One Man Walking
Entries Tagged as 'pre-hike'

013 – To the starting line

April 13th, 2008

At 8:38 precisely the Nozomi (a very strange name for a very fast train) rolled out of Hiroshima and I was on the way to Cape Sata. Behind me I left Lorraine to make her own way to Tokyo. She should be fine because despite how confusing everything seems to outsiders everyone is here to [...]

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012 – Hiroshima

April 12th, 2008

Everyone knows about the horrors of Hiroshima but you can’t say you really understand it until you’ve been here and even then you’re unlikely to grasp the true horror that brought this city to the world’s attention at 8:15am on August 6th 1945. I walked through the Peace Park and read every display in the [...]

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011 – Day trip to Miyajima

April 11th, 2008

Japan has three “famous views” of which it is rightly proud. Today we visited Miyajima, an island south of Hiroshima, home to the Isukushima shrine and its floating torii. The torii isn’t actually floating, but when the tide comes in it stands in a couple of meters of water in a small bay and becomes [...]

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010 – A streetcar bound for ever

April 10th, 2008

Himeji Castle (a.k.a. the White Heron Castle) is quite a sight. And quite a departure from the bright red and dark brown I’ve seen in Japanese structures so far. It sits on a hill looking over the plains and though I don’t know if it ever had to withstand attack it certainly has a great [...]

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009 – Day trip to Koya-san

April 9th, 2008

Koya-san is the headquarters of the Shingon school of Esoteric Buddhism, so you wouldn’t expect to see an armed hold-up on main street but I did. See it that is, not expect it. We turned a corner and found two guys in crash-helmets with serious looking handguns crouching behind a minivan while two guys in [...]

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008 – Philosophication

April 8th, 2008

The weather improved enough that we spent all morning walking The Philosopher’s Path on Kyoto’s eastern edge. A lovely cannel, just a few meters wide and yet more cherry blossoms. The breeze was knocking the petals loose and covered the ground with pink snow. Along the route are several temples and the most interesting one [...]

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007 – And now it’s raining

April 7th, 2008

I think we’ve recovered from the terrible experience at Kyoto City Center Hostel (see yesterday’s blog for my review) so I can write about what a great day we had before that whole episode. First was the packed bus ride to the Golden Temple Kinkakuji. It was a bit smaller than I expected, and the [...]

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006 – Kyoto City Center Hostel SUCKS!

April 6th, 2008

Tonight Oliver Gilmour, the manager of Kyoto City Center Hostel, the rudest hostel manager I have ever met, threw the two of us out on the street. It was after 10pm and it’s a Sunday and Kyoto is full. What on earth did he think we were going to do? The trouble began this morning [...]

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005 – Back to the beginning

April 5th, 2008

Roughly 30 years ago I took my first tentative steps right here in Japan. The story goes that it was on Nijo Castle’s nightingale floor that those two little feet trod and today they repeated the process. The floorboards of the outer building, where feudal lords would stay, are mounted in such a way that [...]

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004 – Bullet trains

April 4th, 2008

The haze was gone this morning and in the clear and chilly air we walked to the station. We had a much more interesting room mate last night. I’d heard him earlier debating the origins of zero and this morning we spoke about Kyoto. He also had reservations about people who bring kids to youth [...]

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