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Kyoto was amazing. Without a doubt it was my favorite part of this trip thus far. Certain things stuck out in particular to me. One was the number of foreigners in the city. It was certainly a tourist destination, more so than anywhere else we’ve been. Hearing English in various accents as well as French, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch was certainly interesting and at first refreshing and neat, but soon it seemed too touristy. Another thing that stuck out to me was the concentration of temples and shrines in the city. It seemed like one barely had to walk a block to be at another temple, castle, or shrine. In other countries, from my experience, such historical artifacts and protected sites are generally scattered about a city or in different cities all together.  The richness of the history that one can see in this city is stunning and frankly I was geeking out over it. I love history, and it always blows my mind when I can stand in the exact place where history took place, to know that this is where it happened, or that this artifact was involved in it, and Kyoto delivered this tenfold.

  One night a few days ago, ben and myself found the dorm to be deserted and without much of a clue as to when people might retern or what to do with our lonely selves. In lieu of the love making that so many would have believed us to engage in we were interested in finding some other way to pass the time. So off we went in search of food, american food that noone could ridicule us for eating while they werent there. So our journey began in search of a pizza hut. We even had the foresight to even look it up on google maps. It seemed to be past the mcdonalds and towards the car dealership we had seen several nights before. so with those bearings in mind off we went. we walked, and walked, and walked. day turned to night, and the streets of nagoya became a dangerous place as they usually do in these twilight hours. The bikes come from nowhere and most nearly take you out with no apparent understanding of what the little bell that inhabits their handlebars is actually for. I think i will have an irrational need to jump to the side of the street and look feverishly behind me upon returning to the states for some time. We decided that we probably werent going to find the pizza hut, and instead took a look at an indian restraunt. But, as the wise young souls we are, we decided to march on, determined that against all odds we would find it. as we walked on we took a gamble but as it turns out it was not at the top of a series of very old,  very cool, rather ominous looking stairs that turned out to lead to a small temple by the looks of it. I would hope to return to taht in the daylight. We saw a spectacularly nice hotel, the Sir Winston. Figuring they have many foreign visitors and a general knowlege of the area to give instructiosn we asked the concierge where we might find this fabled pizza hut. She pointed left, and pointed right, spoke some japanese, a few words in english and nodded. She was very nice, stepping outside to point us in the right direction. Which as she gathered was to go to either jusco or sakae. We werent really sure she understood that we were looking for the chain “pizza hut” as much as we were looking for small shabby pizza place. for better or worse we either seemed like stereotypical americans, or dumb. anyways, we werent looking to take a subway so we just decided to pit our wits agains the wild streets and find food elsewhere. Upon our way we passed a rather imposing gate with a large wall all the way round the complex. We assumed it was a small temple or shrine of some sort. Naturally as boys our first thoughts when looking at the wall were “i wonder if i could climb that?” and upon a breif investigation.. it seemed incredably conceivable. We dubbed this complex “not ninja proof” which should now be used to describe all things in life. This dorm…. not nija proof. lock your door. further on down the road we saw a giant graveyard, which was less than ninja proof, but was promising for future plans of creeping people out. We planned on coming back with others, but did not investigate on our own. We gave asking directions a second time to the pizza hut. deciding that youg people of our age might know, so we went onto another university campus and found a hiphop club practicing. about 25 japanese studends all dancing and breakin it down. we were intimidated and instead followed some nice seeming people until they stopped at a red light so we could ask them. They spoke perhaps less english than we spoke japanese. and didnt think there was a pizza hut in nagoya after 5 min of saying” PIZZA….HUT”. The venture went on. We ended up stopping by what could only be described as a snack shack. “a bannana stand, but you could go in and with other stuff” as ben described it. Inside we found english speaking kids from nagoya university. Peter, from london, and another kid from chicago. We ended up sitting there chatting with them for probably about 20 min. They told us all about what they were doin, gave us some advice as to how not to get kidnapped and raped, and where some good clubs were, the usual stuff. So with our hunger stalled we ventured on, finding nagoya university, and walked through, now aquianted with its whereabouts after sounding rather illinformed when just talking to the other students. We passed a an english pub and a jazz club called mary poppins and soon found ourselves looking at the hospital near our dorms. We had walked all the way around the globe and ended up approaching the university from the other side! or just made a giante circle around a large section of nagoya. in any case we passed our dorm and said screw it… lets just get food at mcdonalds. and we did.