Welcome to the summer in Japan

The two days in Hiroshima weren’t the biggest relaxation, but definitely an amazing experience. Straight the day after I came back from my little trip, we had a little dinner party. We celebrated Faustines Birthday and said Goodbye to Amiru-san, who worked at The Ritz Carlton as a part timer. If you wonder, why I put sometimes the word “-san” behind name… that’s just the way Japanese people are calling each other. Even we are getting called “Anna-san”, “Faustine-san”, “Shiho-san” and so on. That’s just the correct and polite way!

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Anyway, we went all together to an Isakaya to have dinner and drinks. At the beginning we thought that it’s not going to be that exciting. Most of the people coming that night were Part timers. And of course, they are speaking Japanese to each other. Furthermore, we all thought, that Japan is boring and that you can’t have fun here. But this evening definitely showed us the opposite. We were so many people. Crazy! We talked, laughed, ate, drank and made many pictures. They even organised a delicious birthday cake for Faustine and a very cute present for Amiru-san. Everyone was in a very good mood. At least at the beginning. Japanese people are already drunk after one zip of beer. Haha! So funny. Afterwards I went straight home to bed, in mind that I have to work tomorrow morning! Jipii! But we all survived surprisingly the next day of work.

On my last day off I actually wanted to do just nothing. I was very exhausted and could feel how much I did the last couple of weeks. I always did something on my free days and didn’t really relax. Yemima asked me to make a trip with her and a few other Interns to the beach, more than two hours away from Kyoto. I would have loved to go, but I just felt that it wasn’t the best timing. Furthermore, the weather wasn’t as perfect as I would have liked it for the beach. At the end, no one went there. Next time!

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I definitely should have done my homework for school. But did I even start? No, of course not! Rather than doing what is important right now, I went to the supermarket, made myself breakfast, took a shower and headed to Daitokuji temple. I still had the feeling that I should use my time to explore new things. And I never been to Daitokuji temple before. The only and best way to get there is by bus. Omg! How much I hate it to ride the bus. So confusing! It took me a while until I found the right bus station and the right bus. Every ride, no matter how many stations you drive, cost 230 yen. Quite good when you have a long way in front of you. Bad, when you just want to drive a short distance. It took me over 45 minutes until I finally reached my destination. The temple area was very big and totally different to what I have seen before. It is basically just a huge area with beautiful Japanese gardens. Unfortunately, you can’t enter them. Nevertheless, it is very nice walking around in the shadow. What made me really annoyed, was the fact that “Koto-in” was closed. That part of the temple area I wanted to see the most. Great! Such an effort for nothing.

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Therefore, I decided to walk to a quite popular restaurant or café shop close to the Daitokuji temple area. The shop is so well known, because it was built out of an old bathroom. I couldn’t imagine how a bathroom can be changed to a public place where people are having lunch or tea time. But I was in that area and didn’t have anything better to do. And I have to say, it is a real experience! Super nice, super original and just totally different to what I have seen before. In this part of Kyoto, I didn’t meet many people at all. But when I entered Sarasa Nishijin, I could see where all the people are. The good thing, when travelling alone is, that you have a really good chance to always find one single place in restaurants. I drank an iced tea, which was the best thing ever. It was unbelievable hot outside! Welcome to the summer in Japan! The weather in the last days changed incredibly. But the hot weather is not what I am complaining about. Everyone knows, that I love hot weather and the sun. But I am not sure if I am excited for the summer here. Everyone warned me already that the summer in Japan is hard to survive!

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After the small break I went to the closest busstop and took the next bus to Ryoan-ji temple. The bus stopped at the Kinkaku-ji temple as well! So many tourists entered the bus! Horrible. When living in Japan, I don’t get to see a crowd of tourists all the time. I mean, I am not living next to the most popular attraction. Furthermore, aren’t tourists going to supermarkets, the bank or the post office. That’s why I was really surprised seeing that many foreigners here.

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Ryoan-ji temple is very popular for the Zen-garden. First of all, I couldn’t understand it at all, why this place is so famous. For me, the garden didn’t seem like a garden. I just saw some stones. Wow! But when being actually at this place, it is kind of magical. It is still crazy though that so many people are sitting in front of stones and trying to take the best pictures. The history and the meaning of the 15 stones is definitely to consider. I am happy that I went there, but it is not one of the things you have to see when coming here. The Ryoan-ji temple area includes much more than just the temple itself. You can walk through a beautiful “forest” trail and along a little lake. Really pretty!

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My next stop was Ninna-ji temple. I walked from Ryoan-ji temple about 20 minutes to reach the park of many temples and a beautiful, tall Pagoda. Just at the moment when I went outside the temple district, I realized that I have been here before on the outing day. We didn’t go inside but took the bus to Kinkaku-ji. For me it was time to go back home. It was definitely not the most relaxed day I was planning to have. But well! I went to a unique café, saw some new temples and definitely got used to the bus system here.

At home I just cooked myself some dinner, watched Netflix and skyped with my family. But the school stuff didn’t make it today!

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