I made it to Kyoto! Yay! I walked a bit, but it was cold so I bought an unhealthy number of pastries and came back to do a taste test!
Here are some of those observations I mentioned in the previous post:
~I was originally a little freaked out to travel by myself, but I think I maybe prefer it now. I really like that I was able to meet people and make friends without having to worry about any outside influences, they knew nothing about me and I knew nothing about them. It really, really made a difference. I never really realized how much other peoples' opinions affect us. It's really a lesson in keeping your mouth shut. Even going as far as telling someone "Ah, you're going to love my friend Blahblah! She's awesome!" It creates an expectation, so if they fall short-- even if they are awesome-- it kinda taints your view of them. It was really nice to have people actually laugh at my jokes and commentary, instead of getting the "why the fuck did you say that/you're so odd" looks. Makes ya think.
~I was on the subway and they announced the stop and I swear they said "disco smile." I almost got off the train to find out.
~I've noticed there aren't a of of smart phones in Japan. Looks like a lot of people are still on the flip phone.
~Met a guy just like one of my friends in Korea. Forgot his name and instinctively called him by my Korea friends name. I wasn't angry or whatever, he just did something silly and it reminded me of my friend.
~Cokes pop open with like 20% more force here that they do elsewhere. I don't know why, but they're super carbonated.
~They have real florists! Like proper, western-style florists! Not quite as daunting as feeling like you're walking into a tropical rain forest.
~I started to stress a little because I got to Kyoto way later than I planned. I decided to stay and hang out with the other Gaijins (Japanese for "foreigner") and a Japanese family, jumped in some bushes, rode a statue, witnessed/participated in a smash of a 7/11: streaking style, then crashed at the hostel I had just checked out of earlier that day. Took me forever to actually get here, and then when I did- I just walked around. I figure, its better to kinda get lost in the backstreets and really take in the lifestyle, than it would be to rush around to all these different historical sites. I'll likely learn just as much, if not more by just going around and taking it all in. Granted, that would be very boring if that was ALL I did, so I'm going to make sure I have some good time to actually see some of the historical sites (and hopefully an art museum, too). But as much as I would like to come back with all these amazing stories and pictures, lets me serious here... they might all be unique and beautiful in different ways, but they all serve the same function: worship. I'm guna shoot for the coolest looking temples, the art museum, and try to pin down a few more small things I can do/see here before I move on to the next place. I can always come back if I miss something cool. Missed a few cool neighborhoods in Tokyo, so I'll likely come back to Japan anyway. Maybe its a bit of a cop-out, but I feel a little bit more like I'm actually seeing Japan than I might feel if I only hit all the tourist areas.
I've been munching while I've been writing... here is a quick review of the treats I bought:
~Unlike in Korea; if it looks good here, it probably is. Had this amazing sandwich with sliced pepper chicken breast, tomato, and lettuce on this wicked good bread. Also this little bread thing that had red pepper, bacon, and edamame baked into it. Cinnamon bun and some other savory bread thing were also amazing. However, I did get one thing I didn't really care for. It's my own fault.... let my guard down and got a "quesadilla roll" with a hot dog in it. Still have 2 more next to me waiting to be tried! -Way more foreigners with face masks here. Freaks me out a little.