From Tokyo we moved to Nikko, to see the mausoleum of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. It was cold as f@#k and there was still snow here and there. Then back to Tokyo and on to the western park of the island, to Kanazawa. More and more kilometers of temples, traditional houses of merchants and samurai. Szymon spent great time visiting Myoryuji temple, also known as Ninja Dera (the temple of ninja) – even though the temple has nothing to do with ninjas. A labirynth of secret passages, trap doors, hidden floors and doors is fuel for his imagination, so all the way back to the hostel he spent analyzing how he could make a board game or a building in Minecraft out of this.
Finally we moved to Kyoto where we set an all time record of walking and a record of meeting other tourists, mostly French, American and surprisingly – Polish. It is probably yet another cliche in my head but I was not expecting to meet an organized group of tourists from Poland every day here. To stay away from the crowds we tried to visit popular places either early in the morning or just before closure at dusk. Thanks to this we had the Inari temple with its red gates almost all to ourselves and in Arashiyama bamboo forest there were only two wedding photoshoots. You cannot escape the crowds completely and the groups of one-day geiko/maiko with mobile phones in their hands made me laugh (although I must admit I also wanted to try traditional clothing for one day – did I get the drive to like looking stupid / fun with my mother’s milk?). Japanese are also masters of gift-shop craze (even if all the stuff is made in China). Despite sticking to the rule of collecting memories rather than things, we could not leave without few t-shirts, pants with geisha image, shurikens, glass balls and fridge magnets.