It seems that during the week of the New Year, the city goes into holiday mode. A lot of attractions and notable sites were shut for the holiday period, which meant a bit of wasted footwork on our part, and extra scouting for things to do in place of our carefully planned schedule.
Monday. We discovered that most places we arrived at were shut. Disappointing, and a little surprising, but it was the start of our holiday and we tried not to let it faze us. So, with financial problems and recreational problems standing before us, trepidation loomed on the horizon. If it weren't for my high spirits I'm sure that the others would have sunk into an irreparable melancholy and gone postal in downtown Kyoto. As it was, we plodded on, were reminded of the positives, and enjoyed those moments of interest, awe and building up the muscles in our legs and feet.
We went to a shopping arcade, Teramachi, and had a good look around there. After lunch, we went to a multi-storeyed merchandise place. It had a few things to see (and buy), from kimonos to katana and books to paintings.
Dinner was enjoyed at a different okonomiyaki joint to the one we had appreciated upon arrival. As the evening wore on, we wandered around Kyoto some more, discovering new places and breathing in more of the city.
Tonight's feature: Desperado.
Tuesday. We walked a great distance: past Nijo Castle, which we had found closed the day before. We found a small shopping centre with a geisen, a movie theatre and some eateries. The food at the place we chose was terrible, but our afternoon was great: we watched the new Bleach movie, Fade to Black at the cinema.
Afterwards, we walked further on, in pursuit of the location of some Movie World, which we intended to mark and then return to in daylight. We eventually found it, then sought the station and took a train back to Kyoto-eki (station).
We had some pizza, ghetto style*, after a bit more ambling. The second Bleach movie, The DiamondDust Rebellion, was our piece for the evening.
Wednesday: New Year's Eve. We walked to Teramachi again and wandered around the surrounding area for a bit before realising we were close to the Imperial Palace, which we were sure to visit.
One gateway to the main palace
Strolled - stumbled and trudged - back to our room. Again. Resting and playing. Yay. Even dinner was rather mediocre (convenience store food is so healthy!).
Tonight's movies: Con Air and Meet the Parents.
Happy New Year!
Read the concluding entry.
* Imagine three white guys in the middle of Japan, sitting on the ground outside a random building, munching out on wedges of pizza, cheese dripping off our fingers and ravenous hunger apparent in our wild, gaijin eyes. Suffice to say, our hobo pizza night garnered us a few odd looks by passersby.