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Movable Type 2.661
February 02, 2005
February 2: Kyoto Train Station
I had grand plans for my last day in Kyoto--I was going to stop by Yoshi's office to say goodbye, then drop off my luggage at the train station and take a 3 hour walk around a temple-packed region of town, before catching a 4 o'clock train to the airport.
Instead, I woke up this morning to six inches of snow on the ground, and still falling. Just getting myself to the train station pretty much knocked the stuffing -- and all warmth -- out of me. I decided instead to just hang out in the train station all day. This is not as ridiculous as it sounds. The station is so huge that I've already lost myself almost irretrievably in it twice this trip. It is eleven stories tall, jam-packed with department stores, theaters, restaurants, bakeries, internet cafes, tourist bureaus, and just about everything else a girl could need. Except for my one excursion a block away to the ramen restaurant, I haven't braved the outdoors all day. I have however managed to check off a few Kyoyo todos. Besides simply doing some shopping--a decidedly un-Karen-like event, but practically a Japanese requirement--I finally managed to get a massage.
I couldn't decide whether to devote 20 minutes to my very sad feet, or to my thoroughly pained shoulders (carrying around a 13 pound laptop is a bitch). I opted for the feet as good feet massages are not as easily found at home. I pointed to my feet, nodded my head a lot as they talked to me in Japanese and I prayed I had asked for the right thing. Apparently so. I was navigated through a hot foot soak, an application of sweet-smelling lotion, and then was laid down in a long chair for a reflexology massage. It was wonderful.
When the masseur was done he said: "Shoulders tired?" I thought at first he was trying to upsell me to a second massage, but no. He pointed out the places on my feet that were tight so he knew how my shoulders felt. My g-d, it's better than tarot cards! He told me to drink "many water" and to take a hot shower. The shower, unfortunately, I have yet to find in this train station. . .