Wednesday, November 30, 2005


e cat is back alive, albeit extremely tired (from waking up every morning at 5+am = 4+am S'pore time) + frostbitten upper lip (4-16'C weather, 2'C in mountains) + bad (since upp sec time) knee that had it walking sideways down slopes & staircases + softer smoother fur (effect of 10% humidity that will disappear soon in e 65-90% humidity here?).


answer to those (almost everyone?) who wonder how 2 weeks could be spent on just Kyoto:

13/11: SIN > KUL > KIX

14/11: KIX > Osaka > Kyoto, Shosei-en aka. Kikokutei, Higashi Honganji, Kyoto Station Building

15/11: Kiyomizudera, Sannenzaka, Ninnenzaka, Ishibekoji, Nenenomichi, Maruyamakoen, Yasakajinja, Chion-in, Murin-an, Heianjingu, Shijo-Kawaramachi, Shinkyogoku

16/11: Kiyotaki, Atago-san (+924m), Atagojinja, Gatsurinjinja, Kiyotaki

17/11: Togano-o, Makino-o, Kozanji, Takao, Saimyoji, Jingoji, Kiyotaki, Tenryuji, Arashiyama chirimen museum

18/11: Ryoanji, Kinkakuji, Daitokuji, Daisen-in, Koto-in, Kitayama, Ando Tadao Garden of Fine Art, Kyoto Botanical Gardens, Sanjo-Kawaramachi, Shinkyogoku, Shijo-Kawaramachi

19/11: Kyoto > Tenri (Nara Pref), 天理教本部神殿, Yamanobenomichi, Iwagamijingu, Chogakuji, Emperor Suijin's kofun, Emperor Keiko's kofun, Genpi-an, Sai-jinja, Omiwajinja, Miwa > Tenri > Kyoto

20/11: Kyoto > Ishiyama > Momodani (Shiga Pref), Miho Museum, Momodani > Ishiyama > Kyoto

21/11: Ginkakuji, Daimonjiyama (+400+m?), Imadegawadori, Kyoto Univ campus & history museum, Gion, Sanjo-Kawaramachi

22/11: Nanzenji, Suidokaku, Konchi-in, Nanzen-in, Eikando, Tetsugakunomichi, Honen-in, Gion, Hanamikoji, Gion Corner, Kyouen @ Sanjo Keihan, Sanjo-Kawaramachi

23/11: Saga Toriimoto, Atago-kaido, Adashino Nenbutsuji, Hiranoya, HWY #50, Ochiai, Kiyotaki, Ochiai, Torokko Hozukyo station, JR Hozukyo station, Nijo, Kyouen @ Sanjo Keihan, Teramachi, Shinkyogoku

24/11: Kyoto > Hanajiribashi, 江文神社, Konpira-san rock climbing area (+???m?), Ohara valley, Jakko-in, Otonashinotaki, Sanzen-in, Ohara > Kyoto

25/11: Kitano Tenmangu, Kitano Hakubaicho, Arashiyama, Togetsukyo, Katsuragawa south bank, Okochi Sanso villa, Kameyamakoen, Rakushisha, Hokyo-in

26/11: Tofukuji, Sanjusangendo, Kamigamo-Ishikazucho, Meijingawa, Kamigamojinja, Kamogawa, Demachiyanagi, Higashi-Ichijo, Kyoto Univ, Imadegawa-Karawamachi

27/11: Kyoto > Osaka > KIX > KUL > SIN

OK so one day each was spent in Nara & Shiga prefectures, but still far more than e 'Kyoto at most 3 days' that most told e cat =P & there is still so much left to see in e area!

Sanjo- & Shijo-Kawaramachi is Kyoto's equivalent of Orchard, with all e food + shopping + main CD stores & where many bus services (including e 3 that lead to e cat's hostel) converge, hence e multiple trips there.

total cost = SGD2200 (including all CDs, omiyage & e kooning cat stuffed toy adopted from a toy store in Arashiyama)


met plenty of super helpful & kind Japanese souls & plenty of interesting Japanese, Thai-Australian, Thai-American, Taiwanese, American & Australian room mates & Japanese, Taiwanese, Thai, Malaysian & Romanian hostel mates =)

satisfied its addiction for tempura udon & pumpkin tempura & green tea ice cream & bento =)) how e cat wishes it could transport one konbini outlet each of LAWSON, ampm, Family Mart, 7-Eleven (Japan) & ministop back to Singapore =|

e cat saw blood red maple & yellow ginkgo leaves, stumbled upon e Arashiyama chirimen museum, watched shichi-go-san 'ceremonies' at Heianjingu & Omiwajinja, got followed by plenty of fat cats in e Nara countryside, watched 3 white-haired ah pehs doing technical rock climbing at Konpira-san, watched thousands of Tenri school students perform e 'morning prayer' chanting & hand movements in e 天理教本部神殿 before flooding out to head for classes, chanced upon a Shinto wedding at Kamigamojinja, walked straight into e rowdy Kyoto University's students' autumn fair, had Ryoanji & parts of Tofukuji all to itself, discovered alternative spots to enjoy e same scenery & autumn colours away from e massive crowds (e.g. opposite river bank/mountain slope/building), enjoyed e incredible view of e entire Kyoto city from Daimonjiyama together with almost a hundred kindergarten kids yelling banzai, met e homeless living (with their cats) under e bridges along e Kamogawa, watched Kyoto high school girls perform e balancing act of eating cup noodles while standing on e bus, had a Japanese obasan collapse on it on board e KIX-KUL flight, & said 'nihongo wa dekimasen' a few million times to e human Japanese who thought it was a Japanese neko (& who reacted with disbelief).

e cat has >2.5GB of photos (including all lousy, under/overexposed, out of focus shots) to sort through. so more on this trip later *yaaawwwwnn*

Monday, November 14, 2005

京都 haikingu =)


something e cat has to do at least once a year in order to stay sane. not that it is very sane to begin with ;)

time (long overdue) for e cat to pack up & bring its little brain out of e lab & escape from e confines of this island, & let it run free & bounce around in mental s_p_a_c_e & be inspired again. e cat's mind needs a gooooood stretch.

come think of it, e asics duffel bag squashed at e side of e tatonka has served e cat & its family faithfully for more than 15 years & is still going strong!! hard to find things that are made to last nowadays, in a world where even e planet is treated as if it's disposable.

just realised that e cat's inability to lift >15kg is a surefire way of ensuring that it doesn't exceed its airline baggage allowance =P