off! The driver opened the door, some people got off, and we tried to go around the car.. the car goes in reverse, into traffic, and hits the side of a van. The van came to a stop and the Lexus driver got out and started yelling at the van driver, and the bus driver just casually drove off around it all. I have never really seen anything like it before.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Exiting Himeji station, and the castle is immediately in view. There are a lot of covered shopping streets either side of the main road, but I decided

Exiting Himeji station, and the castle is immediately in view. There are a lot of covered shopping streets either side of the main road, but I decided to walk up the road and enjoy the view.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - There it is, a designated treasure and world heritage site and many other things. They are setting up a light show on the dead lawn.

There it is, a designated treasure and world heritage site and many other things. They are setting up a light show on the dead lawn.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Another angle. I have seen a lot of castles recently, so I did not go overboard today.

Another angle. I have seen a lot of castles recently, so I did not go overboard today.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Confused blossoms. Actually there was a tour guide explaining these are a different kind of tree and they blossom several times per year.

Confused blossoms. Actually there was a tour guide explaining these are a different kind of tree and they blossom several times per year.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Inside of the castle is very wooden. Yes you must take off your shoes. The ladders up the 6 levels were not as steep as Hikone castle from yesterday.

Inside of the castle is very wooden. Yes you must take off your shoes. The ladders up the 6 levels were not as steep as Hikone castle from yesterday.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - There is chicken wire! But it is not as fine as Hikone. This is turning into a Himeji vs Hikone thing. Himeji has better chicken wire for taking photo

There is chicken wire! But it is not as fine as Hikone. This is turning into a Himeji vs Hikone thing. Himeji has better chicken wire for taking photos...


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Because if I push my camera right up against it, I can take a photo that is not covered with wire. That is the view back down to the station. I read o

Because if I push my camera right up against it, I can take a photo that is not covered with wire. That is the view back down to the station. I read online that some people complain it is too far to walk from the station. Really! 15 minutes at most.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Inside of the top level, or keep as they call it. Everyone has their shoe bag, including me.

Inside of the top level, or keep as they call it. Everyone has their shoe bag, including me.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Last view shot from the castle. There will be more view later!

Last view shot from the castle. There will be more view later!


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - There were a lot of kids visiting. Probably 10 different school groups.

There were a lot of kids visiting. Probably 10 different school groups.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Next up, Koko-en garden. If you get a combined ticket it costs basically 50 cents extra on top of the $10 castle ticket.

Next up, Koko-en garden. If you get a combined ticket it costs basically 50 cents extra on top of the $10 castle ticket.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - First, a lot of green and a waterfall.

First, a lot of green and a waterfall.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Then a pond, with fish, and a bit of colour.

Then a pond, with fish, and a bit of colour.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A bridge.

A bridge.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And if I get down low, which I did, great light.

And if I get down low, which I did, great light.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A really nice garden, sectioned off into different themed areas with a route to follow so you do not miss any of it.

A really nice garden, sectioned off into different themed areas with a route to follow so you do not miss any of it.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Last garden pic!

Last garden pic!


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I now boarded a bus and headed north west, the signs tell you how to get to the ropeway on the bus stops, but I will not be going to the ropeway. Inst

I now boarded a bus and headed north west, the signs tell you how to get to the ropeway on the bus stops, but I will not be going to the ropeway. Instead I got off a stop early and followed these signs to the path to walk up. It is a bit west of the ropeway station.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The trail to the ropeway station is not too high, about 30 minutes up I think. Starts off with steps but gets better.

The trail to the ropeway station is not too high, about 30 minutes up I think. Starts off with steps but gets better.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - It became rocky like a Korean trail. More rocks on the way down.

It became rocky like a Korean trail. More rocks on the way down.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Great view, with rocks, from half way up.

Great view, with rocks, from half way up.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Actually despite being a short hike, this was a really nice trail, highly recommended.

Actually despite being a short hike, this was a really nice trail, highly recommended.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Before very long, I arrived at the top ropeway station, and had the deck to myself. I took a photo as proof.

Before very long, I arrived at the top ropeway station, and had the deck to myself. I took a photo as proof.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - View from deck, nice cloud.

View from deck, nice cloud.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - View of unshaved big fat head. I am shaving right now because I hate being unshaven.

View of unshaved big fat head. I am shaving right now because I hate being unshaven.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - There goes the cable car, I yelled various insults at them accusing them of being lazy.

There goes the cable car, I yelled various insults at them accusing them of being lazy.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - About 30 minutes walk along the top of the small hill from the cable car station and you get to Engyoji shrine, which is actually a big complex of shr

About 30 minutes walk along the top of the small hill from the cable car station and you get to Engyoji shrine, which is actually a big complex of shrines, so big that there is a bus to take lazy people around.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is probably the best bit, which is the first bit. A very big old building.

This is probably the best bit, which is the first bit. A very big old building.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Really nice trees up here.

Really nice trees up here.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I waited a really long time for that woman to move, but no. She knew I was waiting. I could have yelled at her?

I waited a really long time for that woman to move, but no. She knew I was waiting. I could have yelled at her?


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I probably should have taken some photos of the other buildings, instead, the graveyard. The bus was quite funny, I saw a bunch of people break into a

I probably should have taken some photos of the other buildings, instead, the graveyard. The bus was quite funny, I saw a bunch of people break into a full speed sprint to get to the bus that was about to leave. And yet they could not walk the few minutes between each location within the shrine theme park.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Tiny Buddha's (I think).

Tiny Buddha's (I think).


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Time to head back down to the bus, here's the view.

Time to head back down to the bus, here's the view.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And here is a nice shot of the rocky path down, ruined by the power poles and wires. Soon after I was in for the bus ride of a life time.

And here is a nice shot of the rocky path down, ruined by the power poles and wires. Soon after I was in for the bus ride of a life time.


Night of the long corridors

Kyoto covered shopping areas

Look closely at tonight's pics, none of them are outside.
My hotel has a corridor that goes to a lift (elevator) that goes down to the subway. This connects to a really long corridor of nothingness that goes all the way to the covered shopping streets, one of which is called Teramachi. These connect to another underground shopping centre at the end, which is called zest. I then came back up the other parallel shopping street, which connects to the covered food street, Nishiki market, this connects to the Daimaru department store which connects back to the subway and back to my hotel. So you can go for miles without being exposed to the night sky.
Why is this important? Because tonight it is not raining, tomorrow it probably will be, so why did I do this tonight and not tomorrow?

I have taken photos of all the long corridors, both above and underground.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Starting with the long corridor of nothingness, which I remember from previous visits. It goes all the way under Shijo-dori, the main street, but has

Starting with the long corridor of nothingness, which I remember from previous visits. It goes all the way under Shijo-dori, the main street, but has no shops in it, no vending machines, and almost no advertising.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - No advertising until you get to the end where it becomes a long corridor of a real life advertisement of a life size super mario game (what I wrote he

No advertising until you get to the end where it becomes a long corridor of a real life advertisement of a life size super mario game (what I wrote here makes no sense at all).


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Half way along the Shinkyogoku shopping street (I just looked up the name) you get to a capsule store that a small aircraft has crashed into.

Half way along the Shinkyogoku shopping street (I just looked up the name) you get to a capsule store that a small aircraft has crashed into.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is an extensive display, of how the covering, of the covered shopping street was restored from it's sun damaged yellow to be 9 shades whiter. Fir

This is an extensive display, of how the covering, of the covered shopping street was restored from it's sun damaged yellow to be 9 shades whiter. First they identified the ladders they needed. Then the rags to clean the roof...


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The big boss guitar store is still here.

The big boss guitar store is still here.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I found my dinner here, Chinese food in Japan. Why not? Lanzhou beef noodle soup, my favourite. Seemed pretty authentic to me, they had the proper chi

I found my dinner here, Chinese food in Japan. Why not? Lanzhou beef noodle soup, my favourite. Seemed pretty authentic to me, they had the proper chilli and vinegar to add to it. This has been my favourite for many many years, long before a Lanzhou hand pulled noodles shop turned up on every Melbourne street corner to replace they outgoing hot pot restaurants.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I got to the end of the covered shopping streets, time to head back underground.

I got to the end of the covered shopping streets, time to head back underground.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Inside the Zest underground mall, and on the right is a place I ate at the very first time I came to Kyoto, I remember the crazy old lady that served

Inside the Zest underground mall, and on the right is a place I ate at the very first time I came to Kyoto, I remember the crazy old lady that served me. I peered through the window and confirmed she died years ago.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - After the underground it was time to head back down the main covered street, different to the one shown earlier, this one is Teramachi, probably the n

After the underground it was time to head back down the main covered street, different to the one shown earlier, this one is Teramachi, probably the nicer of the two main ones.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And then a right turn into Nishiki market, which surprisingly still had some mainly seafood eating places still open. Tomorrow is supposed to be raini

And then a right turn into Nishiki market, which surprisingly still had some mainly seafood eating places still open.
Tomorrow is supposed to be raining, I have plans to go to a short hike, but a weather check will be required.


There are currently 1 comments - click to add

mother on 2023-11-16 said:

bus rides can be very adventurous due to the narrow streets, not usually crazy drivers. They must have road rage in Japan too.


Day 21 - Friday, 17 November 2023

Not a failure

Kurama to Kibune hike

2 days ago I tried to do a hike I have done before which turned into an epic failure.
In 2017 I tried to do the Kurama to Kibune hike, which failed badly, because the path was closed due to typhoon damage. So to tempt failure once more, I headed back to a site of a previous fail soon after a recent fail to see if I could fail.
As it turns out the trail was open, it did not rain on me, the sun came out, the hike was short but nice, but my camera really struggled with the high contrast scenes. Really it seems as though my camera is no better than a phone at times.

Most people who have been to Kyoto have done the Kurama to Kibune hike, calling it a hike is a bit much, it is an hour stroll over some stairs, most of the climb is done to get to the first shrine, for which there is a ropeway. The hills are filled with various graves and things of that nature. The hiking trail is privately owned, so you have to pay $5 no matter where you enter it from.
On the way back I was on a slightly fancy train to go through the maple tree tunnel, however it is still not peak leaf season, so most people were rather blase. I think everything will be reddest in about a week from now.

So an early day, not much walking, so I might go do my laundry now.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I took the subway to the end of the line then walked a bit towards the little train that goes up to Kurama. It had been raining on and off but never r

I took the subway to the end of the line then walked a bit towards the little train that goes up to Kurama. It had been raining on and off but never rained on me. Nice clouds ahead on that mountain. It was not my destination today, but I have climbed it on a previous trip. I kind of wished I was going there today.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Getting off at Kurama, and they seem to expect huge crowds. These are the rope barriers to line up to get back on the train.

Getting off at Kurama, and they seem to expect huge crowds. These are the rope barriers to line up to get back on the train.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I walked up the street a bit to see what all the commotion was. Fire, police and ambulance were all attending something without great haste. If I had

I walked up the street a bit to see what all the commotion was. Fire, police and ambulance were all attending something without great haste. If I had to guess, someone old died.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - No convenience stores nearby, so I went back to the station area to stock up on vending machine beverages.

No convenience stores nearby, so I went back to the station area to stock up on vending machine beverages.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Time to go up to the shrine.

Time to go up to the shrine.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The huge tree and the moss covered roof. I remembered it from last time.

The huge tree and the moss covered roof. I remembered it from last time.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Camera is already struggling here. Sky is horrible!

Camera is already struggling here. Sky is horrible!


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Today was all staircases.

Today was all staircases.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A full 42 piece leaf blower orchestra was filling the air with a wonderful cacophony and delicious 2 stroke fumes.

A full 42 piece leaf blower orchestra was filling the air with a wonderful cacophony and delicious 2 stroke fumes.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Got a good shot of the clouds when there is no sun. Less dynamic range needed.

Got a good shot of the clouds when there is no sun. Less dynamic range needed.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Above the ropeway (which I did not use) there are more people and more steps.

Above the ropeway (which I did not use) there are more people and more steps.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I got great shots of this spot last time I was here. No sun today (yet), if I had of been an hour later there would have been great sun and wet reflec

I got great shots of this spot last time I was here. No sun today (yet), if I had of been an hour later there would have been great sun and wet reflective stairs.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Here is the top shrine, not that much to this one, it is more about the trees on the way up.

Here is the top shrine, not that much to this one, it is more about the trees on the way up.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is the exact spot where I was stopped in my tracks last time due to typhoon damage closing the trail. Not today!

This is the exact spot where I was stopped in my tracks last time due to typhoon damage closing the trail. Not today!


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - A shrine deep in the forest.

A shrine deep in the forest.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - On the hike over the top, surprisingly you can see areas being logged. Terrible looking sky!

On the hike over the top, surprisingly you can see areas being logged. Terrible looking sky!


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Nearing the end of the path. Wet but never too slippery today.

Nearing the end of the path. Wet but never too slippery today.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is now the Kifune shrine on the Kibune side of the hill. Is Kifune and Kibune supposed to be one or the other? They are used interchangeably.

This is now the Kifune shrine on the Kibune side of the hill. Is Kifune and Kibune supposed to be one or the other? They are used interchangeably.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Sun was coming out to light up the leaves and create nice reflections, and unfortunately make the sky white in my photos.

Sun was coming out to light up the leaves and create nice reflections, and unfortunately make the sky white in my photos.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The creek along side the road is very nice, lots of mini waterfalls.

The creek along side the road is very nice, lots of mini waterfalls.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Good trees and ferns along here too. Most of the way you do need to walk on the road and there is a lot of traffic, which is at times problematic.

Good trees and ferns along here too. Most of the way you do need to walk on the road and there is a lot of traffic, which is at times problematic.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The last shrine at the end of the road.

The last shrine at the end of the road.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - The walk back down to the station was into the sun, so good light all the way for photos.

The walk back down to the station was into the sun, so good light all the way for photos.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Here you can see a picnic spot in the actual stream.

Here you can see a picnic spot in the actual stream.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - An example of where you walk on the road. Trucks and buses go past!

An example of where you walk on the road. Trucks and buses go past!


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And after a short walk down the hill, back at the station, which is a very nice station as you can see.

And after a short walk down the hill, back at the station, which is a very nice station as you can see.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Final pic before I go do my laundry, the inside of the leaf viewing train with sideways seats.

Final pic before I go do my laundry, the inside of the leaf viewing train with sideways seats.


Buddha loves Amex

Sannenzaka and Kiyomizu-dera

Before I get to why Buddha loves Amex, which is amazing, let me go on for a bit of a rant about my laundry.

I googled coin laundry, there were 3 in walking distance, I looked at the photos and reviews and selected the one that appealed to me the most. So off I go. When I get there a guy hanging around outside asks me if I need help. He seemed to speak good English, but I said I was happy to use google translate on my phone. So I select my machine, washing program, exchange notes for coins, and start my load of laundry. The guy comes back in and starts telling me off, apparently I have done it all wrong, the cold wash will not wash my clothes, and I should have accepted his help etc.
I looked at my clothes sloshing around in soapy water, and told him I always wash cold, relax.
He then tells me he owns the laundry, and he hates foreigners, and he wishes foreigners never used his laundry. To which I said, why did you not tell me that before I paid my money in the shop you own to use the service which your business offers? And then he went on an extended rant about how foreigners are all drunks, disrespectful, and getting into fights. So that was cool.

Once my washing was perfectly washed and dried without any assistance, I packed it into my bag and started the walk home to my hotel, when a liquid tanker sewerage or grease trap truck comes around a corner, and the big pump hose falls off the back, still attached by one end to the truck, slides across the road as it uncoils, and knocks a kid off his bike! The kid looked fine.
I am taking it all in for a microsecond, next thing there is yelling and 2 little old men in high vis, surprisingly fat, start running after the truck. They can barely run at all.
I briefly thought, I know I can run after that truck and catch up to it at the next intersection... but I am sure if I do, the hose incident will somehow by the foreigners fault. So I didn't.

And now as promised, why does Buddha love American Express? Because tonight the main Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Kiymoizu-dera, is closed, unless you have an American Express credit card. It seems Amex paid the monks to give exclusive access to cardholders. I thought this was a joke and just ignored the crowd control to go to the front of the various lines to check it out to make sure, and sure enough it was true.

Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is starting the ascent up the old streets to the temple from Gion.

This is starting the ascent up the old streets to the temple from Gion.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - You are no longer allowed to take photos along here. There were guys waving red LED wands telling people. I do not think this is an actual law.

You are no longer allowed to take photos along here. There were guys waving red LED wands telling people. I do not think this is an actual law.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - There were a lot of people, some were brave like me and took a couple of photos.

There were a lot of people, some were brave like me and took a couple of photos.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Most of the places are shops and restaurants so I don't know why they are trying to keep people away.

Most of the places are shops and restaurants so I don't know why they are trying to keep people away.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - All these photos except one are handheld, and it is very dark along here. I did my best.

All these photos except one are handheld, and it is very dark along here. I did my best.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - This is the one shot where I rested my camera on a pole.

This is the one shot where I rested my camera on a pole.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Another one of the famous spots. I think you are allowed to take photos here. I heard a middle aged woman with an Australian accent having a roaring t

Another one of the famous spots. I think you are allowed to take photos here. I heard a middle aged woman with an Australian accent having a roaring tantrum at her husband because most of the shops were already closed.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Here is an open shop. You can buy capsule toys and cheap t-shirts from anywhere so I don't know what her problem was.

Here is an open shop. You can buy capsule toys and cheap t-shirts from anywhere so I don't know what her problem was.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - What is this line, and why is their a giant light polluting the sky? Amex that's why.

What is this line, and why is their a giant light polluting the sky? Amex that's why.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - Closed today. Note the American Express sign attached to the temple.

Closed today. Note the American Express sign attached to the temple.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And just because no one will believe me... The crowd control guys were really unhappy at me for taking this photo too. 'Only for Amex'.

And just because no one will believe me... The crowd control guys were really unhappy at me for taking this photo too. 'Only for Amex'.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - I thought it best to flee before the Amex police got me. So I went down this green pipe after Mario.

I thought it best to flee before the Amex police got me. So I went down this green pipe after Mario.


Japan for the 10th time (Finally!) - October and November 2023 - And finally.. it is a curry, but it is Korean curry! Pork and Kim Chi! Not bad.

And finally.. it is a curry, but it is Korean curry! Pork and Kim Chi! Not bad.


There are currently 2 comments - click to add

adriana on 2023-11-17 said:

seems like there is a huge backlash against tourists in Tokyo too. Dont really blame them. I hate tourists.


mother on 2023-11-17 said:

Gorgeous area you checked out today.


Page 8 has me returning to Kyoto for another week, CLICK NEXT NOW

Contents

Day 1 - Saturday, 28 October 2023
  Stage one of two on a tiny jet
  New airport briefly
  Maxing out
Day 2 - Sunday, 29 October 2023
  Shrunken horse bear bell symphony
  I now feel as though I arrived
Day 3 - Monday, 30 October 2023
  Pray for the repose of the souls of the ducks
  Fake tomato
Day 4 - Tuesday, 31 October 2023
  Once more between the tracks
  Geeks and Gorillas
Day 5 - Wednesday, 1 November 2023
  Bird cock golf
  The aftermath
Day 6 - Thursday, 2 November 2023
  Delayed and confused
  Double curry
Day 7 - Friday, 3 November 2023
  Travelling on a national holiday
  Much of it is new
Day 8 - Saturday, 4 November 2023
  Mystery hike to abandoned park
  Double food court mall repeat
Day 9 - Sunday, 5 November 2023
  Double loop pollution view
  Pancake night
Day 10 - Monday, 6 November 2023
  Old temples and closed castles
  The outer loop
Day 11 - Tuesday, 7 November 2023
  A whole ferry load of my laundry
  No view roof garden
Day 12 - Wednesday, 8 November 2023
  Highest around
  Emergency hot chocolate
Day 13 - Thursday, 9 November 2023
  Dogo is Japanese for dog
  Three nights is probably enough
Day 14 - Friday, 10 November 2019
  Fights, floods and arguments
  Damp rissoles
Day 15 - Saturday, 11 November 2023
  Primeval not primordial
  One street to the right
Day 16 - Sunday, 12 November 2023
  Grey wedding day of not much going on
  Illuminated with 2 kinds of meat
Day 17 - Monday, 13 November 2023
  Ruined sea of cloud
  Korea practice
Day 18 - Tuesday, 14 November 2023
  Long waste of a day
  Most of the main drag
Day 19 - Wednesday, 15 November 2023
  Castle of failure
  Behind the station
Day 20 - Thursday, 16 November 2023
  Over castled
  Night of the long corridors
Day 21 - Friday, 17 November 2023
  Not a failure
  Buddha loves Amex
Day 22 - Saturday, 18 November 2023
  Back to the start
  Okonobukuro
Day 23 - Sunday, 19 November 2023
  Not as long as I hoped for
  Salty and hydrated
Day 24 - Monday, 20 November 2023
  Sky shrine
  Back to back Asakusa attack
Day 25 - Tuesday, 21 November 2023
  Nice and easy
  Nerd reduction
Day 26 - Wednesday, 22 November 2023
  Dayjuku
  Half a pig
Day 27 - Thursday, 23 November 2023
  Power hike
  Yokowherenow
Day 28 - Friday, 24 November 2023
  Slow mode engaged
  Departure zone
Day 29 - Saturday, 25 November 2023
  5 hours between flights
  The end