Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kyoto - Day 3

This post will need to be a short one - new guesthouse and only two computers for a lot of people.

We are lucky to be staying at Nagomi Ryokan - a small but pretty converted guesthouse just north of Kyoto Station. The alleys are as narrow and well-kept with plants, flowers, and clean little stones as the alleys in Gion district. The only thing lacking are the Geisha girls.

Went to the Inari shrine south of the city this morning after moving into our place. This is the place where over 5000 red tori gates line the mountain side and you can walk through the tori tunnels towards the top of the mountain. Didn't make it all the way but didn't need to. It was good to see another new thing.

But I need some familiar too. Back to Merry Island for dinner tonight. Its strange the things I'm able to remember - just a little further down that road... and yes, there it is. Candle-lit table in the back and good Thai food in a Japanese restaurant.

Today I was able to exorcise the Astro Boy ghosts from last year as well. August 2008 saw me pleading at a closed glass door in Kyoto station, begging with the morning clerk to open the door and let me buy my over-priced Astro Boy shirt from the studio store. No avail, and I had to catch a train.

This year, I found the Neo Mart store downtown in the shopping arcade - perhaps the coolest store in the world - they have Barbapapa merchandise for the love of Pete! Well, the open everyday sign was lying as October 20th is apparently inventory day and they wouldn't open their doors. Sadness. So, it was back top flight to Kyoto station to the studio store. I can wear the Mighty Atom with pride this year.

Bullet train tomorrow. My dad loves trains. I love maps. I believe there is a map on the train which I intend to look at as we race by the towns between Kyoto and Hiroshima. Only a handful of days left on this journey with my parents and we are making the best out of each one.

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