Monday, September 27, 2010

Clubbin', Kyoto and the Dotombori

Friday Night - Sam and Dave's One Club So on Friday night, we rocked up at Sam and Dave's foreign club at 11pm, hoping to have some better luck that our last club. What we got was another empty club with two old men sitting next to us. Miho was unimpressed.

*Note old men in the background. Luckily, it was only $10 to get in, and that was with 2 free drinks! So Carly and Miho got "Fuzzy Navels" and I got our drink of Summer 2010 - Cassis Orange!

They were delicious, and free! The music was rather loud, but eventually they started playing some songs that we could actually dance to. So we were up on the dance floor by ourselves, the only other person being some older man who looked like he was dancing around with some fairies - well at least he was entertaining.

We managed to also get him in the background here. On our next round of drinks, Carly thought she'd order something a little special, she was going to go with the "Blue China" cocktail, when I noticed one called "Kir" and well, there was no way we could NOT order a drink in Kirilly's name, so a Kir it was, while I went with a nice and frothy Pina Colada - considering these cocktails were still was pretty good value for money! What we didn't realise was a Kir is a mix of white wine, red wine and ice. Carly was looking pretty apprehensive as it was poured, but when we took it back to our table, turns out the combo tastes pretty nice!

It was after this that a few random mixes of songs had us looking a little bewildered - for example when Metallica's Enter Sandman started playing...we thought it was a bit weird for a popular club, until a remix of Lady Gaga started playing over the TOP! It was horrible! After a while, the songs luckily went back to normal Top 20 songs. We stayed until around 2:30, before heading back early to Miho's house in a taxi to try and get some sleep for another big day at Kyoto. When we got back, Chizuko had already set up the futons for us and we were asleep in no time.

Saturday - Kiyomizu Temple

On Saturday morning, we were awoken by the smell of perculated coffee and something sizzling on the stove. By the time we were up, we sat down and had hotdogs and garlic toast; which were delicious! It was a great start to the day, then we encountered a Japanese shower. It's basically like a small room that looks like a bathroom, with tiled walls, a bath and a long mirror, and a shower head which is in between the bath and the floor. It was after Carly had already attempted her shower, that Miho cheerfully explained to us that you don't stand in the bath and shower, you stand on the floor...which didn't look like a shower floor at all and had a weird drain that I didn't even realise WAS a drain. Then we also had to be shown how to turn it on and how to adjust the temperature. It was very complicated. Just like their toilets, which had the seat warmers activated on it when we were really don't want to press any of the buttons on the side, because you don't know what you're going to get! We will try and get pictures next time we're there to explain these technological phenomenon!

With another 2 hour journey, we made our way by subway, train and taxi up to Kiyomizu temple with the worlds tallest Pagoda. It is right at the top of a hill, so the taxi dropped us off about half way, as the rest is closed off to cars. We made our way on foot up the narrow, crowded and winding path of souvenir shops that led up to the temple.

Couple of views from the train ride.

The famous Kamo River, Kyoto - popular tourist destination and romantic date spot.

The start of the path to Kiyomizu - it was a long way up!

Halfway along, we found a Kimono place, and took the plunge and got dressed up. To get dressed up, with our hair done was only $40 for me, and about $45 for Carly and Miho, which wasn't too bad considering it was to hire for the whole day.

We don't think we turned out too badly in the end haha there were a few people who wanted their photo with us, and a couple more who stood behind Chizuko, snapping away when we were posing in a few areas.

This was a famous lookout/photo spot, and we actually told some people to move out the way so we could have our photo taken haha I don't think they were too impressed, but oh well! The temple entrance was quite wide, and the steps were very steep; making it almost impossible to walk up them gracefully in a Kimono!

The temple itself was lovely, and had some great views. The only thing that was a little disappointing was because it was so crowded we didn't have the opportunity or time to do a couple of the things that you could do there (such as drink from a famous/lucky waterfall). We did however, manage to find some great scenic views, and take a few nice portraiture shots in our Kimonos.

Once we left the temple, we followed a path around the mountain which eventually led back to the beginning steps of the temple, and the start of the narrow road of shops back down the hill. It was almost 5pm, and we found out that all the shops closed at 5:30, so in a mad rush and with lots of shuffling, we made our way through the shops looking for any last minute bargains to take back with us. Unfortunately, Carly had a lot more luck than I did, and I came out empty handed. By the time we got back, we were exhausted, and headed to bed for an early start the next morning.

Along the Dotombori

unday morning, we were up at 7am, and out of JF with Ayumi and Nicolas by 7:30...ish. We had planned to go to Parque Espana, but soon found out once we had already waited an hour for the train, that we had not only missed it, we also would've had to pay another $15 just to book a seat - so it was almost $50 one way... deciding Parque Espana was now a no go, Ayumi and Nicolas decided to go to some waterfalls...somewhere... but Carly and I weren't too keen and instead headed to Shin Osaka and cashed in our JR Rail Passes, then headed to Shinsaibashi to check out the Dotombori River. The river was probably the equivalent in dirtyness to the Torrens and also housed a few local bums. The stench of urine in the air reminded us of home, back in the Port.

Carly had heard there was a cruise, but when we went to the spot where she thought it was, we found a crowd of guys swapping photos of what looked to be famous girls in school was a little creepy. Thinking of giving up, we instead walked around to the other side of the river. This is where we spotted the guy amongst the all the creepy photo collectors, that we were meant to see about the cruise. We made it just in time, with the next cruise leaving in 5 minutes.

We got a few pictures of the scenery along the way, with the only picture of us not doing us much justice.

Us looking not so flash.

The famous running man!

The Don Quiote Ferris Wheel.

The MC on the cruise had quite a high pitched voiced, and her incessant babbling, paired with the dirty water and lovely views of underneath bridges 50% of the cruise - made it a rather interesting experience. Especially, on the way back to the dock, where she pulls out a bazooka and hands it to a tourist in front of us, and explains that he must shoot the overly large octopus on the wall of a building we were about to pass. So as he pretends to fire this gun, the octopus starts releasing smoke, while playing theatrical opera music and disco lights illuminating its eyes. So overall, we were left quite bewildered by the whole experience, and while it wasn't that bad, it wasn't that great either. We will however, leave you with the wonderful experience that was the octopus!

Coming up, we have a concert on Thursday night to go see the band SCANDAL, then on Sunday we have shopping with Yoshida, and our farewell dinner that night with Yoshisa, Chizuko and Miho.


  1. Now this is some of the quirky and beautiful Japan I would love to see!
    Those temples in the mountains are breath-taking, as are the two of you! Beautiful! :P
    The mediocrity of the boat-ride and the bazooka is so great! So is that random guy who I originally thought the woman was heckling to make him clap or wave to you guys on the boat. The signage and buildings are all so cool there!
    The kimonos really did make me smile and I guess it's not long till you make your way to Tokyo and I'll be getting even more envious! Keep having the best time, you two :) Always super keen to hear what you've been up to!

  2. Mediocrity is right... after all the special effects we've seen, a disco light in one eye, a fake bazooka and a kettle worth of crap steam doth not an adventure make!
    And really, the only triumph in Takoyaki is not vomitting, contrary to the musical score.