Tokyo to Kyoto, Yo

Today was a long day: two meetings, train rides galore -- and hell, they ain't cheap -- in the sweltering heat, and my first-ever Shinkansen ride from Tokyo to Kyoto in the west.

My first night in Japan was spent in the crazy-busy hustle and neon-world of Shibuya/Harajuku, gawking at strangely-dressed and -costumed Japanese teenagers. By contrast, my second night was spent in the serene peacefulness of Kyoto / Arashiyama, sitting on a boat on a lake on a cool evening watching traditional ukai fishing. This cormorant fishing method is really something worth seeing.

[ Oh yeah. We wandered into a tiny Japanese restaurant that night, where I sampled some of the best tenzaru soba (cold noodles) and various tempura vegetables in my life. But the real treat was a plate of assorted sashimi ordered by my colleague: toro, some kind of fish similar to red snapper, a special kind of ika, and a single piece of a very rare ebi. Yum. ]


Kevin said...

i think travelling to expensive countries on a company's bill is the best.

i think travelling to cheap countries on your own budget is funner. then, at the end of it all, you can say "i paid $10 to stay at a hotel!!" and brag about how a 2 hour massage was only $30.

Ben said...

Yeah, but you know what? On a business trip like this, I'm really good. I spend very little, except to treat myself to a decent meal otherwise. For instance, I bought groceries for the hotel room, since my colleagues here have treated me to dinner. So I don't need to head out for another nice meal (though I will later on this week).

But I'm glad the company is paying for that Shinkansen trip: it was $130USD one way, and then $175USD on the return trip. Ouch.