Saturday, February 23, 2013

1/30—Day 4 Kyoto, Japan

As uncomfortable as the overnight bus was, I thought it was a great experience. No one really got much sleep, but it was fun to travel on an overnight bus with all my friends. We talked and told stories… Andrea was sleep talking through the whole conversation, which happened to be about sleep talking! As much as this trip is about learning about each culture and sightseeing, I’m also realizing how it is about those little moments. Like Andrea not remember a whole conversation and eating a bag of chips while sleeping. I feel like those are the moments I was forgetting to take in and enjoy at the start of this port.
Finally 7 am rolled round and we had successfully made it to Kyoto. The morning started off extremely interesting… Everywhere we had been so far had both kinds of toilets. And by that I mean, what we are use to and a hole in the ground. Yep, that’s right! No joke, it was a ceramic hole in the ground. We walk into the bus station looking for a bathroom and all they have are the hole in the ground toilets.
Since it was early, we wondered around a little bit and walked down some random back streets. Kyoto is a city of mainly temples. So we walked through a bunch of different temples, and I absolutely loved each one. They are so beautiful and peaceful. I felt like I walked through the gates into pure serenity. It was such an indescribable feeling.
We really didn’t make it long in Kyoto before we decided to head to Kobe. Justin once again took the lead and we headed to the ship. As we were on the metro, I noticed some older Japanese women whispering to one another and then looking at us. I realized it was because we were all talking, not loud or anything, but in Japan, people do not talk on the metro. It is a very organized and quiet country. And I oddly love that aspect of Japan.
Once we got back to the ship, we grabbed lunch and before taking a nap, I went out to the port terminal to use the free Wi-Fi. The connection wasn’t great, but I was able to FaceTime with my mom and see my puppy J
It was really nice to finally sleep in my own bed and get some rest, especially after two nights of basically no sleep. I got ready for the night and headed out to explore Kobe! As you may know, Kobe, Japan is known for Kobe beef. I wasn’t able to try it, since I have a field lab tomorrow and restaurants were starting to close once we headed out. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to try it, but Japan is definitely a place I want to come back to, so I guess that gives me yet another reason to visit again!
The group I was traveling with met up with a few new people, and found a hole in the wall local bar. As much as a love going to the bars and clubs where all SASholes (our nickname for one another) are, it is nice to find places that are filled with locals. Justin and one of the bar tenders bet on who could win darts, and after a great come back, Justin won and the bar tender gave him a free beer.
I know I’ve said it a million times, and even with the few bad apples in the crowd, the people here are seriously some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.  I’m for sure planning on coming back to Japan one day. 

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