Our last day in Kyoto found us all mentally exhausted. Early mornings, late nights, and LOTS of walking had gotten to our brains and subsequently melted them. We had one day left, though, and we were determined to make the most of it.
Our day started on a bad note when we walked over to Nijo Castle to look around (this is the same buliding that was lit up with projectors for the light festival). Unfortunately, it was closed that day. We weren’t sure why. Apparently it was built in such a way that every step would cause the wood floors to squeak against nails. It was designed that way so no one could sneak up on and assassinate the emperor (king, czar, leader?).
Instead we went to another temple where the ceiling was painted with an awesome dragon mural. Similar to the Mona Lisa, no matter where you stood the dragon’s eye always looks at you. It was pretty cool. Photography wasn’t allowed because of a ceremony that was happening, but I did get to sneak one of the ceiling.
The outside of the temple was equally impressive. Except not really. At that point we were touristed-out.
After that temple we went back to Kyoto station and I got to meet up with a former coworker, Charlie Vest! Charlie and I worked together at Colorado State University managing the international residence hall on campus. He is in Japan getting his Chinese visa to pursue an RA job at a Chinese University. It was great to see him! We drank a beer on the street like a couple of hobos and then went our separate ways. I actually got to see him in Nagoya a few days later. Although by now I think he’s in China by now (Good luck Charlie!)
Before I left, I had to take one more picture of Kyoto Station because it’s kind of cool.
If you’re interested in visiting Kyoto from Nagoya, bus tickets are 4000 yen round-trip. It’s a 3 hour bus ride each way, but the bus ride is actually through some nice countryside. Plus, it’s way cheaper than the Shinkansen (bullet train).