I made it to Kyoto alone, completely relying on my own devices and when I saw the tall, needle-like tower that stands next to the station, a combined rush of excitement and pride flew through me.
My Japanese is slowly improving though trying to get control of the language is like trying to tame a wild grizzly bear. From my seat in the wonderful American restaurant, I could see a construction site across the street with a sign that read, "Kyoto Yodobashi Camera Project." Below this strange description were two small digital marquees with rapidly changing two digit numbers. Next to this was a chart with ranges of numbers and more descriptions all in Japanese. I was able to deduce that the numbers were decibels and the ranges were describing similarly loud situations from "jet engine" to "office room." It is the tiny victories such as these that keep me going.