The Amazing Race - Nippon Day 2 (Tuesday): Kyoto


Day Two (Tuesday): Kyoto

After a goodnight's sleep and a hearty breakfast, we headed to Kyoto.
The theme for the second day was traditional Japan.
To make the experience more authentic, we decided to rent a kimono for the day but the weather did not cooperate.
Unfortunately, our plan to try looking like Japanese was rained on.

After looking for big lockers to store away our stuff, we started our journey to the popular spots like Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera, Ginkakuji, Gion among other things.
Of course the photographer in the family (that's my younger sister) tried to capture everything we saw, tasted, smelled, heard and felt.

nicole kiyomizu

As my mother took the grandness of everything surrounding her silently, the youngest in the group complained about his tired feet.
From a little man's point of view, seeing a temple or a shrine once is enough.

At Gion, there were some Chinese tourists and some Japanese folks who were waiting along the street.
What were we waiting for?
We wanted to catch a glimpse of a geisha or a maiko.
In a span of 15 minutes, we saw three.
As one arrived, she would make a dash towards one particular house.
I was amazed at how fast they could walk in that tight kimono.
I guess years of wearing one would enable one to move that fast.
They looked in a hurry or just pissed off that many people were chasing them.
So, we didn't dare ask them to have their picture taken with us.

As we watched them pass one by one, I felt a little sad for them.
They were being treated like an attraction while they were just doing what they trained for.
I was wondering how I would feel if somebody chased me down the street just because I teach English.
Sometimes it's good to think in another person's shoes for a different perspective.

nicole other people's shoes

Another interesting thing that happened in Kyoto was when we got lost.
Oh yeah! Lost tourists in Kyoto... present!!
It was when we wanted to go to Kinkakuji and we were near Gion.
According to the bus map, we should wait for a certain bus to pass at that stop and it would go to Kinkakuji.
When a bus came, I checked the number and saw that it was a different one.
The lady who was waiting as well asked if we wanted to go to Ginkakuji.
I said "no" and mentioned Kinkakuji.
She was about to get on the bus when this conversation started.
To my family's surprise, she got off the bus and walked with us to a different bus stop just around the corner.
Because of us, she missed her bus and had to wait for the next one.
We waited with her and chatted for a few minutes.
Take note that this conversation transpired in my very poor Japanese.
We were all so thankful to her.
Such a kind hearted lady!