Berkeley Lab

Saturday, 9/5/15

We got an early start in Tokyo, because we wanted to get to Kyoto relatively quickly. We got the shinkansen Hikari, which is the second fastest type of shinkansen there is. It took a little over 2 and a half hours to get to Kyoto. There, we checked into the Kyoto Tower Hotel and went straight to Arashiyama, which is located in the western part of Kyoto. There was a subway line that went directly from Kyoto Station to the Arashiyama station, so it was relatively easy to get there. There, we went straight to the temple Tenryuji. This temple had beautiful gardens, and a lot of history behind it, including eight fires. This world heritage site was the perfect start to the next few days in Kyoto. From there, we walked to the Bamboo grove, which is a forest of made up of just bamboo. It was amazing how sturdy bamboo is, even though it is so thin. We then continued on to the monkey park, which I was particularly excited about. We first had to walk up a relatively steep hill, but it was worth it when all of a sudden macaque monkeys were everywhere. They seemed to have gotten used to being relatively close to humans, and didn’t seem bothered by anything. There was a pond where they could drink out of, people had a possibility to feed the monkeys peanuts, and they seemed to be content climbing all over the roof of the building. I measured the radiation at the top of the hill in the monkey park, and it was 0.09uSv/h, which is 0.79mSv per year.

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We then had dinner at a sushi place close to the hotel. This place was nice because the waitresses wore traditional Japanese kimonos. One thing that I noticed about Kyoto was that there seems to be more history than in Tokyo, and after looking it up I discovered that Kyoto used to be where the emperor lived, until 1864, when a huge rebellion started a fire in the city.