Sunday, 16 August 2015

Path of Philosophy and Daimonji

After our Samurai Joe adventure yesterday, we headed back to Ippudo for dinner with Lucy, a Canadian we met on the tour. Ippudo was packed, yet still delicious! Then I had cinnamon flavoured umeshu (YUM) at a little bar on the Pontocho and headed home.

This morning we slept in...and in...and then got up and did a load of washing. But after that, we took a bus to Kyoto Station to enquire about rail tickets for Osaka. It turned out to be a non-reservable train BUT our trip was not totally pointless, for we purchased a pig-shaped custard cream chocolate tart thing!!

BEST EVER. Then we took another bus to the Path of Philosophy :) This is a BEAUTIFUL stretch of Kyoto, and last time I was here I stayed right near it, so it was very nostalgic being back! And we found delicious coffee so Sean was happy, and I had a matcha shake, which was just as great as I hoped.

(The coffee place was called Bambi's, hence the decoration). We headed back to the hostel, me to shower, and Sean to go check out the nearby onsen, which was apparently quite enjoyable! Then we headed back to Gion to meet up with Theo and Jamie from the other night, and went walking for a good spot to view the mountains around Kyoto. Our visit this year has coincided with the Obon festival, and the visiting of the spirits of Japanese ancestors to their homes here. The final night, Daimonji, was tonight, and culminates with the lighting of fires on five mountains around Kyoto to guide the spirits of the dead back to the spirit world. We walked along the riverbank - there were heaps and heaps of people, but after Miyajima fireworks it felt positively luxurious - and my camera sucks, so I didn't get any decent photos, but we saw two of the five characters burning (it's rare to see more than that, because the fires don't burn for very long). It was brilliant! And really beautiful to see the fires lighting up and then burning out. We stopped for Thai on the way home, bid Theo and Jamie farewell, and are back at the hostel ready for bed!

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