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jaimeet’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 07 Jun 2005

Location: Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Japan

MapKyoto, Nara and Osaka are such amazing places. They all have something interesting to offer. Once we got off the plane (Dee, Amul, Andrew and I) and found our way from the airport to the centre of south Osaka on Saturday we spent the day wandering around, sussing out all of the fun places. Dotomobori is south Osaka's main street which is filled with restaurants, clubs, a few shops and basically just a whole bunch of touristy stuff. We went on a ferris-wheel kinda thing (err, kinda like these round plastic balls that 4 people fit in and it scales a wall and from it you can see how far Osaka expands. It is such a crazy big city! Nothing like brissie that at all that's for sure. We then went to Amerika Mura, which is an area where you can just sit around and people watch. I have never seen such immaculately dressed people before. The girls are absolutely gorgeous and clearly spend hours and hours a day grooming themselves. We even saw this chick with a battery operated curling iron curling her hair behind a phone booth! Haha... maybe that's just another thing where you really had to be there to get a kick out of it. Ended up going to a club that was having a drum & bass night, not my scene but everyone there was going nuts, a few people were actually asleep somehow (haha this guy in the pic was totally out of it!!) and because the hotel we stayed at had a curfew we had to stay out til 5am, it was light when we left but I was tired as all hell. Better music would have made a better night!!

Ventured back to Osaka on Wednesday night (after a huge sushi day, Amul made a record for himself of 15 plates) and stayed in a capsule hotel (think large coffin with a TV). Dee and I stayed on the level with all of the hookers, haha, I don't know what part of town we were in but there was a brothel across the road and a love hotel next door if that gives you any indicators. My toilet slipper fell off my foot and into the loo (Japanese-styled one obviously) it was bound to happen sooner or later...

So we stayed at the capsule hotel for Thursday night as well (it was cheap!!) but did a day trip to Nara. Nara is a very small city with loads and loads of deers. It was pooring down rain, so that mixed with all the deer poo isn't a great combination when you're wearing flip flops and trying not to fall on your ass. We visited lotsa shrines there and saw a huge replica of Buddha. There were some cute primary school kids there who must have had an assignment entitled "find a gaijin" because they kept coming up to us and reading off their little cards, phrases like "do you have a moment... "let's take a pictureE.. after all that was done we then had to sign their paper... as proof that the spoke to gaijin I guess..

We went to the most awesome reggae bar on Thursday night in Osaka called Zing. It was three levels and the rooftop was really really cool. They had a DJ up there and film clips projected onto the wall... the owner of the bar bought us a round of shots and so we ended up pretty happy gaijin by the end of the night.

Friday through Sunday was all spent in Kyoto. If there is one place to go whilst in Japan, I was told Kyoto was it. They were right, however we were starting to overdose on the temples and shrines by then. On Friday night we saw Noh Theatre, where there is a stage and fire lit up around it. The costumes were amazing and we were so lucky to see it because it only happens twice a year. Can't say I understood a lot of it, considering they spoke with a funny voice, kinda like the sound Willy (Free Willy movie) makes when he is sad. Helen (Amul's gf) made it up to Kyoto late Friday night we all hooked up on Saturday for a day of riding some rented bikes around the city. We saw Kiyomizudera which was beautiful to look at, as well as some geisha girls with pretty kimonos on and perfect white make-up.

Finally did a bit of shopping on Saturday afternoon since the sky opened up and let out a small thunderstorm... can kinda get irritating when even the L size a little small... but I guess the clothes are made for the tiny Japanese girls after all... bought some cool new havaianas as well (mum, I will grow up later...) so that was probably the highlight!!