The escape artist at the Philosopher's Walk in Kyoto
Last week was quite relaxing in the sense that the projects got signed off finally! & the team went on some event on Friday so it was a very coincidentally good timing that Shuping & Susan came to Kyoto over the same days.
Thursday night was 焼肉、 finally settled my beef cravings. I can't even remember the last time I had bbq beef, was it with Ryo's team?
Friday was sightseeing at Kyoto with the girls, it was a very very gloomy & chilly day with rain & lots of bus rides. We got to chat a lot on the bus rides at least, & I realised that Kyoto is too big a city to cover even in a week! (maybe because of the jams.. & the fact that we were taking buses.. the subway network is not comprehensive enough, we had to walk alot of places) I feel sorry for the people who live in Kyoto; there are so many tourists on the public transportation system, & the buses are so tiny with so little seats, are they paying taxes to maintain these systems? Around evening time, the horrible buses are packed to the door, and locals are not able to get on the buses (because the buses are so small) & I actually feel thankful for the SG buses being so spacious and user friendly in their designs (even for standing people!) We managed to head to the Philosopher's walk (stumbled upon the cat above), then 平安神宮 & 金閣寺. When the sun set, we headed towards Gion, & then the shopping district. Luckily, we were all laidback travellers (not the kind who must cheong 10 places a day) & this suited us very well + our legs were all super tired from the walking around & the standing in the bus for >40 minutes per ride.
Saturday was a trip to 嵐山 Arashiyama (the most scenic place in Kyoto in my opinion). I should have set off earlier, but I was in serious sleep debt after 2 nights of sleeping late & waking up early the next day, and the seats were all taken up by energetic old ladies who were ready to go sightseeing at 9+am. (T.T) I had to stand for the whole of the 1.5 hours train ride there. Although there was only about 20% of the trees having turned yellow for autumn, having not been in Arashiyama for 2 years++ , the view still pretty much took my breath away. Seeing the bridge against the mountainous backdrop with patches of red & yellow, & a river with super clear waters, it was very scenic, if you try to ignore all the human traffic trying to squeeze pass you when you try to stop to take a pic (>.<) Anyway, loads of fun that day with the girls. We headed to the 竹林, managed to see workmen cutting down bamboo trees, old men doing watercolour paintings by the roadside, duck udon for lunch, an orgel museum (only headed into the shop hehe)
Kyoto is famous for it's 漬物 (pickled vegetables?) so we had alot of fun trying out pickles at the stores (of course we bought some!) I think the best part was that we were all sorta on the same frequency, especially with the "take alot of pics of everything" & "take alot of candid pics of the other girls'" mentality since we all had our own quite good cameras. I haven't travelled with friends in a while, it's usually Ryo & he doesn't take pics much (unless he wants to post something on fb) or he will be kinda involved in playing his games on the phone (which is pretty irritating) and be waiting for me while i browse or take pics instead of taking pics himself so this time was 10x more fun.
Dinner on Saturday night was with my cousin who also happened to come to Osaka at the same weekend, (the girls went back to Tokyo..) & his baby is already 1 year old! I haven't met his wife/baby directly before, and I must say the baby is a really really cute & sweet little girl! She was just smiling all the time (almost) & charmed the socks off 3 grown men at the next table which was quite funny cos they actually looked very macho & scary to me, until they started making faces at the baby. wahahaha!
Sunday morning was runclub activities and had to wake up at 7am sobzz (T.T) But was quite happy that I went; I hadn't realised that the last time I went was in July! Everyone seemed genuinely happy to meet up with me, & I feel very guilty that the next one I can only join is in February after I return from Singapore. sighz. I had a good time catching up with everyone during lunch (brought them to eat chicken rice for lunch!) and made some new friends as well.
I'm very glad to be not going any where this week (for now though) because my legs are so so so tired! There is the quarter marathon this Sunday, & Korea next weekend. Glad to have events to look forward to!