Last night I decided to pull out the maps I will want for this trip, and found out something stupid. I can find my Tokyo subway map (which is good, since I always take that map with me.) I can find my maps ot Tokyo and Kyoto. I can find maps of Nikko and Kamakura and Hiroshima. I can find maps of Gunma, Tochigi, Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures, atlases of Gunma, Kantou and all Japan. I can find maps of Imabari and Narita, for crying out loud. I can find maps of place in Japan that most people (including some Japanese) have never even heard of. Do you know what I can't find?
My map of Japan. Feh.
The yen/dollar exchange rate is also sad. It's not the worst exchange rate I've ever had (yet), but it's right on down there. What is it about dojo trips that the exchange rate always takes a dive just before I leave??
Last night I was waiting at a stop light. I realized that it looked like the car ahead of me was slowly rolling backward. I pondered this for a moment. We were sitting on a slight incline, so unless he was actually backing up (i.e., transmission in reverse and applying gas to move the car backward) then logically he should be rolling forward.
I eventually realized that I didn't have the brakes on fully, and so I was the one slowly rolling. But it still took quite a lot of thought to figure that out.
After thinking about it and doing a little more research, I think I'm going to go to Ohara instead of Enryakuji. I'm feeling in a garden-y mood rather than a hike-up-a-mountain mood. There are several gardens in that area that I've been wanting to see for a while, and I can get to them all on the Kyoto City Bus Pass (for an exciting 500 yen!) and not have to pay for extra ropeways. Besides, that's where the temple with bloody hand prints on the ceiling is. Whee! Historically significant freaky boards!!
I may spend the day bumming around Kyoto instead of going to Wakayama. I haven't decided yet. If this is what it means to be impulsive, I think I'll skip it. How on earth am I supposed to know which maps to pull and what directions to write down if I don't know where I'm going!? Perhaps I'll just decide where to go while I'm on the plane, and pick up maps as opportunity strikes. I guess an excuse to pick up extra maps is a good thing.
I should probably stare at my castle books a little tonight and find out if I am going to be unknowingly on top of Stones Of Historical Importance And Not Know It. That would be bad.