Day 11: Kyoto

Had a very lazy day today, I think the week had caught up with us. After breakfast we headed out to see Nijo Castle, the last sightseeing leg of our stay in Kyoto. Nijo is different to all the other castles we’ve seen in that its all one one level, and the interiors are much more ornate with loads of paintings on the walls (some really cool designs). It’s also known for its ‘squeaky floors’, which was meant to guard against intruders. The castle also has a large moat surrounding it and some nice gardens within its grounds. We stopped at the souvenir shop after we’d walked around the castle but we couldn’t find anything showing the cool design we liked that we’d spotted inside the castle.

It was at the hottest part of the day (its barely rained at all while we’ve been here, in contrast to Tokyo) and we were all hot and sweaty so we went home to freshen up. Ended up having a kip for a couple of hours then we went out shopping in Kyoto’s Shijo district. I bought a tee-shirt and we bought some souvenirs and prezzies etc. By this time it was getting close to dinner so we tried to find that Mexican restaurant we spotted yesterday. A brief walk later we found it and guess what? It was closed! Arrgh! They have weird/random closing times/days here. So we went and had Beef & Rice instead (for the 3rd time at the same restaurant!). Stopped off for a coffee and hot chocolate before coming back to the hotel. Back to Tokyo tomorrow! Kyoto’s been a bit friendlier than Tokyo, a lot more westerners here, and the shops/streets are easier to navigate. Its also been much hotter here – not sure how much further south we are, maybe 100 miles or so, but its been hot hot hot from morning to night. Thank god for air conditioning and vending machines that’s all I can say!

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