Originally published on 2 June 2006. This post is part of a series of e-mails home from my first ever solo trip abroad, Japan!
Next up: Kyoto! Yoko and I went to Kyoto to see a big temple.We took two trains and walked a loooooong way up hill (but it was a wonderful workout!) to get to this temple, but the view and just being at a real Japanese temple in Kyoto, Japan, was totally worth it.
The shopping and green tea ice cream were pretty good, too! We didn’t have a lot of time to spend there because I needed to catch the train back to Ise, but we covered a lot of ground, and I got lots of souvenirs. And I got this picture:
There’s really not much else to tell other than we walked a lot and saw the temple. I made the train on time, and the ride home was smooth. It wasn’t until then that I realized Shinkansen trains are the infamous, super fast Bullet Trains! Honestly, it didn’t seem all that fast, but maybe that just means it’s really sound. It’s definitely faster than the regular trains, however, and they make announcements in Japanese AND English!
And actually, I met someone when I changed trains in Nagoya. He’s 83, is a native Korean living in Washington, D.C., and he reminds me of my Granddaddy Will who died last summer. He just came up and started talking to me while we were waiting for the train, and we found out we were both bound for Ise. He said he’s on a “sentimental journey.” He went to Ise in high school with his class, and he remembered it all these years. So he decided to come back and see Ise and Japan again. He also has a rail pass like mine, so he’s been travelling around this week as well. He said that, for Thursday morning, he planned to watch the sunrise between the Wedded Rocks.
Anyway, we sat a few rows away on the train (we had to sit in our assigned seats), so I spent the time writing in my journal and writing postcards. He came and sat with me for the last few minutes of the ride anyway, though. His name is Charles, and I just thought he was a cutie. Like I said, he reminds me of my Granddaddy!
So I came back to the apartment and decided I liked Kyoto so much I’d go back on Thursday! More to come!