Today, we went to Nijō Castle in Kyoto, as part of the tail end of our sightseeing after the Tai-kai. The castle features a nightingale floor, which is an ancient security measure. The simple act of walking across the floor produces a series of squeaks and chirps which, when combined, resemble the sound of birds.
Bus ride hell. We must have been on the bus the whole day. Sightseeing is essentially worthless if you have to eat lunch in 10 minutes, and rush around in the place you are visiting. Japanese travel itineraries are somewhat unrealistic. I’m glad I extended my trip by an additional two weeks.
After we returned to Osaka, I enjoyed some “Western” style food for the first time in a week. I never thought I would enjoy a plain salad as much as I did.
Tomorrow is my birthday, and marks the passing of a phase of my trip. I will join 3 others as we cut out on our own in Kyoto, and after they leave on November 5th, I will be on my own in Japan until November 13th, when I return home. This culture is far removed from any I have experienced to date, and the language barrier makes it especially challenging. I’ve learned a couple of important phrases to aid me in my travels, but I am a far cry from being able to communicate effectively.