Day twenty – Kyoto to Nara

Both feeling somewhat the worse for wear, waking up with stiff calf muscles and various aches we had hotel breakfast and checked out to head to Nara.

I wanted to travel in the morning after the horror of Hiroshima to Kyoto the other day and how much it stressed me out, and it worked out relatively well. Nara is close enough to Kyoto that we took a local express train rather than a shinkansen. Unfortunately as it was a Sunday, a lot of other people had the same idea, so the train was quite busy and we had to stand the whole way (45 mins or so).

Our hotel didn’t seem too far from the train station, but can I just say that dragging your suitcase over artistically uneven cobblestones makes everything a hundred times harder? Sure, cobbles are pretty, maybe the rough marble ones adds a certain something to the pedestrian walkways, but mostly they create a ton of resistance for little suitcase wheels and make your tourists have to work extra hard and get cranky in the afternoon sun.

Nara was busy on a Sunday afternoon, lots of tourists and locals on a day trip. Anna navigated us to our hotel and we left our bags, but it was a late 3.30pm check in, so we had some time to kill.

We got lunch at the Doutor conveniently across the street and decided to check out the deer park while we had time. Last week in Pokemon Go there was a community day but they’d had server issues, etc. They made up with a replacement community day which hit just as we were looking for something to do.

Thus, we wandered up the deer park and caught a lot of beldums on the way.

The park is full of deer. Considered to be messengers of the gods by the Shinto religion, they’re considered a National treasure and there’s over 1200 wandering freely in the park. Deer Cookies are on sale for 150 yen and the deer are into them. It being Sunday afternoon on a clear sunny day, the deer were largely over it. Many were just sitting or sleeping, and although we managed to feed the deer a packet of cookies each and then just wandered looking at the shrines and things in the park.

It’s a very beautiful place.

We had a delicious soft serve and then wandered back to the hotel via some touristy shops for postcards and souvenirs. We also got dinner from the konbini, lots of drinks, onigiri, edamame and sushi. I know it doesn’t sound like much to get food from the convenience store, but it’s very high quality food and super delicious.

The rest of the day was just resting. We both needed it.

My self care included a meditation, a nap, changing into my softest clothes, drinking lots, a face mask, cuddles and telling myself I didn’t *have* to do anything. That last one is the hardest.

After a while I did perk up some and got a lot of postcards written so they could be sent. I don’t know if any of the postcards I’ve sent have made it to New Zealand yet, but at least they’ll have the Japanese post mark on them. Hopefully some of them will arrive home before we do.

Here’s some fancy portraits of deer by Anna

Day nineteen – Kyoto, Fushimi Inari

We had one mission: get to the top of Mt Inari, via the thousands of Torii gates that make up Fushimi Inari.

To get to Mt Inari, we went on the local subway and then a train line to right by the entrance of the shrine. It was Saturday, so very very busy at the shrine. The main shrine is a short walk from the train station and has a tea house and garden nearby as well as lots of little shrines. Behind the main shrines are the trails heading up the mountain, which are lined with Torii gates.

It’s hard to explain how weird and cool the experience is. The gates are packed densely enough that it’s quite dark in the tunnel as you walk, but you can see between them that there’s bright sunshine, or beautiful forest. Here and there along the path there’s little shrines, stones and guardian statues. Lots of foxes, as they’re messengers of the Gods. Anna took some beautiful portrait mode shots…

It’s not an easy climb. Some of it is slopes, but a lot of it is steps, and they’re not regular, even steps. They’re old steps which have been paved over many times, and some of the paving stones are cracked or otherwise askew, so I found I was watching my feet quite often.


We took breaks on the way. Saw a young family with a toddler who flatly refused to walk and insisted on being carried. An American tourist asked me to take a photo of her with the gates. We saw some giant bee things, and some round shiny black beetles. And shrine cats. Lots of cats on this mountain.

A lot of people stop walking at the crossroads, so as we made our way to the summit, there were less people around. This allowed for photos like the above where there’s no one else in them. It was still busy though, I think some people walked down the hill right after I took this photo.

Even though it was hot, and we were tired and in various pains, we made it to the top. At the top of the mountain is a shrine and a gift store, so we didn’t stay too long before heading back down on the other side of the walking loop.

Down felt a lot better, although sore in different ways.

After that, we picked up some souvenirs and got back on the subway to get back to the hotel.

One thing which isn’t immediately obvious about Japan (or at least, the big cities with the subway systems) is that there’s another city underground. I don’t just mean a couple of shops, like, entire malls with food courts and banks and things. Kyoto subway station is made up of multiple malls and we got slightly lost in them yesterday.┬á If you turn the wrong way, you’re in a whole different mall. The signs are generally useful assuming you can find them.

I did find a uniqlo and bought some comfy, comfy clothing though.

Anyway with how tired we were after the many, many steps, we found a Macdonalds and sat down for a comfort meal. Anna tried some local specials: fries with cabonara sauce over them, and a chicken teriyaki burger. I had a double cheeseburger and regular fries, plus nuggets and we both had green melon fanta with them. I needed the salt and also something familiar. It was delicious, and we sat for a good half hour just unwinding.

After we’d eaten and hydrated, Anna found us the way out of the mall and we got the local line back to our hotel.

A quiet night in, doing laundry, using the hotel onsen and complaining about how our feet hurt.

Day eighteen – Kyoto, Gion district

Sleeping on a futon isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world. Thankfully I was so tired out, and the onsen had steamed me so well I mostly slept okay. I woke a couple of times, and when I woke in the morning there was no way I could lie that didn’t hurt some part of me, but I was generally rested.

We had the full Japanese traditional breakfast, again served in our room and again much too much food for me. It was really tasty, though.

We had a little time before checkout so I got another chapter of my new novel written and then we left the ryokan to wander around Gion. We started with a walk around the Yasaka shrine gardens.

Yasaka shrine is really a huge complex, including street food, candy and tourist souvenir vendors even at ten in the morning. In spring it’s a huge destination for the cherry blossom viewing parties, but in autumn it’s not quite as busy.

Kyoto is a more old fashioned city, and you’re much more likely to see men and women of all ages in traditional dress – yukata, kimono, etc. It’s very picturesque. There’s also a lot of shops offering kimono rentals, including hair and make up for a price, but I feel pretty weird about using someone else’s culture for a photo opportunity.

Anyway, even that early in the day there were plenty of people at the shrine and in the gardens. Some of them in fancy kimono, taking photos at various spots. There was also a loud group of teenagers on a school trip, and when we stopped to take photos of the koi, three of the boys were pretending to shove each other into the water. I guess teenagers are kind of the same everywhere?

During our slow walk we discovered many shrine cats. It’s a sort of surprising thing to me that moving slower produces more detail, or hidden things like cats. If we’d power walked through the park and concentrated on getting to all the far corners of it we likely wouldn’t have seen any cats at all.

It was a very nice way to start the day. From there were wandered down the shady side of the street in the Gion district. Gion is historically Geisha central, full of salons and entertainment halls. Now it’s high end shopping, tea and dessert cafes and lots of tourists. We first stopped at Candy Show Time, which is a rock candy store where they make their own delicious looking treats. We bought some gifts for people back home and for ourselves.

Kyoto is very, very pretty.


We ended up at the Kyoto Pokemon Center where Anna got an amazing Gengar hoodie to match my Mimikyu one (photos to come). I also got a ‘precious wedding’ pikachu set, because if not now, then when would ever be appropriate?

That done we hit a few more stores and made our way back up to ryokan to collect our bags. We found the craft market place we liked last year, but the earring maker Anna had loved wasn’t there. I did end up buying a beautiful zodiac animals wall hanging, which is going to be – someone-‘s wedding gift to us. We just haven’t decided who yet.

Back at the ryokan they kindly summoned a taxi for us and we made our way to Hotel Aranvert, a nice hotel with big rooms and our home for two nights. They welcomed us in with wine for our honeymoon, and we collapsed on the beds to chill out.

After a couple of hours resting, Anna located a nearby sushi place with good ratings on google maps and we found ourselves in an unassuming restaurant on a corner a few blocks back from the main street. The little old lady running it had no English, but it didn’t matter. English menu, lots of pointing, and I understood enough that I got that she said the dish I’d ordered was delicious. I ordered Okayodon, which is a chicken and egg donburi. Basically rice with tasty stuff on top. It was indeed, oishii. Anna had hand rolled tuna sushi, which she enjoyed as well.


There was no one else at the restaurant the entire time we were there, but it was fantastic food, and cheap too.

The new hotel is mostly European styled, but it has a top floor onsen, so we went to try it out. Much bigger than the onsen in the ryokan, this one had about ten washing stations around a large hot pool. The women’s one is on the corner of the building, and there’s large picture windows looking out over the city. It’s very pretty, and one has to assume on the thirteenth floor that no one can see in, although a building over the road has pretty big windows…

The onsen was wonderful. I don’t know if it’s because of the bigger room, or if it just wasn’t quite as hot water, but it wasn’t as humid as the ryokan’s one, and I didn’t come out of it feeling totally wrecked. I did also rinse with cold water to finish off, which may have helped, too.

New beds not as comfortable as I’d like, but much more than the futon on the tatami mats.

Day Seventeen -Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kyoto

We woke up sort of energised. I say sort of. Maybe we were high on the success of Bunny Island and Ichiro’s amazing okonomiyaki. Maybe it was the choco-flakes I ate at the hotel buffet for breakfast ( delicious btw), but we packed up our things, checked out of Chisun Hiroshima and left our bags with them. We walked up the road to the Peace Memorial Park and had a quick wander, taking in the atomic bomb dome, and I foolishly hit play on an info reading on a memorial which made me cry.

It was a memorial statue to the students who died in the war, and depicted a peace goddess in front of a five storied pagoda. It was emotional. The peace park is built almost under the detonation point of the atomic bomb that went off over Hiroshima. The Bridge it’s next to was the target of the bomb, and the peace park includes monuments to peace donated from all over the world, the Atomic Bomb Dome, memorial hall, peace museum and various memorials. It’s a beautiful place, generally very calm. Yesterday it was full of tourists and school groups, and we were lucky enough to walk by the children’s memorial as a school group sang a song to it. It was eerie but beautiful.


We got on the ferry to Miyajima (it’s more expensive to take the return one from the Peace Park, but it’s quicker than the train + ferry option, and we were wanting to get to Kyoto later in the day. Plus the park was just up the road from our hotel, so convenient.)

Our pocket wifi stopped working. Actually we think it stopped working on Bunny Island, maybe because of remoteness or something but I emailed the company and they offered a replacement for the next day, to be delivered to our new hotel, so that was good service. Everyone, Global Advanced Communications is a good place to rent from ­čśÇ

The ferry ride from the Peace Park takes 45 mins and is a nice ride down the river and then out into the Seto Inland sea. Last time we went to Miyajima, we stared around the waterfront, visiting with the deer, having lunch and going to the aquarium. I was keen to try something different this time so we went into the island to the ropeway, which is what the gondola up the mountain is called.

Miyajima is the common name, the island’s proper name is Itsukushima, but Miyajima means ‘Shrine island’ and that seems appropriate. There’s a huge floating tori gate and a huge floating shrine over the water. It’s a UNISCO world heritage site, and very pretty. It was also pretty clogged with tourists, so heading up the mountain it was a bit quieter.

You can choose to walk up the mountain, but the bit we did getting to the gondola station was plenty. It was a beautiful path up through the mountain forest with traditional Japanese gardens and a koi pond on the way, but it was steep and there were a lot of steps. You can choose to hike right up the mountain and I’m sure it’s amazing to do, but we are nowhere near fit enough for that. Plus it had become a super hot day (again) which didn’t help. Once we got to the station we took a break for some peach nectar out of a juice vending machine and then hopped on. The ropeway is actually two gondolas and it was very calming to ride. It’s so silent, and the views are incredible. You’re over the tops of the trees looking down the valley out to the sea and Hiroshima city on the other side. Just fabulous.


At the top of the green one you switch to another gondola which goes in a different direction up to Mt Misen. The green gondola is a seated one, which allows 6 – 8 people (I don’t see how 8 could fit in but maybe they’re thinking of children?). The second one is a mostly standing one which fits like, 20 people. It was a lot like being in a tram or a train carriage which happened to fly through the air.

Mt Misen’s peak is another 30 minute hike further from the top gondola station, and again, at another time when I’m fitter I might be into it. As it was we had a fast turnaround time for our return ferry to Hiroshima, so we didn’t linger too long. Just took in the stunning views of the islands in the sea and I got a little lightheaded from the thinness of the air and the heat of the sun.



We caught the gondolas back down and I started to get nervous about getting back to the ferry in time (we had I think, 40 mins from mountain peak to ferry).

On the green gondola down we spoke with a Japanese guy who asked about Anna’s shiny penguin shirt from Kaiyukan. Then he noticed my Tokyo Disney daypark and asked us about our trip and where we’re from, etc. He was very friendly, and very amused that we’d traveled so far and were seeing so much of Japan, and also that we thought it was hot. He had long sleeves on and extra layers, we had shorts and t shirts.

The gondola timing worked pretty well, and we had 20 mins from when we got off to get back to the pier.

We powerwalked like pros. Even though both of us were stinking hot, tired out, sore feet and various other aches and pains, we motored across the island and through tour groups and past deer… only to get to the pier to see the boat leaving. It had been scheduled to go at 1.40 and at 1.41 we were too late. Thankfully the woman at the ticket booth happily swapped our tickets for the next sailing at 2.15 and we had a good rest while we waited for the next boat.

The boat ride back wasn’t as restful as I’d have liked, as an American couple sat behind us with their Japanese guide. They (mostly the guy) peppered her with questions about the details of the bomb going off in Hiroshima, why it happened, how good it was (!!) and generally I got a gruesome history lesson that I didn’t want or need. It was made worse by this guy insisting that it was a good thing the bomb went off because his father was fighting in the American army and he could’ve been killed if the bomb hadn’t ended the war. It was deeply unpleasant listening and Anna and I both got irritated by hearing it. The Japanese guide handled it like a pro though, so kudos to her.

My heel on my left foot had seized up some so we took the tram back to the hotel and picked up our bags. While Anna used the bathroom I had a really nice chat with one of the hotel staff, who had exceptional English and was also surprised we’d seen so much of Japan. She’d never been to Kyoto she said, which sort of blew my mind as it’s not that far away from Hiroshima, but then. I guess I live in Auckland and I’ve never been to Russel or Cape Reinga so…

We got the tram to the train station and went to get Shinkansen tickets for Kyoto. The English language assistant pulled a face and said ‘for today??’ and then informed us we’d missed the last one (I think she must’ve meant direct?) So we went up to the platform for non-reserved seats to Shin-Osaka. I got pretty anxious. I like having a clear path to our new destination and it had already been a tiring day. I just couldn’t stop thinking ‘what if?’

We got on the train all right and made it to Shin-Osaka where it was easy to get tickets to Kyoto ( reserved this time, much more calm). It’s only a 15 minute trip from Osaka to Kyoto so we didn’t bother putting our suitcases on the overhead racks.

From Kyoto station we caught a ‘foreign friendly’ taxi to our Ryokan. There’s a whole fleet with English speaking drivers, it makes things quite easy. I asked him how busy Kyoto was, since Hiroshima had been so packed with tourists and he assured me that Kyoto has many, many people in it.

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese in. No shoes inside (they store them for you by the door) and very attentive service. They welcomed us in, insisted on taking our bags for us, and got us to sit down to do the check in process. They also insisted we have dinner, since we were just in time for the last dinner service. They led us up to our room and dinner was served inside the room.

We hadn’t’ really had lunch, but with all the travel and stress neither of us actually felt hungry. How wrong we were.

Dinner was a full Kaiseki style banquet of eight artful courses. Starting with such appetisers as chicken liver in chrysanthemum petals and chestnut, through shiitake mushroom soup and fresh popped rice on the stick to miso and fruits in jelly, it was exquisite. It was way, way too much food as well, but we made a valiant effort.

The slow way it was presented (one dish at a time, and time to eat, then the next), made me calm down. It was good, nourishing food as well, it felt good to eat it. Minimally processed, lots of vegetables and soups. It was the perfect antidote to the fiveish hours we’d spent in transit. Perfect welcome to Kyoto as well.

After dinner we went to use the in house onsen, which was very good but very hot. I got a little heat affected I think. While we were in the baths the staff came and made up our beds, traditional futons on the tatami mats. (With little paper cranes on the pillows!

I crashed out pretty hard.


Day Sixteen – Hiroshima, ┼îkunoshima

We started the day with the hotel buffet breakfast. I was pretty firmly up on the wrong side of the bed and cranky, which didn’t help when someone barged in on the line for the toaster.

The trip to Ōkunoshima involved four kinds of transport. Streetcar/tram from hotel to train station, shinkansen to Mihara, bus replacement instead of local train to the sleepy seaside town of Tadanoumi and then a 15 minute ferry to the island.

┼îkunoshima or, as it’s commonly known, Rabbit Island, has a dark past. It was a testing ground and factory centre for chemical weapons which were used by Japan in China during World War Two. The island is dotted with remains of factories, laboratories and a poison gas museum. However those were all closed up, which was good because we weren’t planning on exploring that history anyway. We went for the rabbits.

Stories vary on if the rabbits currently on the island are descended from the lab bunnies used for testing chemical weapons or if they are just other rabbits intentionally released on the island. Either way, the island is packed full of cute bunnies.

The place you buy ferry tickets from also sells bags of rabbit food, so we bought a pack each and hopped on the ferry. As soon as you get off the ferry, there’s rabbits.

They know which side their bread is buttered on. If you hang out near the boat where all the tourists get off, you will get fed. They know the sound of a paper bag rustling, they know the meaning of an outstretched human palm. They’re wild, but they’re a tame sort of wild.

The rabbis were very good at showing you what they didn’t want. If they didn’t want a pat, they’d back away. There are walking trails around the island but there’s also a lot of dense bush, so if the rabbits don’t want to be around people they have so much space to fall back to.

It was a hot day, and I learned that on hot days rabbits will dig a shallow hole and lay in it like it’s a dirt hammock. They will also seek out shade wherever it is. They will then sleep.

The bunnies generally wanted food, not pets, but if they lay down like a loaf of bread, like the one in the second to last picture above, they’d let you pat them. Their fur was super soft and the ears even more so. That one settled in for a good five minutes of pats from me and Anna before moving into their hole next to the concrete to cool down. Good bunny.

There were a ton of other people doing the same as us, including people who’d thought ahead and brought fresh greens and carrots. The bunnies loved that, you could see them munching on carrot sticks or bits of cabbage leaf very happily. They did still come over for rabbit pellets as well though. It was such a hot day I think a lot were sleeping or staying in the bush out of the sun. I know I’ve seen images of people swarmed with dozens of bunnies at a time, and I think that would’ve quickly got overwhelming for me. As it was, it was just a really nice bunny trip.

We stopped and had lunch at a picnic table and a bunny pushed past my leg, and it was like my cat rubbing by me. Somewhat startling but cute.

I had fun spotting the proper burrows as well. There’s a hotel on the island and there were some very large burrows near that.

You just can’t quite get used to how many rabbits there are. I kept being surprised by it.

It’s also a really beautiful island. There’s a swimming beach and I think I’d quite enjoy staying at the hotel, but it’s definitely on the hard to get to side of things.

We got the ferry back to Tadanoumi and had to wait about 40 mins for the replacement bus (train line wasn’t running). There’s not much to do in Tadanoumi so it was one of those liminal times were you can’t really do anything but wait. Once we were on the bus it was easier, although again we had to wait a half hour for the next shinkansen back to Hiroshima. It made for a long day.

On the way back to the hotel we went wandering, I vaguely remembered there being bars and restaurants a block away from our hotel so we tried the first place advertising okonomiyaki we found. It was a little bar/restaurant called Ichiro and it was incredibly good. Also, long hot day, lots of travel and not enough hydration means beer goes to my head very fast.

Another early to bed night ­čÖé

Day fifteen – Osaka to Hiroshima

To be fair, we weren’t allowed in our hotel room right away. We had to kill some time. And we killed that time by hitting the Hiroshima pokemon center.

This morning we got up, packed up our bags and headed from our hotel to the local metro and got on the train to Shin-Osaka. From Shin-Osaka we tried to get reserved seats on the shinkansen but it was too busy a day, so we went with the non-reserved tickets instead. What this means is the first three cars of the shinkansen are ‘just find a seat’. It’s a little nerve-wracking, I’d prefer to have a guaranteed seat, but it actually worked out fine. Although there were a number of people waiting for the train, each car has 24 ish rows of five seats so, three cars worth of that is a lot of space.

We got some good seats near the front, got our suitcases up on the racks and settled in for the ride to Hiroshima.

This shinkansen ride I didn’t get motion sick at all, and I was very happy about that. I got a little writing done on my laptop even! Up until the pocket wifi started having issues with the high speeds and the tunnels and I wasn’t able to connect anymore. But yay, fiction writing is still going well.

We navigated the streetcar system, dropped our bags off at the hotel in Hiroshima and went to Cafe Velloce which seems to be a not as good Doutor. Disappointing cocoa. Although they do a cocoa float which is iced cocoa with soft serve and quite good.

Hiroshima is a lot quieter than Osaka and Tokyo. Noticeably fewer people on the road, fewer cars, etc. It’s a relief, a little more like being at home.

After that we went to the local Tokyu Hands and I got some more postcards to send people, and then the Hiroshima Pokemon Centre which is one we’ve been to before. The Hiroshima baseball team is the Carps so there’s some amusing Magikarp baseball merchandise.

It was also raining properly, big heavy drops so we bought our first Japanese clear umbrellas.


One weird phenomenon we’ve noticed is to do with certain light levels or sources. It happened in a seven eleven to Anna and to both of us in the laundry room at the Osaka hotel. Basically you go in there and get vertigo, or a sensation of the room spinning. Now, it’s fully possible this is just we’re tired and traveling a lot, but both of us felt better as soon as we were out of whichever light source had caused it. Weird.

Epic levels of tired started to hit, so we picked up snacks and drinks and checked into the hotel as soon as three pm rolled around. The beds in the Chisun are way more comfy than the ones at Nest Osaka so we were both very happy about that.

We nipped out for dinner at Nakau, but possibly the chain has gone downhill or possibly I was just remembering it better than it was. The menu’s changed so Anna couldn’t get the salmon bowl she was looking forward to and my katsu curry was good but not great. We were both just exhausted as well, which won’t have helped.

Early to bed and early to sleep.

Day fourteen – Osaka, Pokemon center and Spa World

Osaka Pokemon Center was today’s first stop. I was thinking we’d be okay because surely it’d just have all the same stuff as the Tokyo one, right? Wrong. It had a lot of the same stuff but a whole lot of awesome new stuff as well.

Shopping was done.

We also played a Halloween game where the screen had us as characters using a video and we had to catch the animated falling treats and avoid the glowing Gengar treats. We caught enough for lots of pokemon to show up at the party at the end, but apaprently we could’ve done better and had ‘everyone’ turn up. It was good silly fun anyway.


After that we took the Osaka metro up to Spa World, which I’d researched on pinterest.

Spa World is a public bath complex and hotel. We got the day passes and went in, slightly confused about the set up. You have to take your shoes off almost immediately and store them in a shoe locker. Then you cross over to the other side of the lobby and take the elevator to the designated zone. The onsens (hot pools/public baths) are split into Asian zone and European zone and they’re divided by gender.

The women’s zone was the Asian zone so with some more confusion – where do we get undressed? (it’s right at the lockers where you store your things) and when do we wear the little tunics they gave us? (it’s once you’ve left the onsen and want to randomly wander the building) and where do you scrub off before soaking? (This one was beyond us, you have to go all the way into the zones and use them).

Anyway, we were both a bit nervous about a) public nudity and b) getting it wrong, but once we saw a gaggle of Japanese grannies strip off and head into the bath area totally nude we got over it. The first section was a walk through side shower, which was very nice. Then the Asia zone was divided into rooms with different kinds of gigantic hot tub.

They were varied heat levels and we moved through most of the rooms and relaxed. My favourite one was the outdoor stone bath, styled after traditional Japanese onsen. Lots of stones and running water, with trees around it. It was also kind of lovely to just be outside, naked in a hot tub. The Japanese cypress bath was lovely too, although very very hot.

There was also a Persia room, an Islam stone bath and a Bali resort jacuzzi. We tried a cold pool, a steam room and standing under the hot water fountain to use it to massage our shoulders. The the Persia room we lay on our backs in the hot water and almost fell asleep, we decided not to try out the purple water tub or the various ones in the “Dr Spa” room because the signs were all in Japanese. (on the website it says they’re Oxygen bath, hydrogen bath and carbonated bath.)

Anyway, when it comes to self care, taking a few hours to submerge your body in various hot pools, this is tops.

Although we’d thoroughly cleaned ourselves and got dressed again, we were both a little faint and very thirsty so we hit the restaurant zone. Once we’d eaten and drunk a bunch of water and green melon soda we felt a bit better and came back to the hotel feeling very relaxed and chilled out.