Friday, November 19, 2010
I've been fortunate enough to have been living in Kyoto for the past month or so. When I was a student at Kansai Gaidai University, I came here often, but it was completely different from being able to spend all of my time here.
I have been doing a great deal of local tourism in this time; after all, who would want to leave Kyoto? (I know I don't). The gorgeous Fall colors have made it especially easy to stay put.
I have been living steps from the Kamo River and have been riding along it daily. I have been merely 15 minutes by bike from Sanjo, where one can get lost for hours in the labyrinth of shops in the arcade. I've also been close to beautiful temples such as Ginkakuji, or the Silver Pavilion. The latter is one of my favorite sights in Kyoto.
Another local trip I took was to Arashiyama. A friend and I went to view the Fall colors, or kouyou. This is a common activity in Japan currently. The leaves were just starting to turn, but it was worth the trip, nonetheless.
After a full day of mountain climbing (small mountains!) and walking along the river, the best part awaited: a "light up" in the woods. A small park was illuminated at night to reveal an entrancing scene.
These are just a few things I have been up to in the nearby areas. Some of my adventures have been planned and others have not. Some have been what you would go to Kyoto for, and some what you might go to any metropolis to experience. However, some have just been unexpected; for example, the Spongebob Squarepants Movie.
I went to a small outdoor mall this week. I had passed it before, while doing errands, and had decided to finally walk around it a bit. After leaving a store, I suddenly heard the Spongebob Squarepants theme song blaring from the mall's courtyard. I was instantly curious.
The movie was playing, in Japanese, (though the theme song remained in English) on a big screen TV in the court yard. I was a big fan of the show during college, but had never seen the movie. The randomness of, of all things, the Spongebob Squarepants Movie, playing while I was shopping was too delightful; how could I not stop and watch for a bit? There were nice tables and chairs, so, I sat to enjoy the film. Moreover, my friend had just sent me candy corn from the States for Halloween, and it was with me after stopping at the post office. I had everything I needed for an American movie night. Sometimes my unplanned outings are my most interesting ones.
Kyoto has truly captured my heart. I could stay here for quite a while...