Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Kyoto Chronicles: Part Two

Hi again from a super-hot Kyoto,

Still having an absolute ball in this amazing city. Again, I'm on the 'strong zeros' along with some sparkling wine out of a plastic bottle (staying classy as ever) so apologies once again if there's any spelling mistakes!!! 

Just got back from a scrummy meal (as per usual) and just wanted to upload a photo because we got an INSANE amount of food.......

It was delicious but neither of us quite managed to finish our combination of tempura, sushi, udon, pickles, omelette, radishes, sweets and broth!!! (All for under £10)

Anyway, to recap on the last few days....

Yesterday, we headed to Fushimi-Inari shrine. Not to keep harping on about Memoirs of a Geisha, but if you've seen it, the bit where Chiyo runs through the red archways is set there. The red archways run for 4km (not too fun a walk in the blazing 38degree heat) as a tunnel, and were donated by the businesses of Kyoto. 

There's also various red temple buildings and you walk in to a beautiful sea of colour! We even saw a monk! It's really cool and completely different to any other places of worship which we have visited!!

Following some more lush food for lunch....

.....we headed onto our next destination- Toji Temple. This is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto, namely for its huge pagoda which is the biggest in all of Japan! Again, this is another beautiful monument! There's so many in Kyoto and we've tried to be fairly selective with the ones we've seen! Toji is massive with lovely gardens and it was definitely a good choice!

After walking around in the heat all day we were starting to frazzle so we headed back to the hostel. Sorted some dinner and sat in with the group of people we've met in the hostel. It's good to meet people and share travel tips and we've been able to plan a few days for next week based on some recommendations! Another few strong zeros, some dubious 'French' wine and some impromptu Portuguese lessons 'sha con late' and it was time to retire to our futons.

This morning, we woke up a bit later than usual (so far, it's been an early to bed, early to rise trip) and enjoyed a leisurely morning in the hostel. Late morning, we headed our for another round of sightseeing and headed to two of the most famous sights of Kyoto- Nijo-jo castle and Kinkakuji Temple which holds the 'Golden Pavillion' in its grounds. 

Kinkakuji temple was stunning and the Golden Pavillion was one of the nicest structures which we have seen. It was really busy, which was annoying, as most temples in Japan are quiet for tourist sights. It was worth queueing though as walking round the serene Japanese gardens when the crowds eventually dissipated was a good experience!!

We headed to Nijo-jo castle next which is a remnant from when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. Unfortunately, a lot of it was under construction but what we did see was good and really different to everywhere else. Inside the castle was reconstructions of scenes from the Edo period for example geishas serving sake or the court of the palace taking place. Alongside the scenes were reproductions of the wall hangings from the time. Unfortunately there were no photos allowed inside but the outside was equally beautiful and again the gardens were nice to wander around! 


That's pretty much up to date. Sat in the hostel again with the same group of Portuguese people as yesterday. Having a few bevvies and will be heading to bed soon. Last day in Kyoto tomorrow then onto Hiroshima on Friday which I'm excited for, although I think it will be a bracing experience.will update again in a few days so stay tuned!!! 

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