The Slightly Longer Way Series - Table of Contents
|Day 0 – Friday, May 05 2023 to Sunday, May 07 2023||Flight from Edmonton to Tokyo||-|
|Day 1 – Monday, May 08 2023||Train from Tokyo to Kyoto||-|
|Day 2 – Tuesday, May 09 2023||RSJP Orientation Day||W1D1|
|Day 3 – Wednesday, May 10 2023||Placement test, Kinkakuji/Golden Pavilion||W1D2|
|Day 4 – Thursday, May 11 2023||Kyo-Yuzen Dyeing Workshop||W1D3|
|Day 5 – Friday, May 12 2023||Mori Touki-ken Pottery Workshop||W1D4|
|Day 6 – Saturday, May 13 2023||Ichihime Shrine, Nishiki Market||-|
|Day 7 – Sunday, May 14 2023||Nara, Todaiji Temple||-|
|Day 8 – Monday, May 15 2023||Urasenke||W2D1|
|Day 9 – Tuesday, May 16 2023||Nijojo Castle||W2D2|
|Day 10 – Wednesday, May 17 2023||Tojiin Temple||W2D3|
|Day 11 – Thursday, May 18 2023||Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street, Tsubomi||W2D4|
|Day 12 – Friday, May 19 2023||Kyoto Station||W2D5|
|Day 13 – Saturday, May 20 2023||Kamogawa River, Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai||-|
|Day 14 – Sunday, May 21 2023||Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai||-|
|Day 15 – Monday, May 22 2023||Kimono-Pro||W3D1|
|Day 16 – Tuesday, May 23 2023||Ritsumeikan Library, Hama Sushi||W3D2|
|Day 17 – Wednesday, May 24 2023||Domoto Insho House, Kamogawa, Ichijoji||W3D3|
|Day 18 – Thursday, May 25 2023||Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Hama Sushi (with Kel)||W3D4|
|Day 19 – Friday, May 26 2023||Super Karaoke||W3D5|
|Day 20 – Saturday, May 27 2023||Nothing special|
|Day 21 – Sunday, May 28 2023||Demachi Masugata Shopping Street, a long walk home|
|Day 22 – Monday, May 29 2023||Nothing special||W4D1|
Tuesday, May 16 2023 (Day 9)
Kyoto city buses have a couple of particularly bad seats right above the rear wheels of the bus, where the inner person on a two-chair seat has no leg room at all and has to place their feet up on a platform and (often) have their knees pressed against the chair in front of them too. It’s like a terribly cramped airplane seat, especially if you get stuck in one of those seats for a long bus journey, which I have a couple times.
Also, I have a test tomorrow, and I’m not even fully sure what the test will entail, so this will be a quick blog entry. Or so I always say.
Zian said that she’s going to try her sleuthing skills to try to find my blog — welcome, if you do manage to find it! Google does index this site, I think, I haven’t checked the Google Search Console in quite a while.
This was breakfast today. A particular highlight was the semi-sealed cup of natto in the bottom right corner.
It would have cost 100 yen as always, except I wanted a throwback to my Peiying days and so I took a packet of milk as well for an additional 85 yen.
We finally met our last teacher today, Ms Kaneko, or Kaneko-sensei. We had to do another round of introductions as always since this was her first time seeing us. She noted that even though her name has “neko” in it, the kanji of her name are actually split between “kane” and “ko”, and it doesn’t actually contain the kanji for “cat” like one might expect. I noted that my name (Jessica T -> Jessicat) is similar.
She was fairly nice, although she quickly got on my case for bad intonations or something. I don’t think I’m bad, but it’s hard for me to read a new passage and swap back and forth between the little furigana on top of kanji characters, and full-sized hiragana characters, and I have a bit of that dogged Singapore accent on top of that, so I always speak a bit faster than I should. She was all like “You should go listen to the audio on the CDs” and provided a website to do so on my own spare time, and then kept on skipping me when it came time to read the passage and textbook questions and went back and forth between the other three people in class instead, which pissed me off — I didn’t come here for this nonsense, or pay for the program and come all the way here to go listen to recordings on a website, why are you “assuming” what my problems are and making me skip reading practice?
But whatever, she was still far more engaged than yesterday’s teacher (who is also tomorrow’s teacher) was, and it’s not like I didn’t cycle in now and then either. I also did appreciate other corrections and things that she did. I do consider my first impressions of two of the three teachers to not be good ones though, and that’s not a good look for this RSJP. I’m still enjoying the program and the city overall, but that’s largely due to the strength of the Japan activities and the buddy interactions, and not the quality of teaching. (And I think this is partially because they squeezed four of us into this Intermediate 1 class when we’re at different skill levels, to save on having different classes.) But, there’s still time for me to turn my opinion of the teachers around, too. And I do like strict teachers overall, just not teachers that shoot my confidence down or try to humiliate me in front of everyone or something.
Anyway I am a very verbose review writer, and I’m fairly sure there’ll be a feedback thing at the end of RSJP to fill in, so I can always write a long, venting essay if I need to.
On to better topics — this was lunch:
The main dish was a bit less tasty than expected, but that’s fine. The thing on the left was “Ichigo Soup” but was basically strawberry (ichigo) jelly. Weird they called it soup. Some interesting sweets-like substances are on offer this week as side dishes though.
I had another fun chat session with a Buddy at lunch, and then it was time for our last outing this week, a visit to and tour of Nijojo Castle. This tour was done in English, and was done by a professional tour guide, Ms Nao, who seemed to know Mr Tanaka as they exchanged jokes back and forth throughout the tour. Parts of the castle were off-limit to photographs, and I’m not a big scenery photo taker anyway, but here is a shot of the castle gate:
One of a pond inside the castle:
And one of Ms Nao:
The bulk of the tour took place inside a building called the Ninomaru Palace (local), Ms Nao was a veritable fount of information about the rooms, and the murals and paintings in each room, and the tour was both very informative and fun. Pictures weren’t allowed in the Ninomiya Palace itself though, so all the pictures on hand are from either before that portion of the tour, near the front gate, or after that portion, where we went to some gardens, past a building under serious reparation, and then up some steps onto a plateau where another building used to be. There were some photo ops there, though I mostly took pictures of people instead:
Or pictures of people taking pictures of people.
We then went back down to the inside of the western gate for what both Ms Nao and Mr Tanaka called a Tanaka Special bonus, a semi-secret look at some graffiti on the inside of the western gates, likely done by some bored guards back in the Tokugawa Shogunate era. The western gate was a servant gate that was no longer used, as there was no longer a bridge there to traverse over the moat, so it was not part of any tour, but Ms Nao said that it was significant because the Tokugawa shogunate’s power symbolically started through the main gate on the east side of the castle, and symbolically ended through this servant’s gate on the west side of the castle, which the last Tokugawa shogun used to escape from his detractors after abdicating and handing power (and the castle itself) back to the Imperial Palace. Just like the sun, rising in the east and setting in the west.
She then brought us back to the east entrance of Nijojo Castle, where we finally disbanded. I had gotten people to sign yet another postcard in the meantime, and I handed it to her there. I remembered to take a picture of it this time:
We then took some post-event photographs before heading off on our way.
Mr Tanaka hasn’t uploaded his pictures from today to our local shared folder yet, so I don’t have any pictures from there to share yet.
After disbanding, Zian needed to go back to Ritsumeikan to pick up her umbrella, which she had left behind, so I followed her there as well to do so. We then scoured the area on Google Maps and decided to head to Shikura, a ramen bar that Rin, a Buddy from last Friday or so, had recommended, for dinner together. It was closed after lunch hours but reopened at 6:00 pm, so we took our time and hung out in the University and chatted for a bit, then took the slightly longer way there instead of the path that Google Maps had prescribed. (We went southeast out of the school, the way that I had arrived from on Day 1, instead of northeast out of the school and past the bus stop that we now arrive at every day.) This got us to the ramen shop just as it hit 6:00 pm, and we immediately were shown to our seats without having to wait for currently-eating guests to leave first.
I took a picture of the ramen pot on the other side of the bar, which didn’t really instil much confidence in me at first:
But the actual ramen bowl itself was pretty good:
Although the broth was saltier than I like my ramen broth to be. After eating, we went out to the main road again and caught the 205 home.