Oniko's Travel Diary:
The Saigoku Pilgrimage

(July 20-August 16, 1999)

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Friday July 23, 1999
Now that I knew I was in Kyoto, I wanted to see some of the sites... not so much because I'm a tourist at the moment, as because I saw some of the sites back in 1990 as part of a student tour group being shuttled from site to site. This gave me lots of memories of things only briefly seen, but no real idea of where said sites were -- which drives me nuts. So I set out today with the plan of visiting the grounds of the old Imperial Palace (it moved to Tokyo several hundred years ago), then to go shopping for books.
My hotel is about twelve looooong blocks away from the grounds of the Imperial Palace; and, because I'm me, I explored a couple of book stores and shrines on my way there. Nothing to report other than seeing a book store clerk sanding some old manga; he was using a sander to take the yellow off the exposed page edges, to make the book look newer! I wonder if that's standard practice... and I wonder if he's ever had a critical failure that resulted in manga confetti!
In any case, the Imperial Palace grounds are HUGE; I never got a chance to notice that in 1990, because I was carefully delivered to the tour of the palace itself, and never allowed to look at the park and grounds around it. So today I spent time exploring these grounds, had a Oyako donburi (chicken and egg on rice), and skipped the actual tour itself... it only runs twice a day, and I wasn't going to wait two and half hours for the next one.
Instead, I headed towards the NijoJo castle which was relatively nearby (I walk ridiculous distances). Much to my surprise, this turned out to be another place I had been taken back in 1990! Sorry, but pictures were not allowed within the castle itself.
After this I started to walk back to the Kyoto town center to revisit the Osamu museum, so I could get the titles -- and hopefully copies -- of several books I never knew existed but looked excellent. On the way I found a Book Off, and bought some prayer beads and religious comics.
After taking care of what I wanted to do at Kyoto town center, I walked back to the hotel, picking up money on the way, and got one more night. Tomorrow, I'll pick up books and get them mailed off before I start to travel to temples on foot. For now, Night.

Onwards to July 24th, 1999

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