At 4:55am this morning, we arrived at Cairns airport from Osaka. We guess Cairns, due to the Great Barrier Reef, but all we saw was a rainy day from the airport terminal windows, before we boarded another plane at 6am to Brisbane.
After landing safely and getting through customs, still haven't slept yet, we were greeted at the airport by Margo at 9am. All I want to do is put on a movie, have a Meat Pie and crash, but we head off to the post office to see if our mail from London has arrived and ... it had. :)
Awesome. Must sleep. Zzzzz ...
Today is our last day in Japan and the last day of our World Tour :) ... As our train to Kansai Airport in Osaka wasn't til 4pm, we decided to bum around at Kyoto station, going to another shopping mall called Porta. Lots of school kids everywhere again, they seem to always be on school excursions or something.
We then did a few last minute shopping purchases at that large Isetan department store, where up on the 12th floor (roof) is a tranquil garden. What was funny was there was an elderly Japanese business man in his suit, drunk rolling around on the walkway. Too much sake for him. ;)
At 4pm, we got our bullet train to Kansai and then checked in on our Qantas flight to Cairns, not direct to Brisbane unfortunately. Today is also a day to reflect on all the experiences we've had over the last 40 days in 18 different countries on all major continents.
This morning, we went back to Kyoto station, which is absolutely huge to check out the Tezuka Osamu Studio store, home of Astroboy. :) After picking up a few items, we headed to Isetan, this gigantic department store, were Lisa did some more shopping.
After a quick bite to eat at McDonalds, we then started our tour walking along the 2km Philosopher's Path, stopping along the way for another tea ceremony. We then went to a Machinya house in Gion for some more tea and Lisa got dressed in a kimono.
The tour then concluded in Gion, where we had to get a bus back to Kyoto station and then the free shuttle back to the hotel. For dinner, we had the all you can eat buffet, which was awesome (I'm stuffed) and then went back to our room to pack our bags for the last time and our last night in Japan.
This morning, Lisa slept in, so I went downstairs to have a haircut, then grabbed a little breakfast to go and came back and ate it whilst reading The Japan Times - all the news without fear or favour. ;)
We then embarked on our Nara Afternoon tour, driving past Kyocera's main headquarters (one of the largest buildings on Kyoto's outskirts), which had solar panels down one side of the building. The tour guide also said Nintendo's HQ was in Kyoto as well, but we didn't drive past it.
We then visited the Todaiji Temple where the largest bronze statue of Buddha resides. Way cool. The temple is very simple but elegant, certainly not over the top like the Vatican. We were also at Deer Park, were there was lots of deer running around that people could interact with. Next, we visited the Shinto - Kasuga Shrine; another peaceful and beautiful place.
For dinner, we took the free shuttle to Kyoto station and then went to a sushi train restaurant, where they had plates of salmon for $1.80 AU. Needless to say, I went ballistic, devouring 11 plates (ala Homer Simpson style) and the total price of the meal was still under what we'd normally pay at home. :)
I'm a little sad to leave Tokyo, but thems the breaks, as we got up early and caught the subway to Tokyo station and then bordered the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) bound for Kyoto. It was quite a smooth ride, taking just under 3 hours, stopping at 4 other stops on the way.
Being a Sunday and not knowing the best places to go, we went walking around the hotel but didn't find anything open, so we had some room service for lunch, whilst watching the Sumo Championships on TV. The winner got this big ass trophy. I guess a big lad needs a big trophy. :)
For dinner, we had Teppanyaki (ala carte) at a very expensive restaurant. Needless to say the food was awesome and it was sufficiently washed down with my Japanese favourite - Asahi Super Dry. Might have to get a case of it, when we get home on Thursday.