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Japan Day 12

Today we went to Kyoto. We’d been warned that it was one of the hottest places in Japan, but I hadn’t paid too much attention to the warnings thinking that I wouldn’t really notice the difference after the heat I’d already been dealing with. Boy was I ever wrong! It was the single most brutal day of heat and misery that I’ve ever experienced. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d been wearing shorts, but AWelkin had mentioned prior to the trip that it was one of the more conservative areas of Japan and we shouldn’t wear shorts there because it’s just not done1. I have to say that if I’d known in advance how brutal the heat would be there; I would have ignored that cultural advice and worn shorts. It was horrific and it make matters worse, the main temple we’d come to see was more than just a little ways from the train station and all the walking was uphill. Before we got there though, we rode the local bus system which wasn’t too bad, except when it got crowded2. Once the bus desposited us at the base of the hill to the temple; we started the climb, ignoring all the shops on the way up. When we finally made it to the top of the hill; we found we had to go up a set of steep stairs to get to the actual temple area. I think we’d already visited another temple that day (I’ll have to go through all the tickets and scraps I saved from the trip to double-check) and so AWelkin allowed those students who wanted to; to rest at the base of the temples. Only about 5 of us (3, if you didn’t count AWelkin & Bryon) actually went in. It was the most beautiful temple we’d seen yet and had a view of the valley area below which rivalled (but didn’t quite beat) the view of the ocean at the one previous temple. Again, words fail me here so I’ll have to hurry up and see about posting some pictures.
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