Kyoto is really close to Osaka and with just an hour train journey a very convenient goal if you want to see a variety of cities in Japan. It took a bit of time to find the right local train and a few exchanges to figure out that we went wrong but I haven’t actually felt lost at all, if it were to happen. I have never seen cities and trains as clean as in Japan and it did actually have a big impact of how cared for I felt all around the country. There would be two main objectives upon arrival of our day trip in Kyoto: Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari.
After a bit of confusion, the bamboo forest would be a very common goal for tourists and was something that made us get up really early. As we arrive in the area a lot of the tourists were already there. They would hitchhike into the infamous forest that was close to one of the cleanest rivers I had ever seen next to it.There are a lot of people that engraved their name on some of the trees, something I am sure you are not supposed to do. The mystical energy of the bamboo trees projected a soothing, meditative state that I sometimes miss until today. A lot of temples and opportunities to see traditional Japanese village areas would be there. After hiking to a monkey park on the top of the mountain we see an astonishing view of the city, something I was lucky to see in almost every asian city that I have yet been.
Fushimi Inari, Oinari-San would be the last spot in Kyoto, a famous temple with around a thousand “Torii” gates and with a lot of pilgrims that would walk towards the top of the mountain to pray. Unlike us not many people would actually reach the top, a stressful looking one-hour walk that would mean there will be a high chance to bump into wild, Jjapanese animals. Proud to have reached the again beautiful top, we had seen warning signs of wild boars and seen monkeys get almost mad at some tourists on the way down, something that made you forget the exhaustion on the way back in the dark. Before we leave the city back to Osaka, we start binge eating traditional foods in front of the temple: Daifuku being my favourite by far.

One downside of Japan for me was that there would be just too many things on the list to see, like the Kaiyukan Aquarium in Osaka that we didn’t see. The constant pressure to not waste time initiates a really ambitious plan you wouldn’t create otherwise but it would not just happen once that I fall asleep in the middle of the day on the train. The party would be at the local bar Cauliflower which had visuals similar to the screens at Robert Johnson. After I asked the warm-up DJ Ono about a few tracks I start to play for a few hours. There were probably fewer people than anywhere else this year but actually Cauliflower couldn’t fit more people if it wanted to. The size created a special bond between us and the people we had met for the last couple of days.

Following the mental exhaustion and jetlag of our activities and the night of the party I decided to leave the venue straight after I played to be able to have enough energy for when we arrive in Tokyo. Surprisingly the promoter had taken a cab after us to the train station. They were still up from the party and didn’t want us to go. Sad that we have to go our separate ways, we go to the train together where we would take the Shinkansen, one of the fastest trains in the world to go to Tokyo. After we got out of the hot spring a few days before, there was news that the train hit someone without noticing. It did surprise me how fast the train actually went. I had never been in or seen something that has travelled this fast on the ground. As fast as 300 km/h.