I just realised i wrote something while i was on the Shinkansen on the way to Kyoto; so to save myself writing more here it is (plus a whole heap of photos):
"Sitting on the ‘Hikari’ Shinkansen on the way to Kyoto at the moment. We should get there at about 1pm hopefully. Things here have been quite hectic since I arrived, but lots of fun too. Here’s a short summary of what’s been going on.
Arrived at Narita pretty much on schedule and managed (after a little bit of confusion) to exchange the rail pass vouchers and get on the next train heading to Tokyo. Was such a strange feeling when I first got on the train because the one that runs to the airport is actually the same train that I used to catch every day to go to school.
Ben met us halfway back from the station and took us back to the dorm. It turned out to be Melanie’s birthday (not my sis) that night too so after spending a couple of hours chatting in the lounge we ended up going to karaoke until quite late. Jakob kindly used his rather large backpack to sneak in a whole heap of drinks and snacks ^^ Afterwards about three quarters of us ended up going to sit by the river with some fireworks (see the pics in my previous post) and a guitar until the sun sort of came up. We managed to attract the attention of the police wondering around at the time (who strangely only told us to stop playing the guitar and said nothing about shooting fireworks off at 3am in the morning) who took down address/phone number etc but I don’t think anything eventuated from that. Let’s hope not anyway.
Went to Akihabara to have a look around at camera prices. Because of the late night on Saturday however we only got there in the afternoon. Turned out to be some sort of music festival happening there too which was cool; car access to the main street was blocked for pedestrians, and the performers were sort of just randomly set up along the road.
At night Ben had organised dinner in Shibuya where I got to meet up with almost all my friends from last semester. The place was extremely dark but had a pretty chill atmosphere. Thinking it would be really busy Sayaka booked for us but it turned out to be almost empty aside from our bunch – which is usually a good thing because it makes it a lot easier to talk. At the dorm later that night Aaron found this interesting new thing on google which kept us entertained for quite a while. Basically it’s maps made from photographs taken by satellite up in space (I think it’s at http://maps.google.com) where we were able to zoom all the way into Aaron’s house/old school etc etc. Ben’s place we would have been able to see but for the rather annoyingly large amounts of cloud covering the photo. Unfortunately the photographs of Melbourne (and surrounding suburbs) weren’t even available at much closer than a state level.
Spent the day in Shibuya walking around. We went to the ‘109 building’ which I’d never actually been inside despite the frequent trips to Shibuya during my exchange. The whole thing (7 or so levels of shops, 1 or 2 levels of eateries) is basically aimed at Japanese girls. It’s actually a pretty good place to get a look at some Japanese fashion without having to stand outside in the heat. It’s also good for a perve ^^
Dinner was in Shibuya at も～も～パラダイス (Momo paradise) which is an all you can eat sukiyaki/shabu-shabu place that I’ve been to a number of times. Dinner was quite fun, and what’s more the ‘hot guy’ was actually working again haha. After going back there more than once to look for him Simone and Asli were quite happy ^^"
Asli and Kris at Mo-mo-paradise
What happens if you try too hard to make a funny face
Melanie and Melanie at the dorm
Sachiko and I
Afterwards at the dorm I sat in the lounge probably way too late (until about 3am) despite having to get up this morning to pack for our Kansai trip. Had a good chat/laugh with the guys from the dorm though, and even managed to meet up with Chou-san (one of the people from my class last semester).
Trying to fix computers can be tough
They were at it until about 2am ... not sure if it got fixed in the end either
Kaiten sushi sample
Kyoto Station (from the inside)
Kyoto Station (from the outside... is it just me or does that actually look like Federation Square)
Dragons are always cool, even when they spew water instead of fire
First look at the city of Kyoto
Taxis outside the station
Mel and I at Kiyomizu-Dera
A lot of school kids at Kiyomizu-Dera
Another water-spewing dragon
The view from Kiyomizu
Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavillion)
Greenery in Japan