This will be a shorter blog for two reasons: I am quite ill and I have spent much of today going out seeing the best bits of Kyoto. You might think that is a contradiction, but sadly not. Please try not to assume that one follows from the other. Either way, I am severely ill and compromised in multiple systems, the primary being circulation followed by oxygen conversion and then heat exhaustion. For example, I passed out completely at the end of the Imperial Palace tour, for a considerable time. I went to bed, and at the time my left arm was purple from the elbow to the wrist (and heavy purple Reynaud’s from wrist down). I went out for some time and came home tonight with the elbow and upper forearm of the RIGHT arm a dark green, plus my hand had swollen to twice the size of my left. Indeed my fingers were so swollen I couldn’t make a fist. Plus a great deal of the time I am on oxygen.
So that is the bad news. The good news is I believe with rest tonight, I should be able to take the express to Tokyo tomorrow and rest further there. The flight home is…well, not looked forward to but I have been taking aspirin to avoid clots.
We are mostly packed and ready to go and I leave with good memories, particularly today of Kyoto. I do wish, for example that the 1 hour tour of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto was not done under hot sun and several inches of white gravel which is not only like wheeling in mud but managed to take the skin off both of my thumbs. This however was offset by being hit on by a blond Polish woman from Kanazawa who flashed me her undies and suggested I move and spend my time in Kanazawa (with her?). I find unexpected flirtation to be highly image boosting.
I will try to recount our last day in Kyoto at length tomorrow which included the visit to world Heritage site Nijo Castle (With the floors which sing like birds as you walk/wheel on them), the Imperial Palace, a brief visit to an anime store finding an artist I had been looking for (and bought at half the ‘import’ price charged in North America. Then after a partial recovery, wandering at dusk through the Gion and seeing real Geisha and Meiko rushing to entertain (and later returning see them rushing back home, motoring on their high Geta’s as fast as Linda can jog), to see the famous five level pagoda of Kyoto, invited to a Sakura festival (in a castle), have a Korean beef barbeque and travel the secret streets of Old Kyoto in the dusk. I had a brief conversation with the two Geisha’s who would stop for no one, but did for me, because I was polite. I leave you with a few images from today (with short explanation), some important and some just fascinating. Thank you for your patience I hope to recover soon.
Shogun's Castle of residence in 1600's, the Nijo Castle, which has floors which sound like birds when you walk on them
Imperial Palace in Kyoto, still used by the emperor, but not as often, as it has no electricity. The estate does house the regalia, which has passed through 120+ generations.
The Imperial Gardens, used to replicate nature, this is both the sea, and the tranquility of the bridge, we think of it as "pretty."
Beth in the preserved Gion district as night falls.
Two apprentice Geisha's on thier way back from one of thier preformances in the evening, heading toward the Gion historic district.
The secret backways of Old Kyoto as they head toward the temples.
Here is another of the old streets, as it goes toward the five story pagoda of Kyoto.
Linda stops on one of these streets to buy our first Japanese Sake from a generations old Sake seller.
Linda enjoys what she calls, "Her best meal in Japan" - Korean style barbeque.
5 hours ago