Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto

My measly winter vacation from AEON started last Wednesday night after work, and I headed to Kansai on Thursday morning via Shinkansen (Bullet Train). Kansai, for those who don’t know, is the western region of Japan, famous for cities like Osaka, Kobe, Nara, and Kyoto. This is opposed to Kanto, the eastern Japan region, with cities like Tokyo and Chiba, and where I happen to reside.

Anyway, I headed to Shin-Osaka station with Blanchard on the morning of Thursday the 28th. We stayed in Kansai until the evening of January 1, making an almost a 5 day trip. We were able to explore around Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto, seeing temples and other stuff like that. It was a really good vacation despite waking up pretty early every day and walking around 394949494 miles everyday. I didn’t keep track, but I’m pretty sure that is an accurate measure of how far we walked during the trip. We saw a lot of temples, ate a lot of food, and most importantly, taught no English and did no “lobby talk” with students. Overall, it was a good get-away from work, and was just what I needed.

Of course, despite having an awesome Kansai vacation, including getting a “super good luck”/大吉 omikuji fortune slip from Todaiji Temple in Nara, I was bound for some bad luck after vacation. Almost exactly when I got back to Kanto (actually, I think it was on the bullet train back), I began to feel the symptoms of a cold. And although I was able to make it though an all night izakaya and karaoke party for Blanchard’s birthday on the 2nd, I have spent any other time in my apartment sleeping and trying to rejuvenate. Luckily, it’s just a head cold I think, and not anything like the norovirus, but it kind of sucks that the last 2 days of my winter vacation have been spent sitting in my room, usually sleeping and/or watching Futurama. I mean, it’s been relaxing, but I wish I could breathe out of both nostrils again. I should be all healed up by the weekend, which of course includes 2 fun days back at work. I think the cold is a result of not sleeping much and walking around in the cold during the entire vacation. And for future reference, even though every Japanese person you meet will tell you that Kansai is a lot colder than Kanto in the winter, I am pretty sure that’s some kind of scam, because while it was kind of cold, it was not any colder than up here in Chiba.

I posted the first page of Kansai pics, mostly of Nara, on the pictures page. I will post more, and of course blog coverage of my every step on vacation, within the next few days. Let me know what you think, etc. For now I think I might make an excursion either to 7-11 or Saize for dinner, then I will likely sleep the rest of the night away in hopes of getting better in time for work tomorrow.