series : my spring in Japan 8

19th May..

This day is the time for West Kyoto. I plan to visit Arashiyama and its surrounding. The first stop is Tenru-ji Temple and garden. My favorite  place is the temple itself. It has several spots where you can sit facing the different side of garden. It is like enjoying a nature painting with Japanese door as a frame.

In one occasion, i accidentally observe a guy, i wildly guess he is an European. He is wearing a grey trousers, a black jacket, and a black shoes. He bring a bottle of water in his left jacket pocket. He bring a pencil and a A5 size book. Inside the book, there is a drawing of the garden. Thats when i realise that he draw it while sitting on the side of the garden. We enjoy pleasure in our way. I write and take picture. He sketch. For some, it may be shopping or taking selfie. No matter the way is, it should be fun for the actor of holiday, for you.

The next destination is the Bamboo Forest. If i say that Fushimi Inari is crowded, i think i am wrong. At least i get a picture of Fushimi Inari without people in it. The higher i climb, the less people i find. But in here, i don’t think i can. I end up taking the picture a bit higher, as long as i get the bamboo forest element. Arashiyama also offers a scenic rail ride. It runs along Hozugawa River for 25 minutes and 620 yen.

I finish walking around Arashiyama and decide to go back to the Kyoto city area to visit Kyoto International Manga Museum. But just before i go to the museum, i stop by the okonomiyaki store in Gion. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake with fillings. Like ramen, there is variety of okonomiyaki around Japan that has different taste.

Kyoto International Manga Museum is what it says, museum of manga, a Japanese style comics. The entrance fee is 800 yen. It has wide collection of manga in Japanese language and foreign languages called by The Wall of Manga. It spans 200 meters throughout the buildings with approximately 50,000 publications from 1970s to 2005. It also has an exhibition explains about manga history and its spread to the rest of the world, including Indonesia.

Indonesia itself is a big fan of manga, at least for my generation. Manga was what we read when we were in junior high school. Naruto, One Piece, Doraemon are familiar things. A drama genre manga like Hana Yori Dango (the Meteor Garden version) was also a hit in Indonesia. I end up reading English version of Hana Yori Dango in the park inside the Kyoto International Manga Museum. They also have collections in multiple language, such as Germany, French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, and many more! We don’t need to pay for that. We are allowed to read the collection of manga in here, like in the library. So, if you like manga, this is your place.

I will depart to Tokyo tomorrow afternoon. Therefore, i continue this short trip to Nishiki market to get some souvenirs. On my way, i meet a dad and his young girl. He walk and carry his daughter by hugging her in front of his body. A very sweet gesture. I do not see many kids in the stroller on the street. If i saw children, they usually walk. I met a group of children in front of their kindergarten and they walk together to home. They are very cute, small, and i think no more than 6 years-old. I also do not hear them screaming on the street. I once read that Japan’s early education is focusing on attitude than intelligence. This is reflected very well in their behavior, they are very well-mannered.

By the end of the day, i meet another nice people in the hostel. I just get back from the Nishiki Market to my hostel room. Once she see me, she says hello, in Mandarin. I say hello back. The next thing she asks is where i do come from. I answer Indonesia. Then, she says something which i don’t understand. I reply “I am sorry, my Mandarin is not that good. Do you speak English?” Even though my ancestor is from China, I understand Mandarin a bit, only a bit. Then, she kindly replies in English. She is from Taiwan and traveling with her friend. She find out that i am traveling alone and being really kind to me. During our stay, she offer me some snack and fruit. Very kind! I think this generosity is the good ending of today story. See you in next one! :’)

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