I started the journey this year from a friend's place in Esaka, Osaka
somewhat in the middle of the commercial and office area of northern Osaka. We met since the very beginning of my stay in Japan, having matriculated at the same time, him a masters student and me a doctoral student. We have not seen each other for quite some time so we had quite a lot of catching up done since graduation.
Just staying a night in Esaka, I proceeded northwards to Kyoto, stopping for breakfast in Hirakata where there is a famous amusement park. I rode along the golf courses on the banks of the Yodogawa and by 1pm in the afternoon, I reached my guesthouse in Kiyomizudera, Kyoto city. Unfortunately the nearest bicycle parking was about 500m away near the river. Check-in time was also a few hours away so I used Couchsurfing hangouts to while away my time till then.
Together with the couchsurfer from the US, IG @radiant_void and I went to Fushimi Inari Taisha (again!). She was late so I went to have lunch in the ramen shop just outside the train station. It rained on our way up the hill but otherwise it was a good walk. That place is perpetually full of tourists and really difficult to take pictures.
|Replica of the boats that used to ferry goods up the canals connecting Kyoto and Fushimi Inari.|
After that it was time to check in to my guesthouse so I did and rested a little bit before meeting up with another couchsurfer from Singapore. We met up in a coffee place near Kawaramachi station. He happened to be the guy who quit his job to travel and see the world.
|One of the shrines I passed by while exploring Kyoto|
The next day, there was really nice weather so it was really good to have come to Kyoto with a bicycle. I explored all the back alleys and paths behind those houses and small shops inside the Kyoto city blocks. Eventually I reached Kinkakuji area where I started to turn back towards my guesthouse again. I rested a little and had something to eat for dinner before meeting and talking at length with some Japanese guy who was interested in physics.