Today was the day that we were headed to Kyoto! We woke up and had a nice breakfast made by Anna’s mom. Some tamagoyaki, sausage, potato salad and salmon (the last are two of my favorites).
We got to the train station at 9:15 and headed off to Kyoto! The whole ride including stops and transfers was about five hours. This time I was able to see more of the countryside since on the way to Kumamoto it was pitch black outside. During a transfer we saw the CUTEST train which was going to Miyazaki. It was a different kind of cat train 😛 It was so cute I wanted to cuddle it.
There was also a funny men’s room which was just a urinal, but the door had a window on it O_O Anna did her best to stealthily take a photo of me “using” it, but one of the train staff walked by, no doubt a little weirded out by what we were doing.
We got to Kyoto first thing I noticed was there are a lot more foreigners. Also there were a ton of high school students in the station I assume for a trip. I didn’t take many photos on the way to the hotel because not much that really stood out. There was a giant mall in the area and the station itself at Kyoto is pretty huge. It was funny to see foreigners on the escalator were the only ones who stood to the right 😛
We dropped our stuff off at the hotel and headed for Nara. I had no idea what we were going to see there but Anna was saying she really wanted to go to there. When we got there we bought some bread from a bakery around the station. Some cute seal shaped bread, a chocolate coronet (I had to because of the Lucky Star episode), curry bread and some sweet potato bread.
We were walking along a park and she asked me if I knew why we came there. Then she pointed me to a sign on my right. The sign was a warning about the deer in the park! I didn’t remember hearing about this park with wild deer so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The idea of having a park with wild deer seemed pretty out there to me. The warning sign had some adorable illustrations. Only the Japanese could make deer attacking the children and the elderly look cute.
We saw a few deer just hanging around, but Anna said that was nothing compared to what the park had in store. Then she started consolidating our drinks, bread and stuff. I started getting anxious from this. What was going to happen that she needed to organize all our stuff?
Then finally we were at the area with the wild deer just hanging around outside some tourist shops. There was a stand selling some kind if senbe (rice crackers) to feed the deer. The sign in the caged container made sure to mention “it’s awful for people.” I was still very curious what they tasted like, but I didn’t try them. Anna bought four bundles. Then she handed me a bundle, took my camera from me and it began!
There was a deer eating a pamphlet so I took it away from him so he wouldn’t eat it. I fed him a cracker which disappeared in an instant. I think he was getting impatient so he took it upon himself to find more biscuits and then he bit me in the leg! Later that night I saw what kind of mark it left. Loudly I said “OW! He bit me!” Anna was having too much fun laughing, watching me feed the deer, and taking photos.
Once I was out of biscuits I put my hands up to show them I had no more. Later I saw that this was the universal signal for “I got nothing on me.” I saw several other people hold their hands over their head as deer neared them. I saw an elderly man and a child get approached by a deer and when they quickly put their hands up the deer just walked away.
I fed them two more bundles, but this time there were several deer following me for my delicious biscuits so I had to keep on the move. I was also trying to be fair to the number of deer surrounding me. Anna took some video of me dodging and feeding deer. Then it was Anna’s turn so she took out a bundle and fed the deer while I took photos.
After we finished off our first few bundles we looked around at the temples and took some photos. We couldn’t go inside because it was already closed so we headed back. Before one of the stands closed up, Anna got one more bundle so we could get a shot of my Dude plush with the deer. One actually head butt her! Jerk!
We left just as the shops were closing, dodged a rickshaw guy trying to give us a ride and headed back to Kyoto. On the top floor of the station was an area with several ramen restaurants so we headed up and looked for a place to eat at. I picked one that I thought looked good and we had some beer, tonkotsu ramen and shio ramen. The ramen at this place was very good, but nothing in particular stood out like some of the ramen we had at the other places. Still, the ramen here was heads and shoulders above an “average” bowl of ramen you’d find at most places in New York.
When we finished we went to a convenience store to get some drinks and then walked back to our hotel. It was another small business hotel with low ceilings in the hallway and very little else but the bed but really that’s all you need. I tweeted some Yakushima photos and was pretty done for the night. “Twilight: New Moon” was playing dubbed on TV which was pretty amusing to see, but I didn’t stay awake long enough to hear all the Japanese dub actors. Anna took some video for a friend of hers and you can hear me snoring loudly in the background.
I took a look at my deer bite and it was a very localized bruise. I ended up crashing before I could even finish my drink. The next day we had a lot to do, we were going early in the morning to the Fushimi Inari shrine, then to the Golden Pavilion, then to the 1/1 Scale Gundam and finally back to Tokyo!