So I am here to air my grievances on the day of Festivus (the day this happened, the 23rd). I had what I like to refer to as a ‘Tester’ day because everything was testing my patience. I woke up feeling pretty great except for the fact that it was raining at 6am when I wanted to run off to see the Arashiyama Bamboo forest when there was no crowds. I guess that means I got a sleep in and there was no one else in my dorm that night so that’s a travellers dream right? That’s right…but my day went sour from there.
When I got up at 11am (don’t you judge me with those judgemental eyes) it was overcast but didn’t seem likely to rain so I set out in order to get a coffee and head on to Arashiyama. Now before I begin remember that at all times my ankle is killing me from the injury I mentioned in Out and about. So about 250 metres down the road the sky opens up and I get drenched and I wasn’t wearing anything waterproof. So I turned around and limped my way back to the hostel to grab my waterproof winter jacket and a free umbrella (Thanks K’s Hostel). That was all well and good until I got to Starbucks and the sun came out. Seriously Kyoto, get stuffed.
I calmed down a little in Starbucks before heading out towards Kyoto station where I promptly hopped into a train bound for Arashiyama. This was a decent journey, and easy enough especially as I’d already made it once – Return of the Kyoto.
The weather began to worsen as I closed in on my target but it had yet to rain. That id not stop every Tom, Dick and Harry from prodding, poking and pestering me with their umbrellas. Seriously, it was like I was some weird and wild beast and their indifference to my suffering mirrored that of people at a zoo tapping on the glass. It was so incredibly rude and annoying that I just turned into a pest. I ruined a million selfies, walked in front of anyone who had prodded me and interrupted their pictures and generally returned the favour without needing to ram my own umbrella into peoples sides and faces as they had done to me. The photos I got were still decent, but it would have been nicer if Kyoto agreed and let me see it at 6am.
After I made my way through the crowds towards the river the sky really opened up again and this time I kind of enjoyed it as I had some use for the jacket and umbrella finally. If I had to carry it all day and there was only sunlight I’d have been pretty miffed.
The river was gorgeous in the daylight and it had risen significantly since I saw it the other night. It looked a kind of sickly green and there were ducks speeding along it enjoying the ride. I honestly thought that was the more beautiful attraction between it and the bamboo.
A stroll down the river wasn’t without incident however as a French family thought it was prudent to walk straight through me as I took a photo when there was easily 7+ metres either side of me and no traffic at all and then their children also smacked me with their umbrellas so I may have said some words. Very Australian words.
I limped on home having had enough of humanity for one evening. It didn’t get much better as my once empty room was now filled with 5 Thai people who started out lovely – we talked and talked about Thailand and all the fun I’ve had there – but they were all snorers, I couldn’t find my earplugs, and they woke me up at the crack of dawn in a sort of drawn out morning ritual of straightening hair (men and women) and talking to each other like I wasn’t trying to sleep in that room. Just wore me down.
Tomorrow is a new day! 🙂 As I said yesterday, the bad puts the good into perspective, and the good is now well and truly in perspective. So my time in Kyoto came to an end I loved most of my time here and I saw everything that was recommended with the exception of the Golden Pavilion but ah well. I discovered more things than I thought imaginable and I have to say Kyoto is unbelievable for the traveller who likes to get lost amongst the alleyways; you’ll never cease to find new and amazing things there.
Big shout out to K’s Hostel in Kyoto – they were unreal and it really is like a home away from home! Now up next – HIROSHIMA!!!