Today was the last full day of our JAKZ Tour (aka Jenny, Andrea, Kay and Zalie) and we got moving and out the door by 8am. A quick stop for a pastry and bad coffee for breakfast and then on to the train for Nara.
Nara is a small forest area south of Kyoto known for the Tōdai-ji temple, the giant Buddha inside and roaming deer. We spent a very pleasant hour wandering around, feeding the deer and looking at the amazing architecture.
Back on the train, we headed to a ramen restaurant recommended to us and written up in all the guidebooks. Even at 2:30pm, there was a queue and after a short wait, we were finally eating the ramen we had tried to find two days before.
The plan for the afternoon was to head to the Ginkakuji temple and walk along the Path of Philosophy. Given it was now after 3pm, I decided to leave the girls to the walk, and I headed back to the hotel to get organised for my departure the next day.
Dinner was at a tiny family restaurant that specialised in tempura and sashimi. Taking our shoes off and placing them under the table, I noticed that Andrea had replaced her shoes with slip-ons. We all sat down and placed our orders and then Jenny noticed that her shoes were missing. A discussion about shoes ensued and it turns out slip-ons are not provided here; Andrea had taken off her shoes only to put Jenny’s back on!
We all ordered the small served of tempura and drinks and while waiting, the waitress set the table with the dipping sauce and three types of salt. Our waitress then proceeded to explain what each salt was and how to apply them to our tempura when it arrived. After she had finished, I turned to Andrea who commented that the soup was a little strong. Soup??? Andrea had just drunk the whole bowl of dipping sauce!!!
Given I had an early start in the morning, catching the 7:45am train back to Tokyo to meet Craig, and the girls needed to get organised for their flight home, we retired early.
Lessons from our trip?
The Kumano Kodo is beautiful but needs a little more training than a Sunday morning “stroll”.
Forget Japan if you don’t like raw fish, seafood or rice
Even earplugs won’t drown Andrea’s snoring!
Kicking tree roots is not a good idea when doing a walking holiday
Even though you are exercising and on the go the whole time, you are not guaranteed of losing weight!
Travelling with girlfriends is great fun and quite the adventure!