The missing days

I went back and read through some of the entries I’ve posted already tonight just to check over spelling errors and whatnot and noticed something. There are definitely some things that I never wrote about. I think in the whirlwind that was the first few weeks here everything blended together and I couldn’t actually remember what happened on particular days.

A lot of it involved exploring Hirakata, going out to karaoke a few more times, going to Izakaya’s, and obviously shopping. There are two train stations close by the Seminar Houses, the first obviously being in downtown Hirakata, and the other being in Makino. The train in Makino is actually closer and cheaper since you aren’t paying to take a bus there like you would if you went to the Hirakata station. One stop past Makino is Kuzuha, where there is a decently sized mall. The shopping there isn’t too badly priced, so it’s no surprise that we’ve ended up going there a few times for clothes.

The biggest thing I forgot to make a post about was the Kyoto tour I took back in the first week here. The funny thing about the tour was that I almost didn’t go. They had all of the study abroad students wait outside the CIE building and nobody really knew what was going on at first. It was a really hot day so standing around started to get annoying and I remember Jess and I talking about not going. Ironically, Kyoto ended up being our favorite place to go. I can’t remember the name of the first temple we went to but the second was Kyomizu-dera. From what I had heard before coming to Japan was that Kyomizu-dera, along with Fushimi Inari, were the temples that got the most tourism. After seeing nothing but the international students around Hirakata it was surprising in a weird way to see other foreigners walking around Kyoto. It sounds weird to say, but being in Hirakata makes you feel less like a tourist, except when you’re in an area that there a ton of tourist foreigners.

Walking around Kyoto, I must have taken over two hundred pictures. The architecture there is absolutely stunning. It feels and looks very old. Japan’s architecture in general is in and of itself amazing, but Kyoto just feels different. It has a much older feel that Osaka does. While Osaka is great for being the big and busy city that it is, Kyoto has more to look at in terms of history. I wish I had remembered to blog about this trip after it happened, since I probably would have been able to give a better description of what we did. Since it was a few weeks ago I don’t remember the details as clearly.

But we started off at the school and were sectioned off into smaller groups. Each group has one to three japanese students to help guide us around. The train ride there was the longest I had experienced at that point, so it was relaxing. The view of the mountains and changing landscape was really amazing as well. Walking down the streets after the train ride was like a photo opportunity waiting to happen at every turn. The temples were amazing and the architecture is stunning. I ended up taking more pictures of the two temples we visited more than any other places we had been to. We spent almost the entire day walking around Kyoto and Kyomizu-dera. We really didn’t get stop to buy anything from the numerous shops along the streets, but since then I’ve gone back and bought a few things for gifts.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Denise
    Oct 11, 2010 @ 02:20:42

    Keep them coming Dana! Saw Alan and your Mom and Rob yesterday…..they all say you are doing well. We are all looking forward to seeing you in December!


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