There's a heart in the header image. On the lantern. So cute! Now I don't know if it's actually supposed to be a heart or not, but it's all good, I love you no matter what it is, Kyoto!
We thought it would be a cool idea to save money and not take the subway to Tokyo Station. Our Rail Passes had started, and we could ride almost all JR trains for free, so HEY LET'S JUST TAKE ONE OF THOSE. Hahahaha... yeah so... we decided to head over there during the morning rush hour. GOOD JOB, US! Everyone knows about how crowded Japanese trains get and we were lucky most of the time. We were only packed in a couple times during both of our trips. But that morning? With my HUGE backpacks? NOT FUN. And I felt really bad for taking up so much space. I was not in a good mood that morning. ANYWAY. We hopped on a Shinkansen and rode down to Kyoto. This was the one place I HAD to go on the trip. Nur didn't want to go anyplace we had gone before (except Tokyo), which I thought was a good idea... except I had to go see my kitsune muses. So he was kind enough to schedule a day in Kyoto. Thanks Nur. ♥
Our hotel was waaay on one end of Kyoto, very far from where we stayed last time. It was quite an ordeal to find our hotel... it was hidden down alleys quite a ways away from the subway station. That day my kidney stones were being annoying and it was sprinkling, plus the rush hour ordeal all added up to me being in a really foul mood. Eventually we found the hotel and the lady at the front desk allowed us to leave our bags there (check in wasn't for a few hours) and lent us some umbrellas. We headed back to the station and saw these posters. GINTAMA MOVIE STAMP RALLY!
...but I never saw any stations for it. Sadness.
This is my favorite place (I've been to) in Japan. Maybe my favorite place ever. The place keeps cursing me, but it's just such an amazing place, that won't stop me from visiting. =3 Oh Fushimi Inari Taisha, you'll never get rid of me. I'll talk about this trip's curse when it rears it's ugly head.
Sake offerings to Inari. Look, there's one from the Hanshin Tigers! BEST JAPANESE BASEBALL TEAM. Obviously, they have great taste, what with giving offerings to the best temple. Awww yeah.
Even if you don't know about this temple, you've probably seen pictures. It's on the side of a hill/low mountain and is very famous for its thousands of red-orange torii/gates. If I recall correctly, the image on the lantern is ears of rice. Because Inari is the goddess of the harvest, among other things.
Nur takes pretty pictures.
Another one of Nur's pretty pictures. I believe the kanji on these says who donated these torii and when they were donated.
Nur's again. Are you tired of torii yet? I think they're awfully pretty. And it's such an amazing experience to run through them.
I didn't go through this area last trip, so I took the time to explore it and do my best to take pictures of all the kitsune I could find. (Nur took this)
SORRY FOR THE BLURRINESS. But do you see that black thing in the tree? That's a crow. I told you, they're HUGE.
Here's a cleaner shot of the beautiful crow. It doesn't show the size as well at the previous one though. This crow was hanging out around some of the kitsune. I think they were friends.
A lake maybe halfway up the mountain. It was raining pretty steadily by this point.
These are two kitsune I'm going to be using in my kitsune comic. I haven't done any work on the closest kitsune, but the one further away is Shin. I love the little ruffled bibs they have. So cute!
This is Shin's human appearance. At least, this is how I imagine it would look like. He's an upstanding guy who many of the other kitsune look up to.
More torii! We're getting pretty high up now.
Oh, what's this? do I see another large shrine area up ahead? Let's go see!
WHY YES! It's also the area where my kitsune muses reside! I love these two so, so very much. The kitsune on the left is the patient and responsible Taisha, the one on the right is the goofball with a strong sense of justice, Fushi. (Yeah, not the most clever names, but they use different kanji than the temple so...uh... it makes it slightly better?)
Seeing these two again filled me with joy, but also made me a little sad. As I was taking video (so I could see them from all sorts of angles and get them right when I draw them), I noticed that Fushi's ears are not folded like I thought, they're broken. His tail is broken too. T^T Taisha is in about the condition I thought, I knew her ears were completely broken off, but it still makes me very sad.
I've posted these a couple times, but these are how I see the human versions of Fushi and Taisha. They've changed a bit since I drew this (I originally thought it was just too cruel for her not to have ears), but most pictures I've scanned of them I don't like as much. =\ (Actually, I like this one too, but I was too lazy to cut out the two Kamakura kitsune on the top.)
Looking down from the central area of the shrine "complex."
The area of the "complex" Taisha and Fushi reside in.
I LOVE this temple. Nur took this. You can tell because it looks so cool.
The mist in the trees created a really neat atmosphere. Very... Mushishi-esque.
Construction on one of the temple's side buildings. (Nur's picture)
Another shot of the construction. (Nur's picture again) This was down near the main temple buildings at the bottom of the mountain.
Some of the main buildings near the entrance.
Inari Station. It's very small, but I like it a lot. I like the green trains a lot too. While we waited for the train, I wrung out my socks. I was a complete retard and had worn my sandals. In the rain. My feet were absolutely soaked.
Back at Kyoto Station (the largest station in Kyoto, where 95% of the train lines stop), I saw a table for a Doraemon stamp rally. I LOVE stamp rallies, but I mostly just love to put stamps in my journal. When I was flipping through to the proper page, the ladies working at the table were very amused by my stamp collection. I showed them a couple I really liked, like ones I had gotten from the Tezuka Museum during the last trip. They really liked that one and got really excited when I showed them. They pointed towards Kyoto Tezuka World and seemed happy when I told them that's where I was headed next! =D
So obviously, this is from Kyoto Tezuka Osamu World. There's a small theater and a few museum-y things, but the largest section is gift shop. For some reason, they also sold...
...Evangelion food stuff, including what seem to be Gendou cookies.
Black Jack! Be careful! There's a creepy stalker next to you! SHE'S ABOUT TO POUNCE!
Nur takes the time to advertise for KIOSK! in a Kyoto subway station.
It was raining too hard to go to Nijou Castle like I had wanted to, so we decided to find the shopping arcade we had frequented during our last Kyoto stay. It took a little adventuring, but we eventually found it! Teramachi Street! We wandered around it for a while, eventually coming across the arcade we liked. Nur played some crane games as I tried to remaster the pusher-arm game. I probably put $30 or more into the game. I won a number of things, but nothing I really cared all that much about it. It was a lot of fun to play though!
WHAT. THE. FUCK. IS. THIS? This is the most frightening creature I have ever seen. AND IT'S MOUTH MOVED. I guess it was a mascot for a pet store? We went in to see the animals, but it was a little sad... they were all in small clear boxes. Lots of cute animals though!
A little more wandering and locating the nearby Moss Burger (with a nice view of the soccer store across the street) for dinner, then we headed back to the room.
Our room at the hotel was pretty neat. It was an Eco Hotel or something?
The other side of the hotel room. It was a pretty big room.
The things I got in Kyoto! The collection of anime things on the left are things I won from the pusher-arm game. A couple cell phone straps (D.Grayman and Gintama), some Macross Frontier things, a couple Dragonball figures, and some strange case thing with ASCII art on it. Next is the Jungle Emperor Leo fork I bought at Kyoto Tezuka World (I LOVE character utensils!). Then the stuff I bought at Fushimi Inari Taisha! Fu-chan, the plush fox and a prayer tablet (maybe? I just loved the art on it). The wrapped items are a small torii and small ceramic kitsune statues. I have them set up in our apartment as a tiny shrine. The tablet makes a pretty sound, it has a small bell on it. The lady at the shop I bought my stuff from was really nice and gave me a tiny porcelain cat. It's right between the table and the Tezuka bag. I actually just wanted a kitsune charm, but they didn't have any. Then I went a little overboard. =3 But I loooove my kitsune stuff. =3
TODAY'S TRAVEL ROUTE~!
Click here to see!
~THE NEXT DAY~
Fu-chan says, "This is the view from our hotel room! It's still rainy outside!"
This is like a puzzle from Professor Layton. Basically it's saying that the door doesn't lock when you go out, you have to push a "lock" button on the keypad outside to lock it. I don't think I would have figured it out if the lady at the front desk hadn't explained it when we checked in.
After exiting the maze of alleyways, this was the street that led to the nearest subway station. I want more creeks running through the cities around here. =(
Before we leave Kyoto, have a video Nur took of some of our train ride and temple wanderings.
Waiting at Kyoto Station for a shinkansen.
Entertainment and Amusement ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWER!
Here comes a shinkansen! ...except it's not ours.
We got on the proper train and rode the fifteen minutes to Shin-Osaka station where we had to transfer to another train. Welcome to Osaka, and the world of Bunraku!
I like trains. I like trains A LOT. So this poster? AMAZINGLY AWESOME. Look at all the neat train goods! *_*
Hi Osaka, nice to see you again, too bad this is pretty much the only time we will spend together this trip. See you later.
Nur bought this bread. By putting the baker's(?) face on the back of the package, if you don't like your bread, or if it makes you sick in anyway, you know who to track down.
I bought this bento at Shin-Osaka station. It was cheap and looked delicious. It wasn't bad, but it was strangely sweet. Everything in it was sweet, even the meat. If I hadn't been REALLY in the mood for something savory, this would have been amazingly good.
Oh glorious shinkansen, where are you taking us?
Look at the pretty countryside!
Where could we be going? IT WILL BE A SURPRISE! A GLORIOUS SURPRISE!!!
...we're heading to Fukuoka.
Map of our long journey to Fukuoka!
I also uploaded a video of our trip to Comiket Special. Now with 99.9% less waiting in line!