Yesterday was another big day! Nearly 22,000 steps! A record at almost 10 miles. I think the rock and stone pathways, the sheer volume of stair climbing, both in train stations and at temple sites, and of course the accumulation of 2 and 1/2 weeks of daily mega-walking, has been really tough on our bodies. Worth every step but wow are we both tired and sore. For me it’s my feet, for John it’s his back. We figured out ibuprofen in Japanese (we had run out of our own!) and bought some last night thank god!
That, plus learning how to warm up a sake bottle in the hot water heater! John’s brilliant idea! Hahaha!
And John was a total Mr. Wonderful best boyfriend ever to get me ice by sneaking into the kitchen in the basement of the hotel! And I figured out that the cold water straight out of the tap was cold enough to soak my sore feet in by sitting on the side of the tub!!! Just a few traveling tips for you from our experiences!
This morning after breakfast, John took off early on his own to see the Silver Pavilion (he missed it when I went alone when he was too sick). Glad he’s getting the chance. As for me, plans to visit used kimono shops came to a halt when I researched and found they didn’t open till 11. Just a bit too late… Besides, I have zero room in my luggage. I’d have to literally buy another suitcase! And I’ve already visited a few of these stores and purchased great things last time I was here, so I decided to pass.
Instead, I enjoyed a restful morning of organizing and packing, making sure everything fit; (it did, sort of, with an extra packed full carry on, but who knows about the weight limits….?) [later edit: I forgot…traveling with John means no weight or baggage limits — he has “premiere status” So right now writing this we’re at the fancy star alliance Asuka lounge!] I also had a cryptic conversation with the front desk in (only) Japanese (the English speaking clerk was not around…) about late check out. Tricky, but I think for an extra 1000円 we can stay an extra hour. Normal check out is 11am. Special complimentary check out is 12noon. Extra hour — pay extra 1000. Ok with us. Our flight is not till 6pm but it’s from Osaka Kansai Airport, the far away one (1 and ½ hour train ride to get there). Leaving here by 1pm will allow plenty of time for a bus to the train station, the slow walking with all our luggage to the ticket booth and the train, etc. Ugh, a very long travel day ahead.
I also stretched and did what I call “bed yoga.” When the hotel room is too small and there is zero floor space, yogis like me have to be very creative! I knew that these sore legs needed stretching before the long flight. So that 1000円 was well worth the extra hour to stay in and stretch out.
I’m all showered and packed so when John returns it’s his turn. Then it’s out for a quick lunch, or buy something at the station, and off we go. No doubt I’ll have some last photos to post before our take off.
Easy quick bus trip to make getting to station simpler with all our bags. Then, lunch found in Kyoto train station to take with:
That’s some kind of fancy bread John got. Mine is Matcha (green tea) bread with pine nuts! Notice the egg salad sandwich, this time from 7-11 — against Anthony Bourdain’s advice of the best egg salad being at Lawson’s convenience store!!) John has had at least one egg salad sandwich daily — he has been a huge Bourdain fan since the beginning!
Our lunch boxes were great! Salmon, rice, pickled vegis, tofu, seaweed, shrimp tempura, sweet egg, pickled radish 😍👌 Even a boxed lunch like that is quite affordable at a big train station (under $10)!
Train ride to Osaka Kansai Airport was fast and comfortable. It goes through downtown so you get a bit of a view, along with countryside and water. Not great pics as the train moves fast. I missed taking photos of so many backyard gardens! I just wasn’t quick enough! Huge rows of cabbages and winter peas, daikon, carrots, kumquat and persimmon trees in full fruit!
We’re at the nice Asuka lounge waiting for our flight. John travels a lot to keep his premium status up just for these perks! Also premium speedy line to check in, no baggage limits, etc. Nice!! He’s been known to fly to Singapore and back (without even leaving the airport) just for the miles and status! The crazy thing is, he’s not the only one to do this. He says the planes are filled with flyers doing “mileage runs!”
A few last thoughts… I will miss Japan, again. I’ll miss the food, the language, the toilets! So many little things! The cleanliness, politeness, the beauty of nature and small things. But I’m a bit homesick too, so it’s bittersweet to leave. I miss my pups, home, my own bed. It will be good to be home. Until next time, Japan.
Thanks for reading and following our trip! It’s been fun to write this blog, just like the last one in 2012 — in fact that blog was what got me into the whole “writing” phase of my life. Some of you know I’ve written a memoir I’m now trying to get published! Writing while traveling and posting photos helps me remember everything I’ve seen and experienced here in beautiful Japan. I’ve loved reading your comments too! I’ll be home soon! Matane! またね！