Saturday, 13 April 2013


This morning we were woken at 5.30 by A FREAKING EARTHQUAKE. We are all fine, and Japan is fine, though I think there were injuries sustained near the epicentre. But it was definitely the biggest earthquake I have ever felt. Much more shaky and noisy than those piddly earth tremors we sometimes get in Melbourne. About ten seconds before we felt the quake, I was woken by the phone making a terrible racket (these are the phones we've hired while in Japan) and it turns out they're all equipped with an earthquake alarm. Beats me how it manages to get to everyone in time to actually precede us feeling the quake, but that is the brilliance of Japan and seismologists. Apparently the quake measures 5.8, so not a tiny one, but nothing devastating either. Anyway, with that excitement out of the way, I went back to sleep for maybe an hour, but then we got up to have breakfast and start the day. Dad ran off to play with Hondas and Marnie and Margaret went for a walk and I stayed home to Skype with Sean.

The plan for today was to meet Reiko for lunch and to spend time with her after that - she was coming all the way from Osaka to meet us for the day. Her train was delayed because of the quake, but we met up with her eventually and went for lunch on the Path of Philosophy. I tell you, it was absolute luxury having a Japanese speaker along with us. It made everything so much simpler! Reiko hasn't changed one bit. She's still gorgeous and funny and smart and terribly good at English and I haven't seen her in about 3 or 4 years so it was an absolute joy. We took her back to our house after lunch and FaceTimed with Mum and Riley and Simon and Mitchell back home. It was awesome to hear Reiko and Mitch carrying on a conversation in two languages. I wish I was bilingual. After tearing ourselves away from the iPad, we walked to Ginkakuji Temple (the Silver Pavilion) which is only round the corner from where we are staying. It's another stunning set of gardens, and we got some great photos in the perfect weather. We also arrived home to a letter from Kinjiro, with the photos from Tokyo!!

Ginkakuji Temple

Ginkakuji Temple
We took the bus back to Kyoto Station with Reiko and went to a tonkatsu restaurant for dinner. It's mostly pork dishes that come with salad and tiny serves of pickled vegetables and miso soup and rice, and we got bamboo rice with ours with was beautiful. We talked and talked for ages, but eventually we had to say goodbye to Reiko and it was so freaking sad, because I really don't want it to be another three years before I see her again! But I'm so glad we got to spend today with her. Tomorrow, Arashiyama!!



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