A Travellerspoint blog

5 Times

How often do you just miss crossing paths?

This morning we woke up and Creighton gave us some ideas of where we should to today (one of them being back to Kyoto, saying that everyone does that trip from Kanazawa). Yeah, so we should have known this, but Joe was determined that he really wanted to spend some quality time in Kyoto. He also decided, without discussing it with me at all, that today we should take separate trips. To tell you the truth, this really hurt my feelings, because here I was, feeling like this kid really needs to make shit up to me, and there he goes, saying that he needs some space. That should have been my line... why didn't I come up with it first? This has been a really long time coming, and if we had only realized this possibility sooner, then maybe we wouldn't be the broken shards of the people we were a year ago. What the fuck man, I was really hoping this trip would force me to grow, to find some sort of spiritual awakening, realize our love though strife and challenge. Yeah, so... never believe those stories you hear with the uplifting music playing in the background of the movie trailers, because they are just the success stories. Now I wonder how many untold travel failure stories there are in the world. Well, I seem to be determined to write mine, so, maybe that can be my gimmick.
"Come, read my travel story, and feel better at the end of it that you never uprooted yourself like me, instead of feeling worse about yourself for never having the guts."
I like it. Its... inspirational.
"Stay who you are, and where you are, its safer, and its costs less."

Anyways, so today we head out to Kyoto, and plan to meet back up to train back to Kanazawa at 2pm, giving us plenty of time in Kyoto for Joe to see the historic part of the city he missed with Mochan b/c he wondered off with David and Eelka, and for me to see the famous rock garden we didn't to to with Mochan because we went to see the Golden Temple instead. I told Joe that if all else failed, and we didn't meet back up to go to Kanazawa, that I would meet him in the Samurai village in the evening. The old Samurai village was only a small development, so we could easily wonder around there, enjoying the place without having to wait around, and we would still find each other.

Joe gave me the camera, since I liked taking stills more, and he took the video camera. And since Joe loves talking long, tediously long, videos, I couldn't upload them to youtube, so if you want to see Joe's day in Kyoto, you'll have to have him show you it on DVD. Basically, from what I was told, he never ended up finding the historic geisha town, but he did find a tour guide through a samurai home who was taking Japanese people through the place, and would let Joe come along, and occasionally cater to Joe so he could try and understand what was going on. He stayed there for most of the few hours we stayed in Kyoto from what I recall, just wondering around that area, so close to the geisha town, only a few streets away. Then he grabbed some sushi before meeting me for the train.

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My trip:

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It starts with me getting lost, seeing a big land mark, getting off the bus, and then making shit up from there. So, here is a really big temple, clearly marked on the map, and a large tourist attraction (making the map in and around it better than most other places).

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Those people were singing and having some sort of a ceremony in front of the temple. I wasn't the only one to take pictures of them though, so were all the Japanese school kids who were on field trip to the temple (and there were a lot of them).

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Then, occasionally asking for directions, I finally found the street the Golden Temple was on, and this is the same street as the famous Japanese Rock Garden temple as well.

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Gardens on the temple premises:

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Inside the temple (you didn't have to pay to see the temple gardens, but now you have to pay to go inside, where the rock garden is enclosed behind a large fence).

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To be honest, after being to the Japanese Gardens in San Francisco, I was real disappointed in this one. I know, heavy sigh, I'm sure I'm just missing how this one is so much better because of its simplicity... damn I'm western.

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And, it was time to run, so I waited forever for the bus across the street after buying some water at the vending machine on the road (they are everywhere). It was really hot today, and I was sure I was dehydrated a bit, so I got one more bottle, and then the bus came. After getting on the bus, I realized it was going the wrong way! Yes, it is a little confusing, even when watching traffic drive by. You just let your mind shut off, and you walk to the side of the road you always would walk to pick up the bus going "that" way. But in Japan, they drive on the British side of the road... so I waited all that time, watching busses going in the other direction, when that was the ones I wanted to catch! I looked at the map, and the bus terminal where they should turn around and head back the way I wanted to go, wasn't all that far, and I figured I could stay on this air conditioned bus, or get off it here, cross the street, and then pick it up again, paying the exact same driver money all over again. I decided to save the money, and spend the same amount of time touring around the city. This plan would have worked, except that driver was off duty when we reached the bus station, and I had to sit there and wait for the new driver to come, then pay him all over again, and I waisted about an hour with this little endeavor. Now I was really going to have to run it to get to the train station on time, and I really wanted to at least see the Kyoto castle on my way to the station, but now it looked like I wouldn't have time.

When I finally got back downtown, I rushed over to the train station, looked at my watch, and realized I had missed the train. Not only that, but I had missed it by an hour! I thought Joe and I were meeting at 3 for some reason, but we were meeting at 2... so not only did I miss the 3 o'clock train, but Joe had already gotten on the 2 o'clock train... yeah, I know. I'm allowed to fuck up every now and again too you know. Its not a one person privilege.

Number One:

I was late coming back from my trip, and I had to catch the next train in half an hour. Joe thought I may have been waiting for him on the train, not at the ticket booth, so he got on the train without me. This, after the fiasco at Takachiho, where we agreed that he and I were both old enough to take care of ourselves, and we should always assume that the other will make it to the buss or train on time if we split up. If we had done this at Takachiho, we wouldn't have missed the buss, and I wouldn't have gotten my awesome haircut... yeah, I can spin this however I want, being the author and all.

Train ride back to Kanazawa:

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2. Joe left a message with the travel information desk for me saying he would meet me outside the castle, and if I didn't get there in time, then he would meet me at the restaurant for dinner that Creighton suggested we go because the food was great and it had the Japanese drummer who would play every time someone entered or exited.

3. I assumed Joe would see that I missed the train, find out when the next one came in, and then meet me then. So I waited at the train station for him, and I was really hungry, so I got some lunch while I waited. After lunch I realized Joe wasn't coming here, so I went to the information desk to see what was still open in Kanazawa that I could go see on my own. Joe's girl got off at 4pm, I came to the desk about 10 minutes after that.

4. I tried to get to the castle before it closed at 5, but didn't make it, so I just passed by it and headed for the art museum up the road. Joe waited at the castle until 6pm, when the last visitors were exiting the castle before they closed it up. He thought I may have gone on the tour. I must have passed right across from him, as the exit to the castle faces the road I was on the other side of, hoping to catch the smell of the garden which was just behind me in this picture:

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(Joe is actually in those pictures somewhere too.)

The art museum was closed by the time I got there, which was so depressing because it was internationally recognized as being one of the best modern art museums in the world! Joe went to it while he knew I would still be in transit from Kyoto, and he said I would have really liked it (and thats saying something because I hate modern art). He told me about this one room where it looks like you are looking up into something Escher like, and its all sorts of these triangles and skylights that are somehow not 3D at all, but a fish tank, I don't know, its messed up, and something he would have to explain. Then there was a room (behind glass) that moved with the impressions of people, but no people, so you could see foot prints like someone had just walked along a squishy floor, but it was all automated. Then you could see the impressions of bodies moving around on the bed, and all sorts of things. That one sounded really neat. And the absolute worst thing of all!!! It was free. ; _ ;

Here is Joe fucking around with the outside exhibits:

Since the museum was closed, I went to the only place I could, the Samurai village, for the one last ditch effort to meet up with Joe, now getting worried that he din't have Creighton's address or directions written down like I told him to do in case we didn't find each other. Apparently, he was trying to prove that he could be relied upon, so taking an extra set of directions would be admitting to his future inevitable fail. Life not going the way you planned, however, is not something uniquely characteristic of only one person in this whole world. I know, its crazy to think that I could ever screw up something like this, but hey, it could happen, however unlikely. So... I headed for the Samurai village.

First Jesus I've seen in Japan:
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Modern Art across the street from the large intersection near the Louis Vuitton building:
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Art in front of Louis Vuitton:
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Leaving the main shopping district downtown, to the really creepy old houses that Samurai used to live in:
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I wondered around the Samurai village for a bit, but it was creepy b/c it was literally abandoned narrow streets w/o lighting. So, I left after about 20 minutes, really just giving up on meeting Joe.

5. Joe waited for me at the restaurant until very late. I actually passed the restaurant on my way back downtown as it was on the way from the Samurai village, but I didn't want to go in just to look for someone and have the drummer play my entrance song and exit song right on top of one another. So I went to the bus stop just down the street from the restaurant, and apparently 30 minutes before, Joe used the exact same bus stop.

I took pictures of the restaurant:
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I popped into a convenient store and picked up a yellow rice triangle with salmon, and a boxed salad with chop sticks for dinner. I ate those at the bus stop while I waited quite a while for the right number to show. Here I had a lot of people confirm for me that I was going in the right direction, just in case.

When I got back to the street with the gas station, I was very worried. I almost got lost on my way back, and I had the written directions. But then in the parking lot across the road from Creighton's I heard someone stomping around. Was I hallucinating? Did I actually miss Joe so much that I was starting to hear him doing his ridiculous kung fu stomping everywhere I went? Then I saw the hoodie... it was Joe. Here we proceeded to explain to each other what had happened all day, realizing that we were practically running into one another left and right, but always just missing.

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PS How many hipster glasses does Creighton own?

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5, including the pair he had on...
coincidence?
Yeah, it was, and I only figured this out right now as I was looking at which photos to put into the blog.

Posted by - Rain 16:14

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Comments

I'm proud of you for having the guts to uproot. I know its been hard, but you still have a place in ohio and people that love you. You can always replant yourself here for as long or as short as you want. Just because your relationship failed does NOT mean that the trip failed.

by laurr

wow, vanessa, finding your way around japan alone had to be scary!
nice job surviving!

by georgi r

You know, sometimes I forget that you were really over there- and all the amazing things you got to see! Including: THE YIN AND YANG FISH FROM THE NORTHERN WATER TRIBE TEMPLE!

by BritterBee

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