#08: More big cities : Kyoto & Nagoya.

Kyoto, at last! 

Prior to getting to Kyoto, we got a big surprise: Chiara, Federica and Orsola (three former university classmates of ours) got in touch with us and invited us to crash at their place for a night. And who the hell are we to refuse such a thing!? As soon as we arrived there, we threw our sleeping bags on the floor, took a quick shower and went together for a night out in town, eating, drinking and most importantly, reminiscing big time! 

The next morning, we woke up (seriously late), rode the few kilometers to the city centre and checked in at 京都っ子, our hostel for the following 3 nights. 

We had a bunch of things planned to do in that first day. And we did none :) We were simply too tired and decided to stay in for the afternoon, organize our stuff and work on blog and vlogs. For dinner, we met with... Danjyuuro and Kanna! Two of the wonderful people we had previously met in Nagasaki! It was great seeing them again, along with Alessandra and Silvia (another former university classmate of ours and a friend of her in town for a few days)! We all went to eat some delicious Kushi-katsu and had a great night together, that ended with me, Sio and Danjyuuro playing guitar and harmonica near the Kyoto river till late. 

Sio and Danjyuuro playing near the river. 

The following day went by quickly, with Sio locking himself up in a Starbucks to work on some stuff, and myself roaming the streets of Kyoto all day, taking pictures with my beloved Fujifilm X-pro1 and a couple of lenses. 

Rice paper lanterns, the evergreen of every single temple in Kyoto

Students walking towards the Kyoumizudera

If you walk around Kyoto, you're bound to run into geishas all day long. 

People resting under the cherry blossoms, near the river. 

A monk on the main bridge over the river. 

The view from the highest floor of a mall, over the modern part of the city. 

I met again with Sio for dinner and we strolled around the city centre, ending up in a darts bar where we met Mitsuhiro, a way-too-funny-.to-be-real bartender and darts teacher! 

A concert over the bridge. 

Mitsuhiro and his darts-addicton

Mitsuhiro and his darts-addicton

The following morning, we got out early and finally turned into a couple of tourists, visiting some temples and most importantly, Arashiyama, the super famous bamboo forest in the western part of Kyoto. 




Some girls in kimonos strolling around Arashiyama

Once we were done with Arashiyama, we once again met up with Danjyuuro and the three of us visited the Kinkakuji, the golden pavilion of Kyoto, without any doubt the most famous temple in Japan. 

Kinkakuji, the golden pavilion

Kinkakuji, the golden pavilion

A view from the park of the Kinkakuji, the golden pavilion

After our lightning fast 5 minute tour of the Kinkakuji (yes, we're three idiots and we went there 10 minutes before closing time!), Danjyuuro asked us if we wanted to attend with him a screening of a short movie in which he acted! Needless to say, we jumped on board and followed him inside the Kyoto University. The short movie we saw is called "Bu" and it's about 5 random people closed together in a room, trying to figure out who among them just farted. It was HILARIOUS, we laughed so hard we cried a little! Completely blown away by Danjyuuro's performance and talent, we had dinner together, gave him a Babel Line tshirt, wished him all the luck in the world and went back to the hostel for our last night of sleep in Kyoto.

Danjyuuro and his new Babel Line tshirt. 

The next morning we checked out of the hostel, packed our bikes, before hitting the road towards Nagoya, visited the last two remaining items on our list: first of all the Nintendo headquarters (visiting is kind of a overkill, since they don't let anyone in!) and then the Fushimi Inari, one of Kyoto's most famous temples due to it's very VERY long Torii path! 

The Nintendo Headquarters

Sio in front of the Nintendo Headquarters

Sio inside the Torii path

The Torii Path

After the Fushimi Inari, we jumped on our Specialized Tricross bikes and rode, in two full days, all the way to Nagoya, through mountains, lakes, dams and overall a handful of pretty great looking landscapes! The second day we even got stopped by another cyclist that read about us on the Specialized blog. 

The Dam. 

The lake. 

The mountain roads. Lots of them! 

And finally, the rice paddies right next to Nagoya! 

The night of the second day we finally reached Nagoya. We camped right in front of Japan's biggest planetarium (there's really no place we can't camp into right now, we're just that blunt!) and in the morning, we reached "Minna no Ie" where we stayed for the following 4 days. 

Now, let me explain a little something about "Minna no Ie" : literally "everyone's house", is the house of two married couple of amazing, beautiful, kind hearted and overall awesome people! The moment you step in you realize you're not renting the room, you're actually MAKING NEW FRIENDS. That's how good it feels to be there, with Koji, Maya, Macchan and Hana. And don't expect it to be over with them: throughout the day, a lot of cool people pass by! It is by far the most awesome place we've been in. Unreal. 

You don't believe me? Well, let me just tell you that for the following 4 days, except for one afternoon spent taking street photos around town, I NEVER PICKED UP THE CAMERA. I was too busy going to concerts with them, playing japanese instruments till late at night, going to their Taiko lesson, festivals and much more. We had an amazing time there and for the first time, we were seriously sad of leaving. 

Sometimes it's better to leave your camera in the bag and simply LIVE what's around you at its fullest! 

Before parting, we said " We're leaving with our memory cards empty, and our hearts full." And it's damn true. 

Nagoya's new shopping tower

Nagoya's planetarium.

Building in the centre of Nagoya

Street scenes in Nagoya

Street scenes in Nagoya

Street scenes in Nagoya

The travel continues...