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Category: Japan Days

JaDa – Day 34

Of all the Japan days so far, today’s the most exciting! Me and Divya went for a fun trip with no plans or itinerary. We had a couple of places in mind, but were pretty sure that’s not what we’d do anyway. We began with Kyoto station. Every time we have been here, it’s always a rush to get out or hop onto another train. For a change, we thought of exploring the station first. Not a bad decision at all, as it turned out! Walking to a tourist information centre, we saw an array of brochures with all the cool things to do in Kyoto. Places we hadn’t planned for, things we totally missed out on – the list was huge! Of the lot, the things that caught our attention was the cycle rentals and the bus pass. We got a bus pass worth 600 yen, that would take you around within the fixed-price area of the city, for any number of rides. We were pretty sure of making the best use of it! The plan to rent a cycle and go around the city was conveniently put on hold.

We hopped into a bus towards Kinkakuji. But we now have a bus pass, and can make any number of stops. So when the bus announced Nijo-jo Castle, we got down there. And that’s the story of how we went to Nijo! It was meant to be a quick visit, since we wanted to do the most of the day. But again, it was a very huge, but beautiful place to walk around and see. The castle was pretty much similar to the traditional interiors that we saw at Hikone. The garden and the open space around it were charmingly pleasant. Despite rushing, we took slightly more than an hour at Nijo.

Soon after, we got into a bus to Kinkakuji. Two stops or so before Kinkakuji, I saw the most satisfying sight of the day. Ganesha, the Indian Restaurant! If only if the buses were more like back home, I would have howled and begged and gotten down right there. Then again, this is a different country. So I chose to embrace my yearning in silence.

We got down for Kinkakuji, right in front of a curio store. Curious us got in to explore the shop. And to my surprise, a lot of things in my shopping list was available right there! After an elaborate shopping, hunger kicked in before we could think of Kinkakuji. For a brief time, we considered going to Ganesha for a lavish lunch. ‘we’ is wrong, ‘considered’ is even more wrong. Divya didn’t consider, and I was not just ‘considering’. I almost dragged Divya to the bus stop, jumping up and down for food. The excitement died a slow death when Divya pointed out that they serve lunch only till 3 pm and it was already 2.54 pm! We got into a nearby cafe to find something to eat. It’s there that I realised Divya is a kind person indeed. She chose to order pasta without meat! And I expressed my gratitude with a ginger ale. 😛

With satisfaction, we started to Kinkakuji finally. I had no expectations, but the place was mesmerising. Photos of the place weren’t edited perhaps! It really looked as beautiful as a painting; perfect blend of a lot of hues! The walk around the place wasn’t that interesting though. But there’s no way to exit other than walking through it. We walked around, and exited the place a while after 5. The Japanese thing about lucks and charms are intriguing. The number of charms they have, and the beliefs they hold on to, are huge. On our way out, we saw a lot of places with a small deity in stone, covered with coins. As the belief goes, offering the coins to those deities heralds luck.

Next stop at Shijo Kawaramachi was a long ride away. The exhaustion of the day was settling in, but we had a lot more to do. After a lot of ‘shop-hopping, we called it a day. And once again, Divya made me realise she’s a very kind person. She ordered plain margherita pizza! How kind is she! And I said thanks with potato wedges! After a barely filling dinner, we got into a really crowded bus, back to Kyoto station. In better words, I got in hoping Divya also did, and she got in hoping I too did. The bus was insanely crowded! Somehow making it to the station, we got to the train, and thereafter to i-house in the last bus! The last bus feeling was so exciting and made the day feel more complete than ever!

JaDa – Day 33

It’s a happy happy day since I have a new found sense of direction and satisfaction with the research. It has now become recurring feeling, once in a while! Everything was amazing until I tried making some dosa for myself. Hungry and deprived, I really wanted some good food and all I got was disappointment and some crumbled uncooked balls of batter. Would it not be just too good if somebody made hot chocolate for you to compensate? Well, I got pretty lucky I have Divya here. I don’t think I really need one then, but I totally needed someone to tell me that the crumbled dosa is not the end of everything!

JaDa – Day 32

Woke up with a headache, once again. But that did not stop me from finishing ‘Kuda nannakkunna choyi’. Relished the book, with an intermittent ache. Sometimes head, sometimes the heart. I miss such quality time, where all I did was read, write and contemplate!

JaDa – Day 31

The longest walk so far here – till Gyomo and back! I am not sure if we just tried to save money or went crazy. But honestly, it’s an easy walk if only if there was lesser things to carry. But that’s not a possibility when you have Gyomo at the end of the trip. The whole great point of going all the way is only to get more and more food. Guess what we found today! Frozen paratha (we were already told about it) and frozen dosa (that one came as a sweet surprise)! Walking back with a truckload of food, contemplating on how settling in Japan would be and many other ‘out-of-the-box’ thoughts, we were impressed by the weather. When it’s not shivering cold, Japan mostly amazes you with its pleasant and calm weather.

JaDa – Day 30

Some things never change, irrespective of where you are, what you do, and who you are with. Late night preparations for a test, or a submission is one such. Yesternight, me and Divya spent quite a lot of time figuring out a report that was due submission. Saikat would have probably figure it all out a week prior. Again, some things, any place, any time – stay exactly the same! Sleeping late, waking up late, going to lab late – it’s the same ruckus all over!

JaDa – Day 29

As though the ‘Monday-after-a-long-weekend’ wasn’t enough, it is annoyingly rainy here. It doesn’t pour like in Kerala, nor is it to okay to just head outside. The chilly weather and the ice cold drizzle was a total spoiler of the morning. It didn’t even feel like it’s worth the effort to even get up from the bed. And mornings like today call for a book to start with. Sitting with a cup of coffee (not so bitter, since I made it myself) and a book, there’s a new hope that filled up for the rest of the day. And amazingly so, a lot happened today in terms of research.

Is this even anything more than a stupid diary? I really wanted a travelogue!

JaDa – Day 28

Often, all you need is a cup of coffee and a book to read. But here I am with a cookie milkshake (because the coffee is too bitter here) and a person to talk to (because a book can wait, not a person)! So me and the person, obviously Divya, set out for an evening walk because there’s unnecessary excitement (quoting her!). I should probably drop the ‘ivya’ and just call her D. It’s redundant and boring, because everyday I invariably have something to write about her. Anyway, we found this new cafe/patisserie near Friend Mart; a pretty calm and relaxing place to spend a great evening. It’s been a while since some quality time, and today was one such. After the routine visit to the store there, we headed back home. It’s a Monday tomorrow. And at that, one after a long weekend!

JaDa – Day 27

Well, isn’t it quite dull and drab these days that I have nothing interesting to write about? Same old, same ol’ things about dull drab days. Perhaps, the whole fuss about staying indoors for the Golden Week was a bad decision. A break was needed, but this feels just too long. Hope, at least tomorrow gets interesting enough to write a couple of more lines on!

JaDa – Day 26

Japan is more beautiful in the morning. At least, Kyoto is. Somedays back, I thought the evenings are beautiful. Evenings are when I see people around, when the hue of the Sun make a picturesque sky, when the kids are out to play, when the wind is breezy and welcoming. Yet I think Japan is more beautiful in the morning. At least Kyoto is. At least this place that I live in, is.  The mornings are calm and cleansing, with the early rising Sun, the scenic misty mountains, the chilly breeze. Oh wait, that’s exactly the problem! Why is it so shivering cold?! My morning walk lasted a day and never did I go again. One, because I sulk a lot. Two, and majorly because it’s freezing cold. I wish it was more warmer. Or maybe, I should just wish I be less dramatic and sulking about it!

JaDa – Day 25

The Golden Week holidays finally began for us, and that meant we just stayed in the hostel, cuddling the laptop and phone, in our own rooms. I wonder what’s the right balance. If there’s work, there’s too much of it that we don’t have time for anyone, let alone oneself. If there’s no work, then there’s too less of it that we sulk and curl into a ball. By we, I mean me. Or is it really just me?