We got started later than usual today due to some confusion over plans. B wanted to go on a hike; M wanted to go to Kyoto and an onsen. In the end, we combined the two. First, we hiked Mt Kurama and then, happily exhausted (several gazillion steps and a metric buttload of temples later [did I mention that shrines/temples are about as common as stained glass windows in Paris? I used to say you couldn't throw a rock without shattering at least 5 of the latter]), we went to Kurama Onsen to soak in hot spring water. (One washes off first, then hops in sans garments). Some onsen, such as the one I'll be going to on Monday (Dogo - the one that inspired Spirited Away) are indoors, but this one was outdoors and in full view of the changing leaves up the side of the mountain. [The one I'd really like to go to, if I were here later in the year, is up North, in the snow. Nothing like sitting in a hot spring surrounded by snow and ice].
Afterwards, we ate at an excellent Indian place in Kyoto, then walked through Gion, the "old district" (e.g. Memoirs of a Geisha; didn't see them, though we did see one of the theatres where they perform during festivals). Modernization has pepped the tight, cozy streets with the sense of being in two worlds at once. Establishments, whether eateries, artisan shops, or anything else, seemed to alternate between modern and classic style with almost every step. (Had another Blade Runner moment looking down the street, except this was much cleaner and less dingy)
Back in Kobe, I had my first takoyaki (technically, what i had the other day was a mix, and in a plate (not on a stick) - basically, octopus in a soba ball-shaped breading, on a stick, with sauce (and a little mayo). The octopus was my least favorite part, but it wasn't too rubbery; the breading and sauce, though, was extremely nummy. One more local delicacy checked off the list. [Not going to do fugu, though I would do the fish reproductive organs, if offered. Neither of those are from this region, though I'm sure I could find them in Tokyo if I wanted]
Not much else to report. Decided on the remainder of the trip, as mentioned, but haven't booked it yet - was intending to tonight, but too tired; will do it first thing tomorrow.