Day 4: Nijo Castle





It’s been raining a lot, and I’m not complaining.

After experiencing days of having the hot sun against my skin while walking around in quite possibly the most intense humidity I have ever been in in my life; having the clouds shield me from the sun while feeling warm rain against my skin  feels amazing. Also the darker skies make all the greenery just stand out so much. I can’t believe just how beautiful and green everything is here. I’m looking forward to the rainy days to come. The sunny days? Not as much.

Yesterday I didn’t get a chance to really sit down and write a blog, so here I am after a long night, writing a blog with a cup of tea and a bento box from last night’s convenience store run.

Anyway, speaking of yesterday, I got to visit Nijo Castle with my group! It was raining quite a lot and there were puddles so I was really scared of dropping my phone, but I still got plenty of good pictures.

The entrance to the castle.

Here’s a close up of the entrance. There’s a lot of different artwork on the entrance itself that had a lot of symbolism. Here there’s two cranes, which represent longevity and good luck.

Here is a view from a guard tower in the castle! In the distance you can see the city of Kyoto. Remember how I mentioned before that the gray skies really make the greenery pop?

After our tour of the castle, a few friends and I took a bus and went exploring. We were really hungry for ramen, but the only ramen shop that was close by and was open was closing in an hour. So we ran to the ramen shop only to find that they closed an hour before they said they would. We were a little bummed out, but it was also an hour before closing which wouldn’t of been fair for the ramen shop owners. I suggested we keep walking down the street and go to the first shop we found that was open and offering food. That’s when I stumbled on a sushi place and it wasn’t how I imagined it would be… Turns out it was a conveyor belt sushi place! I always wanted to go to one of those. The employees did not speak English, so we all had to figure out the ins and outs of how the restaurant worked.

Well, we figured it out and it was so worth it! I got 20 pieces of sushi for 1000 Yen and each slice of fish was bigger than what I am typically use to in the States. The sushi rice was also much more flavorful. I tried my usual, salmon, crab, yellowtail, and tuna. But I also had a few new things as well, one being fatty tuna. I never imagined fatty tuna would just melt in your mouth like butter. I also was a little daring and had two pieces of raw shrimp. I was a bit scared at first, but I’m glad I took the plunge and got it because the texture and taste was amazing.

Also, don’t get me started on the sushi that’s seen to the left of the photo. That was crab leg, and I went for seconds on that.

Here’s the raw shrimp! Mmm! If I wasn’t so full I would’ve gone for another round of raw shrimp.

Also another cool thing about this place that I noticed is different is that they had hot water on tap at the table so you can mix your own matcha green tea! It was really fun and tasty. Next to the tap was a little place to put your dirty plates in, and the more plates you put, the chances you have of winning a prize from a vending machine that’s next to each table. A little cartoon will show up on the ordering screen that will let you know if you win or not. If you win, a little prize drops down. I won a keychain!

I know I will be going back if I’m back in the area again and will be getting the raw shrimp and fatty tuna again. Yum!

Anyway, so tonight I will be going to Osaka with my class. I’ll post an update on how that goes later!

Till next time!