Kyoto, Himeji, Osaka, Nara
Having slightly overloaded on temples recently, we decided to go shopping. Headed for the Shijo district and managed to spend the whole day there. Not bad for someone who doesnt like shopping! Even found a pizza all-u-can-eat buffet for lunch!
In the evening, I tried on a kimono at the hostel. They let you do it free of charge. It must be very good for posture as there is little room to move. You can also only take small steps in it, though the shoes I was wearing were too small so I prefered not to take any steps.
Decided to spend yesterday overloading on castles, to make a change from temples. Took the hour and a half train journey to Himeji castle, often referred to as the best castle in Japan. In the afternoon I went to Osaka castle, the most visited, and thought it was the nicer of the two. But what do I know! Headed for my third castle of the day – Nijo castle in Kyoto but it had already closed for admitting people.
Today, I headed out to Nara to see the Buddhas. Unfortunately, after 5 days of almost sunbathingly hot weather the rain has started again so i got wet. Nara park was full of deer, as they are allowed to roam freely. There were a couple of pagodas and a temple to see as well as the giant buddha hall.
Off to Hiroshima tomorrow, having spent an hour on the phone today trying to find someone at a hostel who spoke english!