image, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.
If there is one thing that we could complain about our ryokan, it would be the air conditioning. We wake up pretty sweaty and needing to take advantage of the handy shower. Japan uses it's extra hours of summer light to brighten the morning (though no one is up!). After a fast food breakfast, we were off to see the sights. Though it wasn't on our tour guide's list, we decided to check out a monkey park overlooking the city. Having paid our admission, we somewhat skeptically began climbing the hill under a canopy of vegetation. To our surprise, we got more monkey than we wanted! Dozens of monkeys roamed and groomed among the visitors and from the safety of a cage (us inside) we fed the monkeys. Just before we left, one monkey lunged for Bjorn with vicious intent. They warned not to look them in the eye, but how can you not look at a vicious primate charging at you. Before it was over, Calvin and I were also chased by the same aggressive monkey. By the time we got back down the hill, our heartbeats were back to normal. We next strolled along a river and through a bamboo garden forest. We rode the bus to visit two temples. One was the Ryoanji Temple, famous for it's rock garden and beautiful grounds. Then it was the picturesque Kinkaka-Jim (golden temple) nestled in the deep green hillside foliage. Another very crowded bus ride brought us to the city's nightlife and a shabu shabu meal where we cooked the veggies and meat as it was given to us. A two mile stroll home through the night streets saw another day in Japan complete, happy that none of us had rabies!