Just over 24 hours was spent in Kyoto. We had been there a number of times previously and since it is the location of my favourite breakfast in the world, I couldn’t go past staying. We arrived by train, the. lugged our luggage for 15 minutes+ to where were were staying a couple of blocks from the train station.
Since we had been to Kyoto on every trip to Japan there was nothing we “had” to visit. Once we had reached our accomodation, the bikes were unpacked and we decided to head towards the silver temple and see what we could see.
Not long on the bike we soon came across people building a float for the Gion Festival. The shops along the street were on sale and had tables outside.
We took advantage of this and ventured into one shop bought a few gifts and enjoyed an ice cream.
After breifly cooling down, we then took some back streets. There are so many interesting things you see as you ride, unfortunately you don’t always have the time to stop and take the photos – just enjoy the experience.
We came across a bakery, and just had to stop. Kym selected a couple of items and we continued on our way towards the river. We stopped and enjoyed the pastries (not as good as home!), the scenery and watching people as they passed by on the warm late sunny Sunday afternoon.
After following the course of the river for some time we then we followed a road towards the silver temple.
The road to the silver temple is steep, thankfully given the time of the evening there was no one walking up. Here you can see our bikes parked outside the entrance to Ginkakuji (silver temple).
After taking a quick photo and drink break (yeah to drink vending machines), we were asked to move our bikes as the security guard ws locking up, and we dutifily complied. We then took the philosophers walk path which goes along the bas of a number of temples in Kyoto. It was quite a difference experience cycling a road at dusk which we had previously walked.
It was a truely great experience cycling a road we had previously walked which was bustling with tourists when we were last here in November. We cycled past all the closed shops and the traditionally designed Japanese buildings which were unusually silent. If you have visited Kyoto you will be familar with these streets, as they led up towards the large wooden Kiyomizu temple.
The last photo is not the best, but you’re can see the wooden temple in the distance. It was taken at the top of a very step climb. When we stopped, a group of security guards in a building on the corner who gave us a wave at our efforts. It was a great evening on the bike!
Just popped into Ryokaku for a curry in a hurry!!
Just taken from the Kyoto Station Skywalk.
More hand drip goodness, this time a large coffee shop in downtown Kyoto.
The mobile phone does capture Japanese beauty as well as my EOS400D, so I thought I would post another photo from today’s kimono fashion parade. It was a complete surprise to turn up a the Nishijin Textile Centre to be treated to a fashion parade. There were a lot of snappy happy Japanese photographers there.
There is absolutely no doubt, Kyoto is best seen by bike. Yesterday we met up with volunteers from the Kyoto University Good Samaritans Club. They showed us their Kyoto. We hired bikes ate lunch at the University and enjoyed giant servings of green tea sweets! For good measure we saw a shrine or two! But the best bit was cycling around parts of Kyoto that are well off the tourist path! For good measure we hired bikes again this morning and did some of the most rewarding cycling. Their tiny streets and interesting buildings make it a great joy. As soon as you arrive in Kyoto you should hire a bike from the Kyoto Cycling Tour Project. The things we happened upon were interesting real world shops, good coffee, a small shrine and kimono parade!
While in Kyoto on the first day of wandering off the Higashiyma, we ventured into the Gion district, which is famous for Geisha wandering the streets.
We saw a poster advertising the fan dance of the Geisha and didn`t believe that it would be real Geisha. We bought tickets, for the show and the afternoon tea with the Geisha for the next day.
We discovered the next day on an organised walk, that the show is done each year, and this year is the 146th. The show is only held for one month during cherry blossom season.
If you pay for a seat and a ticket to the afternoon tea. Firstly you are waiting in in traditional Japanese garden area, then in large groups of 100+, you are ushered into a room where the Geisha is on stage preparing tea and another Geisha is serving the front row. The later rows don’t get the special treatment. Once seated you are served a traditional Japanese cake and tea. Once eaten and drank you are ushered out to wait to be seated for the next performance. There is just enough time for a few photos and you get to keep the plate the cake was served on.
Certainly an experience we hadn`t planned on!
We stayed in Kyoto for 5 nights, and slept on tatami mats with futons. They were slightly hard on the mat but very warm!
Every morning we had Japanese breakfasts. It consisted of samon, tofu (which was made by boiling in water in the metal bowl), rice with partly boiled egg (yummo), and the smaller plates of pickles. These small dishes varied each day. The food was fantastic here… I could happily have this food all the time.
Yes proof that I am willing to be lead astray by my colleagues at work., I got say working those machines in Japanese can be pretty hard。Although I am getting better at the ticket vending machines.
We are currently in the Popeye Media Cafe! I have just ripped my new Gnarls Barkley CD so I can hear it using my Dell PDA on the Shinkasen (the trip from Kyoto to Osaka only took 14 minutes barely enough to time to have a drink and eat a pastry panda),
But these damn Japanese PC:s have all there menus in Japanese and a very tiny spacebar. If I hit the key next to the spacebar all the text I type turns Japanese ぃけティs！You know I have know idea what I just typed, so if it is rude please forgive me.