Monday, October 24, 2011

Kyoto Day Trip: The First of Many

This weekend, Matt and I took a trip to visit Kyoto-shi for the day. It was our first time doing so by car. Our drive to the suburbs was only ~2 hours away, 1350円 for tolls, and luckily there was free parking at the train station. Score! We enjoyed the 30 minute local train ride with some more breathtaking views of the mountains.

Life on the road, Kage. Life on the road.

 We met up with some friends, took purikura photos, had a snack at Starbucks (!!!!), and then parted ways. Their main purpose was to visit temples and shrines on their honeymoon; ours was to shop, dine, and enjoy civilization for a few hours. Matt and I then took the subway, enjoyed a nice stroll, and met up with my friend Nick who is an AET for Kyoto City. Although I don't get to see him much, Nick is one of my favorite people I've met in Japan so far :) He has great taste in restaurants, too! We enjoyed a nice hole-in-the-wall type place that we'd never find on our own. And the menu was even in English. GASP. Unheard of, where we live.

Random parked car on the grounds of a temple. Gorgeous.

We didn't go sightseeing per se, and I'm actually glad  because it was a pretty nasty day for doing so. Towards late afternoon, the heavy rains came in. Thankfully, that didn't ruin our shopping experience one bit thanks to so many covered shopping arcades! I managed to pick up the girly essentials like makeup, magazines, etc. I do have access to some of those things in the inaka, but choices are limited and half the fun is buying them in *the city!* Later, Nick took us to this amazing sweets shop. You'd think it was a chic restaurant judging by the decor, but it was just a place to order many different kinds of parfaits!

Plastic displays of decadence.

I had a strawberry millefeuille.

Apparently my choice was pretty tame compared to other things they have.

Around 5:00 or so, we decided to call it a day because of the weather. Matt and I stopped by Jupiter, the foreign foods store in Kyoto Station, to pick up a few basics, like BBQ sauce, tortilla chips, and packets of Swiss Miss. Did I mention I miss Publix?

Back in our neck of the woods, we stopped at a family-style restaurant called Tomato & Onion that Matt's been dying to try. Most of the restaurants of this type around here try very hard to be Denny's, but this one reminded me of an old Ruby Tuesday from the 80's. They even had the weird lamps and gaudy wallpaper!

Turn around, bright eyes!!!

I had a small "salad omelet" since I wasn't that hungry.

This trip didn't end up costing too much, all things considered. I'm not sure if I'll make it down again until December, though. I have a mid-year teaching seminar to attend for 2 days / 1 night and will hopefully have more photo adventures to show for it!

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