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Sunday, May 01, 2005

had decided to go kyoto on my own. after some pple last min told me they were not free. last ditch attempt in the morning to find companions but all sorts of excuses. ok.. wat the heck. cant be bothered to ask again.

it was quite ok.. there was a unlimited 乗り放題ticket for sightseers. at ¥2100. so i bought that and went about exploring the place. my main aim of going to kyoto was to see ZARA actually.. heh.. they have a store there. but how nuch time do i need for zara rite.. so went to see the famous temples, and shrines there.

went to some gold covered shrine at first. a big letdown. 金閣寺。paid ¥400 to enter and that gold covered building was it. ... worst thing was i had forgotten to draw money, and couldnt buy souvenirs etc or food. had to go out to the main road to find some convenience store to get an ATM.

speaking of ATMs. japanese banks are disgusting. they charge transaction fees and dun give you interest for your money. so basically, it cost me S$5 to withdraw money yesterday. kAOZ.

walked around trying to find a place for lunch and everywhere was like closed. it wasnt in the main city area of kyoto and everyone apparently follows the 5 day work week or something. finally stumbled upon this small pasta cafe(?) that was opened by this young cook. 2man outfit, just the waitress and the cook. and it was fabulous. very delicious and creamy tomato sauce. dun think it was just becos i am hungry bah.. but it was so tucked away in the sleepy part of kyoto i dunno how it survives.

after that.. not much idea where to go, so just took a bus that came along and tried to figure out where it was going. saw the paper carps that were hung on the pole in preparation for boY's days in the houses. checked my guide book for free places to see, saw a Heian shrine so changed a bus there.平安神宮。very large, very serene feel. there was a hundred year old cherry blossom tree there and it really looked old. apparently, half of the tree had already been chopped off. and wrapped in wooden material and supported with poles tied to it. (like an old man on crutches). poor tree.

sat there for a while to enjoy the peace and headed towards this giant red gate. its known as Torii i think? it was the shrine'S main gate and it was a park away. heh.. there was ball park there and kids were playing baseball and old men doing taiji , families cycling etc.. that kind of thing. and a park which was sort of overgrown but still has beautiful flowers. i am still experimenting with flower pics, took some dandelion photos.. finally saw a real one yesterday. in jap, its name is weird. tanpopo.タンポポ yup, a dandelion is called tanpopo. like a chinese name gone wrong. heh..

there was a museum and a library after the Torii and i guess i only have time for that next time. got lost trying to find the subway, had decided to use the bus instead so i headed towards the next bus stop and found the subway by accident. heh.. my direction instincts are good. of cos, finally, time to head for ZARA..

went to 四条 Shijio (this shopping street in kyoto) and was packed with saturday nite crowd. was heaven in zara. finally some clothes that looked ok.. and that i had money (in the form of my dad's CC) to buy some new office wear. heaven. of cos horrendously exp mostly, managed to find some bargains in a pencil skirt, a shirt, a tanktop and a see thru spag top. woohoO! .spent an hour trying on clothes. (oh dun worry, I'll pay dad back)

took a train back to JR Kyoto and had a seafood rice ちらし chirashi for dinner. reasonable price of ¥1000 cos it was all seafood, sashimi and stuff. headed back
at bout 9.30pm? the train tix from kyoto to osaka was ex.. ¥540.. but headed back happy. cos i have new clothes!

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