So after cursing a whole bunch and convicing myself to calm down, I realised that being stranded in Shinsekai with ¥2000 is not actually *that* bad as Kushikatsu starts at ¥100 per stick, so I made the best out of bad situation and found myself the cheapest vendor I could, and got my fried fix...which only came to about ¥850 ;-) (gotta love Osaka).

Oh and just before making the decision I got a call from an angel who forgot to tell me he booked me a hotel so all was not that bad!

With a little over ¥1000 left in my pocket I took the train from Shin-Imamiya to Osaka station and proceeded to check into my hotel which was in the Umeda area.

I made my mind up to eat cheapest Ramen I could find and get some the drinks from the conbini afterward, which I did and went to sleep soon after.


The next day I linked up with my brother-in-law as we had planned to visit Kyoto, and we went straight for a lunch at Okonomiyaki Sakura:          

A really great place to enjoy lunch with a friend.

We then took the train and headed toward Kyoto, the train we took had this omamori (good luck charm on it):

Stopping off at Inari station, my brother-in-law wanted me to see the Inari-Fushimi Taisha Shrine located there, which is actually the headquarters of Inari and as such was filled with Shrines. I had no pre-concieved idea about the place but I soon found that the Fox holding the bank key in his mouth represents the shrine bringing good financial fortunes for it's patrons. I also soon learnt the Fushimi site is HUGE and is on a mountain, a small one but a mountain none the less:

So we climbed:

Climbed some more:

Until we finally reached the top; well that is actually a half truth, because we reached the top, but the trail still continued but since I was carrying my DJ equipment er, it was time to descend.

I would show you more pictures of the Shrines that were there, but somethings don't need to be captured; an elderly woman pointed out to a tourist who had setup a tripod, smack bang in the middle of a stairway; which not only obstructed the way of people, was just TOO much, besides we should really think twice before taking pictures of spiritual artifacts - as not everything is mean't to be captured.

From Inari we headed to Kiyomizu Temple; which was fine, but too full of people for me to have any real impression of comment, here is a complimentary picture though:

After the temple we headed to the Gion area, and then to our hotel, where we dropped of our bags (which the good lord knows is all I wanted to do). With the weight of my shoulders it was time for us to explore properly, and that we did:

I stumbled across the store which belongs to my friends at Timai, who I also modelled for and pointing this fact to the store keeper was quite fun...ahahaha!

Kyoto is a really beautiful city, and I guess that is all people say because it really is aesthetic heaven:

With the exception of the chain stores and brand stores, I was impressed at just how romantic everything seemed and the effort that has been putting into making EVERYTHING cool, but in a real subtle way that left me wanting wine and dine till either my stomach or wallet gave in!

We had Macha shaved Ice here.

Talking of wining and dining dinner time arrived and my brother picked out this splendid restaurant called ???? and we ordered this amazing wagyu dish:

Shed a tear, and wanted to slap the cow for being so delicious

Everything served was delicious and the traditional Japanese style building also had some strong European furniture and features that added another dimension to the already special ambiance:

After diner we wanted to get more of a feel of Kyoto a night, so hit the streets:

Finishing the night with a glass of sake was a wise choice and we headed back to our hotel (after downing some ramen!). 
Kyoto is a place I 200% recommend for experiencing your road!
The next day we decided to head over to the Arashiyama area, but before leaving the city I was really impressed to see how popular Kabuki still is in Kyoto:

After we arrived at Arashiyama we had ourselves a wonderful buffet style lunch, that allowed us to eat as much as we liked for an hour, an hour worth of on-site made washoku dishes:

We got filled after about 30 minutes though, and left soon after to explore more and walk off the excesses.

We came to this small bamboo forest, which again was beautiful to behold but the amount of people and the noise of there chatter, spoiled the overall vibe for me:

We went across the Oi river to get away from the crowds but to also climb Iwatayama to visit the monkey park on site there, of course fed the Monkeys, enjoyed the view... then I found myself again contented again, just enough to able to leave Kyoto and the Kansai area.

When I was headed back to Tokyo, I received a message from a good friend who had just flown in from Hong Kong; inviting me to join him for dinner:

It was a very nice welcome home for me and kept the holiday feeling a live that bit longer.
We then headed to a nice music bar in Shibuya (lol no not JBS); where we were joined by the dark stranger below: 

Yeh that bar also had this small roulette table, and my esteemed collegue from Macau taught me how to use it, and from there we ate ramen and said farewell.