Kyoto Day Two – 11/06/11

This post is taken directly from my old blog, one that I tried to write during my first trip to Japan. This post was orginally posted at gaijinabroad.blogspot.com.

I spent my Saturday with Saskia, a dutch girl. She mentioned the night before she was seeing some monkeys, and I asked if I could tag along. We headed up to Arashiyama, seemingly out in the country but in reality not even out of Kyoto. We started by heading to a temple, which I can’t remember the name of. The garden at the temple is a UNESCO world heritage site. It was nice, with a huge koi pond and lots of Japanese style garden arrangements. There was also a big, famous bamboo grove up there, so we headed that way too. After the temple and the garden, we got a slightly expensive (for my budget anyway) lunch of fried pork, egg and rice, which tasted really good. Slight note that has come into my head, I think my mind is deteriorating. The quality of my writing is going down hill, and I seem to be writing in a child like way. This is not good. Also, I keep wanting to write emotes onto my blog, such as J. I guess this one comes from being on the internet too much. I must break that habit!
Walking through the bamboo.
Temple walkway
               Anyway, on with the blog. After lunch we headed to the Arashiyama monkey park. It was a ¥550 entrance fee, so I was really hoping it’d be worth it. There’s nothing worse than paying money just to be disappointed.  The monkey park was on top of Arashiyama or Stormy Mountain literally translatd. Luckily for us it wasn’t stormy at all. It was a pretty hard climb, even though it was less than 200m tall. It was slowly getting hotter as we climbed. At the top of the mountain is the monkey park and viewing platform. There were dozens of monkeys sitting around or playing up there, and the view of Kyoto was absolutely amazing! I honestly did not realise how big Kyoto was until I went up there. It seems so much smaller from the ground, compared to Tokyo at least. We spent a good couple of hours on top of the mountain with the monkeys, despite one trying to swipe at me! I took so many photos and videos, and I’m not looking forward to the mammoth task of uploading them all!
Baby monkey
The view from atop the mountain
          After Arashiyama, things got worse though. When we got back to the hostel, I found I had lost my wallet. I took apart my room looking for it, and could not find it. I then went back up to Arashiyama to see if it had been handed in at the station, as Arashiyama was the last time I definitely had it. There was no sign of it at the station. I went to the nearest koban and asked there. The Japanese police were incredibly helpful and friendly, and despite not having my wallet there, took down my details and essentially filed the incident, so that if it does turn up I will be contacted and the wallet returned to me. As of yet, the wallet has not shown up, and I don’t feel that it will. But being the easy guy that I am, life goes on. I’ll just cancel my card that was inside, and get a new wallet. One that I won’t lose!
After that, I headed back to the hostel and had a drink, and then was invited to an Irish bar in Kyoto with a couple of Americans, the dutch girl, a Singaporean girl and a Japanese girl. Quite a mix, and from the looks of it, we seemed to stand out a bit in the bar. Having no cash (as I lost my wallet), one of the Americans paid for my drink and I would pay back today (Sunday). It was an imported American Ale called Rogue Dead Guy, fruity and pretty strong, and should have been colder. It was incredibly expensive as well, at ¥1000 for a pint (possibly, they don’t use imperial measure here). By the time I got up this morning, the Americans had checked out and left, so I didn’t have the chance to pay him back.
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