August 2nd

Today is another special day: My best friend’s birthday (Happy Birthday! <3), so we skyped quite long with various problems this evening/morning. I really enjoyed it a lot!

This morning, I had amazing breakfast, which really surprised me, since this whole variety was labelled “simple breakfast” while to me “simple” means what I also had: toast, one kind of jam, coffee, tea. No butter, no sugar, no milk, nothing else. This breakfast had three kinds of bread, different sweet breads, croissants, potato salad, rice, curry, jam, butter, peanutbutter, coffee and tea. So much! And it was delicious~

Having eaten, I planned my trip and got pranked by google maps, telling me I#d need about 1:40 h for walking freaking 23km. I simply believed it and just noticed there was something wrong when I arrived at my first spot after 2 hours of walking.

The first was Myoshin-ji Temple. A nice, huge temple complex with beautiful buildings, helping you forget you are in a big city and providing silence and spirituality. From there, I walked on to Ninna-ji, which had a beautiful pagoda and some nice small temple buildings inside a large garden area. I rested a little there and enjoyed the nature around before continuing to Ryoan-ji. Having looked at maps, the temple ground didn’t seem to be that big and when I arrived, it said there was an entrance fee of 500 yen, so I decided to just leave it be and continue to my next spot.

However, after walking so much, I really didn’t want to take another 8-10 km to my next detination, especially because of the heat and humidity, which are killing me these days.
So, I took a bus that saved me about half of the distance, so I only had to walk 4km to my next destination: The philiosopher’s walk. It was a path next to a river, surrounded by trees and bushes. Strolling around there was really nice and somehow relaxing, since the temperature seemed to be at least 5 degrees lower than elsewhere.

Next to this path were some temples and shrines located, containing Honen-in and Otoyo-jinja. I also made a stop there before getting back to the path.

At the end of the philosopher’s walk, I decided to continue to Nanzen-ji temple, which was close by as well. It had two very impressive, huge buildings (the main hall and the gate) and I stood there and just stared at them for a few moments before I could continue.

Now I only wanted to head back, because I was thirsty (and I already drank 3 litres just on my way!), tired, sweaty and exhausted. However, I spotted a Yukata shop on my way, which had a huge “SALE” sign in their window. Of course, I couldn’t resist and walked there, just to have a look. And I found some beautiful Yukata for an amazingly great price. I took pictures, tried them on, took more pictures and then asked to guys there to put them to the side for me.
Then I went, searching for wifi connection, to an underground shopping center, where I asked various people about the yukata I just had tried.
I ended up deciding to try on more and then decide. So, I walked back, picked another Yukata I liked, tried it on and decided for two out of three and one Obi.

The guys started talking and I understood a little: adding tax, summing it all up, lowering the price for me. So, I thought, they’d lower the price by 100 maybe, if I’m lucky 500 yen.
Then, one of them sat down with me, calculating the price, telling me what it would be with tax. I nodded and then he said something really unexpected: “And we’re giving you the third Yukata as a present”. At first I didn’t know what to say. I was shocked – in a good way – and my brain stopped working for a few seconds before I thanked them several times for such an amazing present.

After this, I am now happy owner of 4 Yukata and 2 Obi in total. I guess I won’t ever get enough of these. Seriously I am very happy about this.


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