We started off the day early to go to Kyoto by train. A lot of the previous night was spent looking up what we wanted to do there. Fortunately, another student from America at our hotel saw us planning and gave us a bunch of useful pointers since he had just spent the last two days in Kyoto. With an agenda, we took two trains and it took about an hour to get to Kyoto Station. It looked pretty much exactly the same as I saw it in 2007.
We took the 100 bus which follows the main tourist route stopping at the most popular locations. We started at Kyomizudera, one of my favorite places in Japan.
On the way up the hill to the temple:
Found a geisha and her apprentice. I got a closer shot when the passed by but my camera didn’t have time to focus so it turned out blurry…
A geisha and I.
See Kyoto Tower in the distance?
Kiyomizudera has an amazing view. George and I each took a panorama. To the left is the forest, to the right is the city. I took a panorama of the forest and George did one of the city:
Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
From Kiyomizudera we took the bus down to the art museum, which George and Nate wanted to see. I thought it was kind of dull, but George and Nate talked about how much they liked it for a long time after we left.
We wanted to go to kinkakuji, the golden pavilion, but it was closed already by the time we were done with the museum. So, we decided to head downtown and look for something to eat and maybe some souvenirs.
I found some more great Engrish and a very dashing KFC Colonel…
After dinner we managed to find a really cool district where all the streets are all old Kyoto style (very narrow) and the buildings are all wood. They raise paper lanterns outside all of the shops on the street and it gives a really cool “old Japan” feel. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a great photo of it. This is all I thought to take:
After walking around for a while we decided to head back before the trains stopped running. We got back to our hotel and started planning our next day. When we decided to stay in Osaka and meet up with Bryan at night, George and Stephanie went out to explore Dotonbori, Osaka’s famous night-life district. Nate and I were too tired to go out at 1am, so we turned in for the night.My Kyoto reflection: There was a lot that I wish we could have done. I’ve been to a lot of the tourist destinations in Kyoto already but I haven’t seen the top of Kyoto tower yet. I also haven’t seen the huge row of tori gates. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for either… But, the old-style district was something new. It was still fun. I still have things to see next time, I guess.