Anne Marie is a trooper...
We met at the super futuristic Kyoto Station, dropped off our luggage at the hotel, and then headed straight into Kyoto's nightlife district for some, um, Mexican food (ha ha- what a great 1st meal for her!).
We then picked up some beer and went down to the river to people-watch (hundreds of young Japanese and foreigners hanging out, drinking, playing drums, etc.) and to catch up on all the gossip from life in NYC to boys to, of course, our (my former) coworkers.
Sunday was crazy- we wandered around Nishiki Market, poking into all the food stalls, ended up in that awesome colorful store (see post below) for hours and giggled at our ridiculous inability to walk more than 20 feet an hour. I was so excited but a bit overwhelmed as we were also meeting up with Glen & Kli on Sunday and those plans were not well coordinated. After some frantic phone calls, we finally met up with Kli and his family who drove them the 2 hours from Mie just so that we could meet up for the afternoon!!!
It was awesome to see the boys again! Glen and I immediately bonded again, just like our "golden days" in New York! Kli's amazingly wonderful family drove us around Kyoto to see Kinkakuji (the shiny Golden Pavilion), the lusciously orange Heian Shrine with its "wall of sake", and finally to Kiyomizu Temple, one of my favorites! It was kind of a rainy day so it was really nice to chill out in the car and catch up!!!
Several hours later, they headed back to Mie, and Anne Marie and I headed to Osaka for a JET concert/ charity event at an Irish pub. I felt pretty bad that all of her nightlife experiences were in western places! It was a long day/ night... we walked around Umeda Station checking out the fashion trends, wild hairstyles, crazy signage (a restaurant named "EAT MAN"?!?), and video game arcade cuteness until we finally caught the last train back to Kyoto!
Monday was another packed day of temple and shrine visits- Ryoanji, the famous zen rock garden, then to Tenryuji temple/ garden in Arashiyama. Hide, my Japanese police officer friend, was coincidentally heading up in the direction of Miyazu after getting off a 24 hour shift, so we caught a ride back with him. Two whole days of being in the city made me miss the green rice fields and fresh country air. What will I do when I get back to New York?!?