Alex the Russian, aka “Machine” and I decided to go for a bike ride today. The weather was just too nice. And we were in need of vitamin D. It’s tempting after a long week of hard physical training to just lay out and vegetate at home whilst having a Rocky marathon (Which we also did incidentally), but not getting fresh air and taking in some of the beauty of Kyoto and Japan would be criminal. With Pocari Sweat in hand, we peddled leisurely to D2, the home improvement store, to pick up a water filter for the apartment before heading off to Shimogamo-Jinja Shrine. We parked our bikes at the entrance with the gigantic orange gateway, otherwise known as a Torii, found at Shinto Shrines. Inside the gateway, we walked through the park surrounding the shrine, shaded generously by the trees, and stopped off by a stream to stretch out our stiff knees and have a rest. We felt lucky to be here in Kyoto. It’s truly a beautiful city with a surprising amount of nature and tranquility to be found.