This was another great day! The only thing that stunk about today was that I had to head back to Osaka from Kyoto to catch my plane the next day.
My day started just like yesterday, a small breakfast and rush out the door. I checked in my room key and was quickly on my way. I took a screenshot of the buses I needed to get on during breakfast. Thankfully the bus I needed to get on was about a third of a kilometer from the hotel. I had all my gear with me today since I checked out of the hotel. I didn’t have much but carrying a hiking backpack still sucks when you’re not hiking.
I woke up a little too early it seemed because the bus didn’t arrive for another 25 minutes. I just sat there and filmed myself talking for a vlog I’ll eventually edit sometime in January. Some old ladies joined me and we sat in silence for the last 5 minutes before the bus arrived.
Within 20 minutes I was at the Thousand Buddha statue temple! This time it was open. Cameras aren’t allowed in the temple so I didn’t take pictures but the grandeur of the temple is amazing. There truly is a thousand Buddha statues in this temple. I probably spent 45 minutes just standing… staring. Trying as hard as I could to take it all in. It was breathtaking. The only thing that kind of stunk was that there must have been a field trip day for local schools because there had to have been at least 200 small children, all in matching school uniforms. Just like in the anime’s we all see. The yellow bucket hats and all. There were amazed to see a 6 foot 2 white man in Japan. They all talked to me in their broken English and I had no problems talking to them. It was cute to see them trying to hard to learn a language so different from their own.
After that, I spent another 30 minutes or so just walking around the perimeter and seeing the pond and small shrines they have on the temple grounds as well. I soon made my way out of the temple grounds and walked around the outer perimeter of the temple. There were multiple small shrines that were neighboring this temple and I looked at all of them. Across the street from the Thousand Buddha Temple, was the Kyoto museum. I didn’t have to actually go in but I went to the gift shop in hope of finding a post card with pictures of the temple on it. I found multiple postcards and I was ecstatic.
Fast forward 30 minutes and I’m at the Kyoto International Manga Museum. This was obviously the highlight of the day. Not just because I was in my natural habitat but also because there was a depressed looking young man dressed up entirely in a Naruto jumpsuit costume that looked about 3 sizes too big just reading English manga alone. Call me a jerk but it was pretty funny. He probably figured out it was more cost effective to just pay the entrance fee than to actually buy the manga that they offer. Kinda scummy if that’s what he’s doing but hey… I don’t care. It is smart after all, cost wise. Gotta do what ya gotta do for that sweet, sweet manga!
I spent a great deal of time in here, probably 2 hours. When they say museum for manga, they are NOT messing around. Not only does it house all the popular manga from 1960 to now, it has a specific section of manga in Japanese you can read. It’s like a library but you can’t bring them out of the building. Pull what you want off the shelves and enjoy. I say shelves but that is a loose use of the word. There is literally 2 stories worth of manga they have that you are allowed to view. They also have monthly exhibits you can see as well. It was truly magical! I was in heaven.
After I awoke from that dream of endless manga to read. I quick called my dad to tell him I’m alive and well. There is this place famous for fire ramen. It’s basically lunch and a show. The only problem… it’s closed from 2:30 pm and open back up at 6 pm for the dinner rush. I left the museum around 2 pm so there was no way I was gonna make it in time. After a not so short talk with my dad, I just decided to get on the bus that took me to the rail station.
I don’t even remember what I ate for lunch actually. I think I just bought some food to tide me over till I got back to Osaka that night. If you recall on my first day, it took me about 4 hours to get to Kyoto from Osaka. This time it took me about 2 hours to get to Osaka from Kyoto. I learn! I arrived at my final hotel for my final night in Japan around 6 pm or so. Once there I quickly checked in and took a shower. I was so tired from walking all day but I was also kind of sweaty too.
By this time, the sun was going down. I was on the 42nd floor of this hotel and it was magnificent. Before I took my shower I quickly set up my tripod and started a time lapse of the downtown Osaka area. I took about 30 minutes worth of footage to look back on and time lapse. It was during the sunset too. After that I went up to the top floor. On the top two floors of this hotel are different restaurants. Upon seeing how much an appetizer cost. I quickly realized this hotel is more for business people who are only here for a couple days. The prices were astronomical. Luckily the large department mall next to the hotel had a food court so I just went there. Once full… I returned to my hotel room and enjoyed one last look out onto the bustling night life that Osaka has. It was truly amazing. This night in the hotel was also my 6 month anniversary with my girlfriend but she beat me to the punch in posting it on Facebook. It was nice, we had a quick whatsapp call together to celebrate.
And that… Is where the first trip of my study abroad semester ends.
I don’t even count the next day before I get on my plane because there is nothing I could do so close to the airport. Pretty much everything near the airport was industrial companies and large department stores. So for the last few hours before my flight, I just spent it staring at the water and watching the plane leave.
This was an amazing experience. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could. Maybe next time I would go to Hiroshima, Nagasaki, of Tokyo. I would love to see all the cities to be honest, but I need to be realistic in my travel plans. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this series about one of the best places on earth. Thank you for all your support. It has filled me with joy that people enjoy hearing about my experiences and what I have to say.
I hope you all enjoyed! Have a wonderful day!