Today is it for me. I do a final day of touristy things. I am heading to the north and west today in an attempt to see two or three world heritage sites. I start by walking up the avenue to the Imperial Palace and then take a new direction. The weather here has been very nice for my form of sightseeing. I plotted out the day and it appears to be a 5 hour walk or so. A great last day to my days here. Tomorrow is an early day. I’ll leave the hotel by 845am and make my way to the rather large Kyoto station. I’ll get my Shinkansen ticket for the 920am train to Tokyo and then catch the noon JR express to Narita.
First though I clean up a bit, do some Starbucks coffee, and relax a bit. I will leave for the day by 9am.
Off we go!
Today I set a goal to see two world heritage sites but also wanted to see the northwest part of kyoto on foot. I set off at 915am and walked up the Karasuma dori north past the emperors palace. This segment of the walk took me about an hour. Then another 1.5 hours to my lunch right before reaching one of the most beautiful of sites I visited here. This is the world listed The Golden Pavilion of the Rokuon-ji temple. I toured the grounds for over an hour and was struck with the beauty of the place.
Next up on the walk was not a listed site but the Daitoku-ji temple was a quiet and hushed walk by beautifully preserved facilities. I loved walking through the peaceful grounds. Lesser people and no foreign tourists.
I also saw a few other temples since with every turn you take in Kyoto, you see a park with shrines or temples. Simply amazing. I tried to give each one the attention it deserved. Kyoto is truly rich in people, history, and heritage. I’m so glad that the city was spared the bombing carnage from world war 2.
At this point I had traversed a big loop on the road and had been gone almost 4 hours. I was looking for the Karasuma avenue turn that would take me back down the road, past the emperors palace, and back for my last night. I decided on a whim to walk through the palace grounds. Not really much to see. It’s all walled in. Not like the emperors palace in Tokyo at all.
After walking through the palace grounds, the walk back to the hotel seemed the longest yet. I got back and this signaled the end of my three days of touring. Did I accomplish what I anticipated? Hell yeah! No matter what happens at home with an almost failed relationship, I did these things I dreamed about. Singapore, India, then Japan. Memorable times spent with friends, seeing one get married, riding the Shinkansen to a place I had not been. All of this made the trip so memorable.
Tomorrow morning I board the Shinkansen for the two hour daytime ride to Tokyo. Then 53 minutes from there to Narita. At 6pm I board the return flight. Back home. To what I am not sure. I bought a good luck fortune today. May it bring that or at least a measure of peace.