It’s hard to believe, but this is our last post from “the field”. 98 days and 12 countries later, Shelly and I are at the Tokyo airport about to catch our flight home. We’ve enjoyed a week of wonderful weather and experiences in Tokyo and Kyoto. But, I think Japan is telling us that it is time to go home. Within the last hour, the clouds rolled in and it’s raining pretty hard. The travel gods must be preparing us for the weather back home in Seattle. Since our last post, we spent one more day in Tokyo and then took the Shinkansen Nozomi bullet train down to Kyoto. On our last night in Tokyo, we experienced a typical Japanese send off with an earthquake during dinner. It was probably around a 4 on the Richter scale and shook the restaurant pretty good. It was also our last meal with Josh, Shelly, and Calla Freeman before they returned home. It was great seeing them and Japan wouldn’t have been the same without them.
The next morning, we departed for Kyoto. It took a little over 2 hours to go 600 km and the ride was much better than our TGV experience in France. Around noon, we arrive at our hotel, took a quick breather, and then headed out to explore the town. Shelly and I were thoroughly impressed with Kyoto and would recommend this city for anyone traveling through Japan. There are tons of sites, restaurants, and night spots to please any crowd. When we were there, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom so the temples and historical sites were amazing. On our first day, we walked through Nijo Castle and the Imperial Palace. On day two, we went to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which was the only Japanese site in the recent running of the New 7 Wonders of the World contest. In-between sight-seeing, we also managed to eat some great food. For our last dinner of the trip we bellied up to a sushi bar one last time to eat fatty tuna and drink Asahi beer until we were stuffed. On our walk back to the hotel, we stopped at a local cocktail bar and were surprised to find El Dorado rum from Guyana, South America. In 2006, we visited our friends in Guyana and they introduced us to this rum. We’ve never seen it outside Guyana and were shocked that a small bar in Kyoto, Japan would have it. In honor of our friends Bruce and Julia we had a send off drink (don’t worry Bruce, we didn’t add Coke ). Overall, our Kyoto experience was well worth the effort and it was a nice break from crazy city life.
Well, I think that’s about it. Sorry I can’t post any pictures. The computer I’m using in the airport is locked down so I can’t upload them. When we get back home I’ll add some photos and make one last post to close out our trip. See you in Seattle!