For the second day, I spent the whole day with my good friend, Yini, whom I met while I was working at Walt Disney World. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, Mario - a deputy at the San Ramon Police Department, and we first set out for JapanTown.
JapanTown itself was impressive, filled with authentic Japanese restaurants, bars, stores, etc. It was as though I was stepping into a little city, and being an admirer of Japanese culture from afar, it was the ideal place for me to experience Japanese culture that I would experience back at home.
For those who are not familiar, the Palace of Fine Arts is a monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in order to exhibit works of art presented there. One of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition, it is still situated on its original site. It was rebuilt in 1965, and renovation of the lagoon, walkways, and a seismic retrofit were completed in early 2009. In addition to hosting art exhibitions, it remains a popular attraction for tourists and locals and is a favorite location for weddings and wedding party photographs for couples throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
When we were done with the palace, unfortunately due to time and San Francisco's atrocious traffic flow, Yini and Mario had to return home and so they dropped me off back to my hostel at 5pm. Though our time was short and scarce, I was happy to see a familiar face and have her take me around.