Today’s trip was just Derek and I, Kyle had gone off to Shizuku to go to the racing track. Bloodfrost was staying in the hotel because he wasn’t feeling great. With all the snow we have had in Kyoto, I don’t blame him. The first thing we did was head across the street to the Nijo Castle! Yeah that’s right, our hotel was across the street from a castle.
Unfortunately because of the winter time, the castle grounds weren’t as beautiful as they could have been in the summer, but it was still a really nice area. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the castle itself.
Nijo Castle is where the Emperor of Japan use to live back in the day. It is famous for the wall mural paintings and the nightingale floors in the corridors. These are a special floor made with nails underneath it so when you stepped on the floor boards it would purposely creak and make a noise. This was implemented so no one could sneak up on the emperor and assassinate him.
After the castle, Derek and I hopped on a train and left Kyoto behind us. We headed to the city of Kobe for a sake tasting at a sake brewery. It look us a bit to find the place, it didn’t look like the breweries back home. I found a cat along our walk to the brewery. 😛
The entrance to the brewery looked more like a shrine, and there was even a garden outside of it. Inside was pretty normal though.
We were only able to do the tasting at the brewery, the tours of the brewery were not going on during this time. It was pretty interesting to learn about the different types of sake, but my favorite was still the sparkling sake, which is a carbonated sake with fruit flavor. I am not the type of person who is really good when it comes to describing alcoholic drinks. So I am just going to leave it at that.
We had lunch nearby at this weird cafeteria styled place. You just got a tray and added random foods you wanted to it. Truthfully it wasn’t really tasty. The crocette was the only thing I really liked. After that it was on to Nara!
When we were waiting for the train to Nara we saw this style of gate to prevent accidents, it was pretty weird to see the ropes just collapse and go up like that.
Now, for those of you who don’t know what Nara is, there is only like one thing you need to know.
oh and there is a giant Buddha statue.
Ok so these deer in Nara are called Sika deer, or Japanese Bowing Deer. They really do bow their heads to you.
They are also super friendly, most of the time, and just want you to give them the special Deer Crackers, the vendors around the park in Nara sell.
A deer stole a brochure from my bag when I was taking photos, so Derek had to fight him for it.
But we also went to see the really impressive giant Buddha statue. It was way bigger then I imagined. It is just under 50 feet tall.
After that we headed back to Kyoto because it was almost supper time. We had some more delicious ramen for supper. 🙂
Today we are heading to Takeyama like I mentioned, unfortunately it is a small resort town up in the mountains and the internet is pretty scarce there so we may or may not have any posts while we are there. We will probably have to wait till we are back in Tokyo and do a summary of our time there.