I thought that the lack of sleep I had on my first night in Japan would have gotten me on Japan time quicly, but on the second morning, I still woke up at a very early hour. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. on day 2 which isn’t bad considering I usually wake up around 4 a.m. on the first few days I arrive in Japan.
Since I was up, I went downstairs to Lawson’s, a convenience store next to the hotel to get some breakfast while everyone else in my family slept in. Convenience store food selection in Japan is so awesome. There is so much yummy-looking food (even in convenience stores) and so little time to try all of it. On this morning, I bought a variety of items. I bought a sweet, creamy yogurt. The dairy products in Japan are so delicious. I got a cup noodle for my husband. I know it sounds strange to buy a cup noodle when there are so many other choices in Japan, but there are all kinds of cup noodle varieties in Japan and the ones in Japan taste fresher (if you can believe it). I love nebaneba Japanese foods so I bought a ready-made tororo soba that came with a soft-boiled egg, tororo, wasabi, negi, and a tasty sauce. If I made it at home, I’d add okra to the mix! I also bought an ume shiso and wakame onigiri that I can save for later in case I get hungry. Onigiri is the perfect food to pack when you’re on the go.
We finally all got ready to get going for the day and I led my family and friends to the train station and caught the train that I thought would take us to Hoshi no Buranko the longest suspension bridge in Japan where we had plans to hike. Unfortunately, the train I had us catch was an express train and flew way past the station I wanted to stop at. No problem. When traveling, sometimes you have to just go with the flow. Since we were heading toward Kyoto, we changed plans mid-ride and got off at the stop that took us to Fushimi Inari.
This stop was planned for this trip on another day and so it didn’t derail our plans very much. It was hot and humid but we made it to the top and back that I think was about a 5k hike.
After leaving Fushimi Inari, we went back on a train and headed toward the Arashiyama area to see the famous and much-photographed bamboo forest. However, we hadn’t had lunch yet and so we stopped at a restaurant specializing in tofu. The cold noodles looked so refreshing and that helped us make the choice to eat here.
After lunch, we headed to the bamboo forest and hiked a little more. It was hot and humid but we survived.
I was wearing my Marumaru #HiloDasWhy tank top and when we got to the river near Arashiyama, some people from Hawaii noticed me and greeted our group. I didn’t think it would be someone I know so I didn’t really pay attention to who was talking to me. We saw them again at the train station when I wasn’t so hot and could actually look at the faces of the people I saw earlier. It turned out to be Lesli Yoshida, a classmate from my UH Hilo days whom I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. In addition, she was traveling with her sister who is married to a Hilo boy! Small world for real.
After this hot but fun day in Kyoto, we headed back to Osaka. Everyone else was tired and wanted to go back to the hotel, but Aaron and I still had energy. We visited Shin-Osaka station, shopped at Daiso and Kokumin and ate at an Italian restaurant where we had eaten on a previous trip to Osaka. Living Hilo Style in Kyoto and Osaka.