Farewell KyotoNovember 11 in Japan
Off at the crack of, we catch the No 5 bus to the Silver Pavilion which is the beginning of the walk known as the Philosopher’s Path. I think it’s around 2.5 ks. It’s gorgeous. Because we are so early, there are hardly any other people there. I can only image what it would be like in Spring time with all the Cherry trees in bloom. We wind around the outskirts of Kyoto, just under the mountains. We’ve only donned T-shirts because we are (stupid) Aussies and come from the land down under of sun and sand, and it’s bloody freezing. My hands and feet went numb by half way through and then my nose started running, so I declared us both ‘degreed’ in philosophy and we went in search of the sun. Lovely part of Kyoto, probably the nicest and very upmarket homes and cars. Back on Bus 5 and in ten mins we are home ready for a quick 7 Eleven breakfast of egg sambos and latte. We have to check out at 11am so we leave our gear downstairs and take a two hour walk around Gion. The land of the Geisha. It’s a great area. Full of life and tradition, guest houses, many in traditional attire and at night, the authentic Geisha (which can be differentiated from other’s just wearing traditional clobber – by their hairstyle and makeup which is very particular. It’s packed being a Sunday and there are traffic cops on every intersection (and I’m talking lanes, not main roads) to keep the throngs of people moving and to help the cars steering through.
A great walk back over the river, back to the hotel to collect our bags and backpacks and off to the Station. Armed with great food for the three hour trip to Tokyo, we’ll change there for Narita (which we now know is pronounced ‘Nari-tar’ and not how the Aussies pronounce it, Nar-ita). The Toyko trip was without incident and very comfortable. Can't be said for the Tokyo-Narita experience. Thousands of people squished onto the train, standing room only - (in Japan they actually have special 'people pushers' to shove people into the carriages - Yes. I am serious). Well, we ran, carriage after carriage trying to get on and finally PC pushes me on, with my bag, then his - and the doors close right on top of him! Luckily they quickly re-opened allowing him entry or I would have been on that train alone with all the luggage and documentation and money and our 'fail safe' method for when we lose each other would have been a miserable FAIL with a capital 'F'.
If we do lose each other on hols, our 'thing' is to go back to the last place we saw each other. Works fine. Usually. PC says, so what would you have done if I'd not got on the train? And I said, I would have completed the journey to the airport and parked myself on the platform, assuming you would have got on the next train. Buzzer. Nope he says - that's not our thing. He says, "I would have waited for you to get off and get a train back to me". Right. Except I'm on the friggin sardine can train with ALL the luggage, two huge cases, backpacks and me. How on earth would that have panned out??? Luckily we didn't need to find out, but it was a reminder to have a contingency plan.
So we are on the train and I've timed it just right to get to terminal three on time as instructed by Jetstar. Which would have worked out fine if we'd been on the right train. Yep, the last train we jump on in Nippon is the slow train to the airport, not the 'Rapid' train. We have NO idea how long it's going to take and the blood pressure is rising. Finally 1 hour 40mins later we alight and literally make a run for it. You'd think we were greyhounds belting out that gate after the rabbit (both with suitcases and backpacks). It's 3/4 kilometer between terminals and we didn't miss a beat! Got to the Jetstar counter with 20 mins to go until it closed. Which, thank God, allowed enough time for two healthy glasses of white wine before we boarded.
Two nips of scotch and a Valium later we were out to the count by 10.30 and awoke to the sun coming up just over Rockhampton. Apart from a couple of small disturbances during the night, we didn't hear a thing. We had a small delay with some border control bloke entering the plane because some kid was sick and they wouldn't let us off until they had check she didn't have Ebola, but apart from that, we are back in one piece and loved every crazy minute of our trip to such a beautiful place.Read more