Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Day 7 - Kyoto to Tokyo

Dear Worms,

I know, living as you do in a black plastic box on my Patio, you can have very little interest in what goes on across the pacific. But despite your lack of interest, I thought I'd write you and let you know I'd met a cousin of yours yesterday.

Let me go back to the beginning of the day. My mum had so enjoyed the Fushimi Inari shrine (the one with the fox and the red gates) so much that we decided to visit again. If you'd read any of my previous blogs or journal from my last trip, and being worms I know you haven't, you'd know that I've never had much time at this particular shrine. The first time I went in 2004 me and Tech Support were exhausted and only made it so far before being forced to turn back. On Monday we'd had to catch a fast train to Nara at 10:50, and could only go so far again.

This time, having given up on the idea of Hiroshima on account of 6 hours in the train, we had all the time in the world.

So we hiked.

I did not find it as transportative as the Buddhist Temple the day before, but nonetheless it was terribly beautiful up in the hills. The orange toris did indeed continue forever. And we met several critters on our way up.

Japan has a somewhat progressive view of noraneko (stray cats) in that they do not trap and kill them. They do not however, trap and nueter them to my knowledge, and one of the kitties was definately pregnant. Still, there is something about Shrine Kitties. I guess no one had told them it was a fox shrine.

These are two different kitties who were fairly close together and obviously kin of some kind.

This kitty was further up, near a shop.

And this kitty was on the way down, a place we'd passed a few times, and was the only one that wanted to be pet. In fact she (this was the pregnant one) walked right up to Tech Support and flopped on the ground by his feet. She then bit him on the hand to try and indicate her preference on being pet.

The other critter we met were the crows, who made the most wicked sounding caws as we hiked through. The crows outside your box have nothing on this.

We also got very thirsty.

Of course now you're thinking "what do I care about these creatures, what about our cousin?" (Or more probably, where is the food? But that will have to wait.) On our way down from the summit, which had been a bit disappointing because you couldn't see any view and the shrine there looked like any other shrine, we ran into a giant worm. This one was in rather poor condition on the steps so we stepped politely past and moved on and I won't horrify you further on that score.

Then we met another one. I took his picture though he seemed to object and writhed desperately to get out of it, I still managed this shot. I should have put something in there for scale, but I was rather afraid of him.

You would not want him in your plastic box with you, I promise you that, because he is about 6 inches long and I bet he is rather mean. Still, I told him you said hi.

After the Fushimi Inari shrine we were all very exhausted so went back to the Kyoto station. I had sushi again while Tech Support and Mum went and ate something else, and we did a bit of last minute shopping. Then we ran back to our Ryokan to get our bags, and made it to the train platform with relative ease. I must tell you, moving giant bags around a strange city is my least favorite thing to do. Feel happy you will never deal with this.

The Shinkansen to Tokyo takes 2 hours and 45 minutes, and afterwards I had to drag my Mum and Tech Support around the Tokyo station to get on another train. Mum was overwhelmed by the number of people, and reluctant to drag her gigantic bag onto the train. Nonetheless we made it on, and I lied about the number of stops we had to get off until. In my defense, it was very hard to read the map above several salarymen's heads, and the English was very small.

We then took the subway, a new one for me, to a private station near our Ryokan. Luckily this was very painless. I then managed to direct us straight to our ryokan, which made me very happy as we were all very tired.

The Tokyo Ryokan, as expected, is a little smaller.

But it is nice. The area of town we are in is very interesting. I will try to take lots of pictures and post them tomorrow, as trying to explain them would be inadequate. We voyaged out into it last night to get some more riceballs and crackers for dinner, and then, once more, I collapsed into bed.

I hope you are doing well my worms. I will be back to give you all sorts of terrible treats next week.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that worm is not a skinny slug?