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Disney World: Epcot

On Saturday we woke up early and headed to the Epcot park. It promised to be a big one with interesting attractions like a time machine, some fast cars and so on. Also it featured 11 real tiny countries that Ksusha was interested to see. Also promised was night-time fireworks show.

So we departed from our hotel at around 9am and arrived to the park at about 9:15. Parking cost is $14 for the whole day and you can enter multiple times too. I was really impressed by the parking organization too, no need to hunt for a free spot, parking attendants direct you towards where you need to park, as soon as one lot fills it is closed and another one immediately opened.

View from entrance on Disney Topiary Characters
From the entrance gate we immediately see some Disney characters...

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Visit to Orlando, Florida

As luck had it, last week there was a LUG2011 in Orlando, FL and I was on the list of people to visit it. The other cool thing about Orlando is it is home to the world's biggest Disney themed park set named Disney World and I guess this one is much more interesting for everybody ;)

Anyway we decided to arrive a few days early so that we actually have time to check the Disney parks.

Landing in Orlando
About to land in Florida.

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Got a new toy

Already over a month ago I bought myself a new toy and finally got time to write about it here.

My new toy is Barnes&Noble Nook Color electronic "Book reader".

B&N Nook Color

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Day 15, part 2: Fushimi Inari Taisha

Second part of our last day is a special moment and we decided to spend it in a really special place.

That special place is Fushimi Inari Shrine, dedicated to god of fertility, rice, industry and so on. Soon you will see what's special about it.

We wanted to visit it in a second half of a day for a variety of reasons including the recommendation to visit it in the evening because it's scarier that way.

Next train Display in Kyoto
Display at the train station announcing a train and also how many cars it has and what symbol to look for to determine where those cars stop an where their doors will en up being.

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BPS visits ORNL

Do you remember our visit to SuperComuputing 2010? Today we have a follow up on its events.

Seeing as how Chinese supercomputer dethroned US as top #1 supercomputer in the world (a position US maintained for many years) and also captured #3 spot with another supercomputer, US started to make the plans to regain the leadership in this area.

Of course this is an area that BPS is interested in as well. So Akira decided it's time to fulfill the SC10 promise and visit ORNL in person.

BPS and James
Warm welcome awaited at the Lab

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Day 15, part 1: Kiyomizudera

We have already described day 14 on which we went to Tenshi no Sato.

So on to the day 15. The plan for the morning was to visit Kiyomizudera temple, a pretty popular place in Kyoto with huge crowds. To avoid the crowds we decided to get there at around 7am, so we woke up really early, quickly ate some cakes we bought a day before and went to a bus stop to catch a bus. A day before hotel clerk recommended us to take a bus 207 and get off at Gojozaka stop. But looking at a Google map we decided that getting off at the next stop (Kiyomizu-michi - the bus stop for the temple) as it seemed to be a bit closer distance.

From the bus stop we went on a street in Hagashiyama district that went uphill and after some time we have arrived to the temple.

The name Kiyomizu means clear or pure water due to the waterfall in the complex.

Gate of Deva Kings (Nio-Mon) in the morning
Nio-mon. Gate of Deva Kings. Around 7am, the sun is still pretty low and covered with some clouds.

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Day 13, part 3: Golden Pavilion

The time was already well after noon and the sun was moving toward the horizon. Our plan was to visit the Golden Pavilion before sunset to take some nice pictures of the shining building.

Originally we thought of taking a bus from Ryoanji to Kinkakuji, but it turned out there were a lot of people wanting to do the same.

People waiting for a bus near Ryoanji
The line at the bus stop.

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Day 13, part 2: Ryoanji rock garden

Next stop on the day 13 in Japan was in Ryoanji temple. It is said to be the most important place to visit in Kyoto.

The main part of the temple is a famous rock garden (zen garden) that was built at the end of 15th century and is pretty simple.

Ryoanji station
Tram line that we took. Ryoanji station.

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Day 13, part 1: Kyoto Nijo Castle

The day 13 was so long and full of visits that we decided to split it into several posts.

It all started with a breakfast, of course. The day before we ordered a breakfast in our ryokan to see how good was the kitchen.

breakfast in ryokan
That's how our traditional Japanese breakfast looked like.

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Day 12: Rainy and boring

On day 12 we had certain plans, but it was so rainy that we decided to not go for any sightseeing. Instead we decided to do some shopping that was long overdue.

Ksusha have found some online Kimono shops and decided to visit them in person. Looking at the map it did not look too far away so we walked there, also have seen some other kimono shop on the way that we visited.

Of course it turned out that the online shop did not have any real storefront and the address was just for their warehouse, but still the workers there were nice enough to show us some goods that we were interested in. They also had an English translator and we ended up buying a bunch of Kimono-related stuff for us and friends and recording a "how to put on a kimono and tie a belt" sort of video in process (not great quality so not uploading that one).

Also on the way we discovered a 100 yen shop which has a concept pretty similar to other such shops elsewhere (Dollar Tree in US, 5 yuan shops in China and so on).

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Stuff that we have bought that day. Spent quite a bit of money on it ;)

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