On Monday morning (July 30th) we had to wake up very early because of our hosts work. I don´t remember if it was 5 or 6 o´clock in the morning and an hour later we had to go out but getting ready (eating toast etc.) took us longer than we thought so we got out late. He actually left every morning later and later for the work because of us. After the first time on purpose because he understood we are not used to it. Luckily it didn´t seem to be too big of a deal for him because his usual working hours were supposed to start few hours later anyway but as he had a deadline in few months he wanted to go to work earlier.Our plan was to go and visit Koyasan. We bought a ticket set that was a bit cheaper than buying all the needed tickets separately and included tickets there and back plus to be used on place as well (bus tickets for multiple use on that particular day and some coupons for getting gifts for a better price). At one point we had to change trains and then we got to the monorail that took us even higher. Then we got on the bus and decided to get off near the Okunoin Cemetery.It was huge. In the far end of the Okunoin Cemetery we got to the Buddhist monastery. I liked this little monk image everywhere, happy and smiling. Anyway, near that were Mausoleums of Matsudaira Hideyasu and his Mother (in the upper left corner of the picture below). These mausoleums were erected for Matsudaira Hideyasu (1574-1607) and for Hideyasu´s mother by Hideyasu´s son Matsudaira Tadanao (1595-1650) at the age of 13. Every part of these buildings are made of stone.And then there were statues of various Buddhist deities. There was a sign saying:“The faithful pour water on the statues in prayer for the repose of their deceased loved ones.“It was forbidden to take pictures or film near Kobo Daishi Mausoleum so no pictures of that. After that we wondered around the Cemetery some more on the lead of Kuro and then took a shortcut through forest to a local Junior High School.That was still a long way to walk. And from there it was also a long way back to the city center. Visited the Mausoleums of the Tokugawas (it started to rain when we got there but only for a short time),Kongo-sanmai-in Monastery, Kongobuji Temple (our favorite, got complimentary tea and a cookie + I love walking on wooden floors, on the pictures below),Garan (I got so tired of taking pictures there but Kuro was all like:“Did you take a picture of that already? Take a picture of that too!“, this place was huge! On the pictures below) and Daimon gate.By that time it was already pretty late. I think it was about five pm and in Japan it always gets dark around 6 o`clock so I was like:“We have to hurry, we don´t know when the last bus goes,“ and rushed us to the nearest bus station but bus didn´t go there anymore so we went to a next one with another bus line (good thing there were maps with different bus lines on the schedule) but Kuro just had to lead us to another school.This time we went to see Koyasan High School. Didn´t go over the baseball court but yes, it looked exactly like in anime 😆 When we got to a bus station at last we saw that we didn´t have to rush at all beacause buses go at least till 11 pm. And still we managed to get to Amagasaki really late at night.Nyaa-nyaa!
Our third host had a family but as his wife just had their first child she was living with his or her (I don´t remember which anymore) parents so they could help her for few first months. It came out it is a traditional to do so in Japan. So we didn´t meet his wife.Though we had a funny thing with their couch. He told us that when searching for a couch they thought that IKEA couches are too big and in the end they found the couch just suitable for them from somewhere else. But now, looking at us sitting on that couch, it looks really small. So we told him to take a picture of us on the couch and send it to his wife so she could see who he is hosting as well. The first reply was that the couch looks so small 😛 Yeah, we are big Europeans.Anyway, the good thing about his apartment was, that the room we were sleeping in was cool enough to sleep with a blanket. Before that we were sweating like crazy. I don´t really remember what we did the first day after arriving to our new „home“ but there are extremely few pictures and the last one tell´s me that we went to McDonald´s. It must have been Saturday and we slept at least till noon. I guess that is also the day Kuro broke one of his lenses so he was walking around only with one lens wanting an eye patch so it wouldn´t be so weird to look around. He investigated the situation from internet and it came out that you have to take a full eye examination to get your lenses and it costs about 30000 yens (around30 euros) and it really pissed him off. But there was nothing to do about it.Hmm. I guess that day we spent a lot of time going around optic shops in Amagasaki. But the local optic shops didn´t sell lenses. So no luck with that in Amagasaki.On Sunday we went to Kobe. There we got Kuro new lenses at last. But it took 3 hours to get them because of this stupid check-up thing that in the end told him everything he already knew. What a waste of time. But after that we could discover Kobe with our new host. He took us straight to the China Town and to this meat bun shop that was really crowded. After getting the buns we sat down and just enjoyed. The buns were still hot so it took me some time and after I was finished I looked for a place to throw the paper but before I could find it the woman sitting next to us helped me out and took it with her. After that we went to the China Town main street (don´t know how else to describe it) that was full of stands with sweets, cute merchandise, meat buns etc. I tried out mango flavored ice coffee from there but it tasted nothing like coffee. It was more like milk with almost no added flavor, it had just a hint of sweetness so I was a bit disappointed. At one other counter there were a lot of different fruits so our host bought some dragon fruit and that was much better but the prices. 200 yen for 3 strawberries, that´s a little less that 2 euros. Crazy! At some point I saw this lady that played with her poodles and asked if I could take a picture and she agreed. I usually don´t like poodles but it was just so sweet how she interacted with them and how they were that I had to. We also visited the European style part of the Kobe but it wasn´t so interesting for me because it was too usual for me. After that we visited a local shrine (I just can´t make a difference between a shrine and a temple, really, they all look the same to me, so I´m not sure if it was a temple or a shrine but I think it was a shrine). We spent there quite some time just talking and taking few pictures. I liked how simple and glorious it was at the same time. When we got back to Amagasaki he made yakisoba for us. I would like to make it in Estonia as well as it is really easy to make. I just have to get the right noodles and seasoning. And I think I know where to get them from – MoMoya should help, right (home page seems to be only in Estonian though).Nyaa-nyaa!