After a quick breakfast at Muji Café (yes, the same brand as Muji the store with lots of boxes and pens and small cute stuff), we were off to the train station. We gave ourselves 45 minutes, and spent the first 5 minutes sort of standing around at a loss for what to do or where to go. We had planned to buy bento boxes at the station, because my friend T had said that was fun. I was feeling sort of so-so about it (I think I was a bit grumpy from having to set an alarm – ha!) but then when I got my turn to go downstairs to the bento box food court (seriously! – I wish I had taken a picture, but by that time we were rushing) I realized how right T was! That place was amazing. It was a little too much to take it, actually. There must have been 50 shops, all selling beautiful things. Broiled fish, salted fish, cured fish, raw fish, fried fish, sautéed veg, crispy veg, tempura veg, vegetable salads, seaweed salads, pickles, plain rice, colored rice, rice with beans, and rice with sesame, not to mention the sweets! We had about 5 minutes to make our purchases and then we had to high tail it out of there. Suddenly we only had 10 minutes until our train LEFT!
We scrambled to figure out who would take what, including Kiddo, and we started running. We found out our train was leaving from platform 15 (out of 35, I think – geez!), and we made it with 3 minutes to spare. We stood there for 2 minutes, then the train pulled up, and the passengers debarked, we got on, and by the time we had walked up to our seats a half car away, the train was pulling away from the station. Whoa!
The ride was lovely. We got a peak of Mt. Fuji behind some clouds. That was really fun, because I guess it is really hard to see since the weather around it can make for lots of clouds all the time. Otherwise, SIL and BIL kept Kiddo entertained for an hour, which was amazing because it meant I could sit and read my book. They dozed off for the last half hour or so, but then Kiddo was ready to see a little Mickey Mouse and look out the window. We ate our bento boxes and were super full on tasty authentic Japanese lunch food. It was a blast.
We found our Ryokan pretty easily on foot, and settled in nicely. We were all feeling pretty lazy but we decided to go out and see a temple. We decided to go to one with some famous statues, but it was already closed and plus, you have to wait in line to get tickets at 6:30am or something. So we got the taxi driver to take us to Kiyomizu instead. It was gorgeous! Packed, but beautiful. We had a really lovely time wandering around and watching the people and seeing the cherry blossoms. They had some fun shrines to matchmaking gods and love, and we watched some people try to see if they would soon find lasting love by walking between two stones with their eyes closed. I saw two people fail and one make it.
Then we wandered down to the main road and got a cab to the imperial garden, where we wandered around for a bit more, trying to tire out Kiddo. Then we went back to the ryokan to try to find some dinner. There was an incident with Kiddo throwing a memento on the ground at the ryokan and breaking it. Hubby was pissed, and the mood was not great. Then BIL wanted meat, so we went to the train station to try to find some “katsu” or cutlets. We did, and they were pretty awful. The place was packed so we assumed it would be good. BIL hated his pork so much he didn’t eat it. SIL left half of it on the plate. I ate mine because it wasn’t dirt cheap and I didn’t want to waste it/be hungry/have to buy more food. Kiddo spent the whole dinner under the table, which I have a reaction to because my mom thinks it is unacceptable when parents let their kids go under the table. But Hubby pointed out that she was having fun, disturbing no one, and letting us eat in peace, which was true.
Then we went to Lawson to get beer and ice cream, went back to our room, and had a nice little get together with SIL, BIL, Hubby, Kiddo and me. Since we didn’t have internet in our room, no one was on their device. It was lovely. Kiddo and SIL had a “moment”. It was a nice day!