4:45pm: On the Shinsanken from Kyoto to Tokyo. Hope to see Fuji. This may be my last chance. To fix a slight money issue, I hope to survive today on 9000 Yen. After checking out of our ryokan, we decided on one last adventure in Kyoto. We hit Nijo-jo with its beautiful castle paintings and infamous nightingale floors--they are designed to squeak when you walk through to prevent any intruders. It was still hot and humid. Bypassing the International Manga Museum (even though I now understand Fruits Basket), we went to the Imperial Palace grounds where one can easily find apricot and peach groves. Deciding that we were done with the outdoors, we went to the giant, twelve-story Kyoto Station, where we indulged in a Mister Donut and Cafe du Monde. I had something called a beignet with cinammon. On the ground floor was a conveyor belt sushi place where the ika isn't stringy and the tako comes with tentacles. BTW, Mister Donut serves curry doughnuts. Instead of jelly, there is cold curry. It had potential.
Note: I became more appreciative of the beauty in the many castles, temples and shrines of Kyoto after my trip to Hiroshima. Why? Because they could have been nuked. Kyoto was one of 4 potential targets for the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Sudden poor weather conditions eliminated this city at the last minute, and the rest was history on August 6, 1945. I don't want to imagine the horror of seeing over 1200 years of imperial history and culture wiped out.
5:25pm: Ever the navigator, I've been analyzing the JR timetable. If my calculations are correct, prime viewing will be after 6:10pm.
6:22pm: FUJI!!!!!!!!! And like that...it's gone. We were blessed with a few minutes of seeing the mountain.
11pm: In the Asakusa region of Tokyo which is the realm of old-school Tokyo. Nonetheless, our ryokan is our best yet. Very modern facilities. On our train here, a local was on his way to Ueno station, and he helped us to quickly navigate the railway. The system is intense but understandable if you have the time. Unfortunately, we're down to our last few days, so time wasn't on our side. We were able to find a place where you can make your own okonomiyaki. Pretty good.