Kyoto yet again!

OK, this one is going to be shorter.

We headed back to Kyoto again to do some final temple exploring etc! First stop was the market.

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After snaking like crasy there… it was time for lunch. Mine was a rather rich Sesame Soup Ramen, but Jason upped the ante with this

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It was hot. Very hot. Most of it was consumed but I’m surprised it didn’t burn straight down once it passed his lips!

The afternoon was spent exploring…

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What a place!

Yoshino

Janet suggested we head to the Cherry Blossom capital of Japan, Yoshino! This is more of a countryside village with a rail station than a town… perfect! But it’s still a tourist trap to some extent, albeit Japanese tourists.

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Oh… and its yet another UNESCO World Heritage site! I’m seeing loads of these!

The day was spent basically walking up through the town then up the hiking trail behind it. We had a proper traditional Japanese lunch, served in a traditional restaurant (i.e. low tables, legs folded on the tattimii mat floor) of Udon. Hiked on but had to stop every so often since Cherry Blossom to Janet is like cat-nip!

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And when we found an observation post (which I was sent to reconnoitre ahead of Janet) I was set upon by a group of Japanese tourists wanting photos! They insisted they took one of me as well… which I won’t post since it looks rubbish. But we did have quite a lot of fun when we found this spot at the back!

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Anyway, we eventually made it up to the temple at the top. Chilled out for a bit then came down the mountain again, a hell of a lot quicker!

To refuel after all that, back in Osaka I ate this!

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Nara

On the day I headed back to Osaka, I realised I needed to fill that day before Janet got off work. Nara was the perfect choice for this sort of thing!

It’s a great town, small by Japan standards (or so it felt). Most of the sights are in easy walking distance of the train station (however, there was a distracting CoCoICHI Curry House which tore me away from them for 30 minutes!).

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Roaming round this place, you notice a lot of tame deer, like Miyajima. These ones are not so interested in your clothes since you might be handing out deer biscuits (but I preferred to hang on to my yen!).

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That one was particularly happy to be photographed!

I roamed round the usual temples etc, including the largest wooden structure in the world!

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The Great Buddah hall houses, as you would expect, an enormous statue of Buddah. Incense burning pots were everywhere and these must make my bear jacket smell of rubber (which Janet says I stank of when I got to hers!)

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Anyway, I found the hiking trail, and given that I had the main bag in backpack mode (which is unbelievably handy), set off round it.

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Was a great hike about! Like home in a lot of ways. I then jumped on a train back to Osaka for a night out!