Sweet dreams are made of this?

Today was a good one, two reasons; I saw Katie, ate loads of food, and someone said hi to me in the bathroom. Now, you might ask, why is the last one particularly great?! Because, dear reader, when it comes to socialising in this apparently social hostel I’ve been royally crap at making friends, mostly because I’m still staying in a private room (which, can I add, smells of piss which is mank and worrying as I certainly haven’t pissed in there) and because people seem to hang out in groups they came with and so far I haven’t heard much english. I am sat around in the social area at night for the first time but am sharing a table with some French hairy butch lesbians (perfectly nice I’m sure but I’m not brave enough to strike up a convo)! Damn you, you WUSS, I hear you cry..!

So, I met Katie at the base of Kyoto tower, handy navigation point of reference. We had a chat in starbucks after a bit of unashamed menu pointing, and had a chat about how we feel Japan to have a bit of a repressive culture, and strange policies regarding disabled people, but decided that having harsh prison sentences and (therefore?) more organised crime than petty crime could be a good thing.

It was a ridiculously hot day (apparently soon it will get hotter, oh my GOSH..) so we went straight into the department store inside the station and had some lunch. The place we found required you to enter your order and pay for it with something kind of like a vending machine. As a result I ended up ordering rice and some chicken balls, nice one Meg, but I was OK with just eating the rice (it was tasty) and listening to the incredibly high pitched cartoony voiced waitress squeaking at everyone. After that we had a look about and ended up being completely waylaid by the toy department. See photos below. I wish I could upload some videos but I don’t think I can. I’ll do it when I get home. Needless to say we had the most hilarious time and I was in fits of giggles. See for example, the expressions on various toys, and/or bad English!

We then headed to a cafe selling sweet desserts and I ordered a crazy crazy plate of wafer, green tea ice cream, green tea jelly, rice balls, and red bean paste. It looked like something you might tease your children with at Halloween screaming “eyeballs! blood! phlegm jelly! Mashed aliens!” (if you wouldn’t do this, be aware that I probably will). However, the red bean paste was decidedly yum, as were the rice balls, but the more I stay here the more I realise that green tea is perhaps not for me. At least not strongly brewed stuff. I reckon that about 40% of people who profess to like green tea are actually LYING because it’s meant to be healthy. Offer your personal opinions below.

After I’d managed to force my way through the rest of the nice/suspicious/bizarre dessert we left the station and made our way to some real culture, the nearest shrines, while I tried not to “vom”. Mmm.

The shrines were pretty good, it was horribly hot though, and everyone knows it’s harder to concentrate when you’re hot. We went to the two temples I missed yesterday, focal points of rival branches of Buddhism. We saw a turtle, koi fish, gilded things, and found out that one of the temple complexes had been burnt down 4 times! They were both very impressive wooden complexes surrounded by trees and zen-ish gravel. We tried to find the rope made with the hair of female devotees rumored to be in one of them, used to haul the timbers into place during construction, but couldn’t find it 😦 we did see two Buddhist monks taking turns to rhythmically hit a suspended log with wooden hammers though, score.

After that we plodded back to the station area and I bought a takeaway dinner of deep fried prawns and rice, super yum, but I was a bit paranoid about eating it on the street (eating while moving is frowned upon, and I wasn’t sure about just being plonked outside having a nosh). Then Katie showed me how to get an underground ticket and went home, while I went for a brief shop in the underground arcade and sat in… guess where?…yeah. Starbucks. Had an iced green tea though so HAH.



Just look at that dog’s face!
Nano blocks: tiny building blocks perfectly made for young children to inhale
Fortunately I found no mysterious mackerel in my dessert
And Relax flavour water, thankfully, did not contain large quantities of laxative or depressants


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