13.05.2015 - 13.05.2015
Yep, had my first earthquake this morning (not from anything I ate, a fair dinkum one). About 0630, just getting ready for brekky, and all of a sudden the whole room started to shake. Almost like being on a ship in a moderate swell. Then I heard the creaking of the walls, and it really did seem like a cabin on a ship, swaying and creaking. Except I was looking out across Tokyo from the 19th floor of the hotel. Hmm, thinks I, if this goes on much longer, something might have to be done. Best do it with pants on too (made sure I had clean underwear like mum always said - 'you never know if you'll be hit by a bus or something'. So I thought I couldn't be rescued from an earthquake zone in dodgy clothes. After making the effort, it all stopped after about 5-10 minutes. Could still see the chain of a crane in a construction site nearby swinging away, but all ended up OK. 6.6 on the scale apparently so a proper quake, too.
Finished the excitement with brekky, then off to the Shinkansen to Kyoto. Got in about lunch time, checked into the hotel and wandered again. Kimonos aplenty once again, except Kyoto is more laid back than Tokyo, maybe because they have had more practice being the old capital for long.
Had my time with a geisha this arvo as well (not what you would think, either). Very traditional, tea ceremony to start with (see pics). She's a 3-year apprentice (2 more years to go to be a full geisha, where she gets to wear a black kimono - no joke, it's the equivalent of a black belt in karate).
Touring Kyoto tomorrow, more temples and history here than you can poke a stick at. Wandering round this arvo and there is a whole shopping area in a closed off street which has a bunch Buddhist temples dotted along in between the shops. They were all built in 500-600 AD in different spots, then the shogun in 1560 decided he wanted them all moved to the one spot so he could keep an eye on them (the Buddhists weren't always the peaceful little blokes in orange robes during this period in Japan), so where they are now is when they were put there in 1560s.
Sake time now, I'm off.