Today we went to Kiyomizu-dera Temple first. We were literally rushing through this place and didn't see everything around there unfortunately. Then we had a buffet lunch at a restaurant in Kyoto Tower (but it wasn't good at all...), then 2 hours to shop around (which I did enjoy because I love the clothes in Japan, but I would have preferred to do sightseeing instead), then a kimono fashion show (which I would have preferred to skip), then finally we went to Arashiyama. This was the place I wanted to visit the most because I wanted to see the bamboo grove..but we ended up not even going there!! We didn't even walk across the bridge to get to the actual area. By the time we arrived, it was pouring rain and all we did was walk around in a store there and eat some of the street food. We only had 1 hour at the whole place so by the time we were done at the food place, we had to leave. It was really pointless and to be honest I had a better time at the highway service stop last night lol (which was the same type of store). I don't know why we bother going to these places when we just spend the entire time in a store..& I don't consider us having even visited Arashiyama, since the closest we got was look at the bridge over from across the street. They wrote this as one of the stops in our itinerary too so it's kind of a rip off.
Anyways, I don't want to sound too negative as this is kind of expected from these tours, but I actually enjoy the ones to China despite the guides always being unorganized, the bad toilet situation, horrible WIFI, and lower quality of hygiene..but it's a LOT more worth it because of the places we visit. The negatives cancel out the positives there. For travelling, I enjoy China more because I feel the nature and attractions are a lot better..for example from my past few trips there I really loved visiting the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Huangshan, rice terraces, lakes etc.... But in Japan nothing really stands out except the shopping, stores..and I like their culture as well. The people are also really nice. Japan is obviously a lot more relaxing and "luxurious" than China too. I like both countries in different ways. I want to come back to Japan on my own someday (meaning not with a tour)...though it'll be really tough to get around with the language barrier, but I'll figure something out.
I know this was only our first day here. I had wanted to wait until the end to express how I felt but I couldn't resist lol. Hopefully the next few days will be better.
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