After our day in Hiroshima, we took the Shinkansen to Kyoto! Kyoto was probably my FAVORITE city that we visited in Japan. It was so beautiful and charming. It has a very surreal old-school Japanese feel about it; it was really a beautiful place.
Kyoto has tons of temples and shrines to visit- so much so that one might get a little “templed”-out, if that’s a thing, so I’ll just share some pictures quick of some of my favorites that we visited.
First, one comment- if you find yourself in Kyoto to do a walking tour, be sure to wear comfortable shoes! There will be a lot of stairs.
On to the temples…
Definitely one of my favorites was Kiyomizu-dera:
In Kiyomizu-dera, I drank the water that supposedly has wish-granting powers:
Where’s Waldo, err, Jessie at Kiyomizu-dera?
Another beautiful temple was Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion)
The Silver Pavilion had beautiful Japanese gardens:
It also had some very meticulously maintained sand cones…
Ryoan-ji temple and zen garden
Can you tell how zen I am? Another tip for touring Kyoto is to wear shoes that you can slip on and off, as you always have to take your shoes off in the temples. Sometimes they offer you slippers (like in the below picture), sometimes they don’t.
And, the creme of the crop, the Golden Temple, aka Kinkaku-ji
This temple is picture postcard perfect.
We got a good laugh here when a group of Japanese school girls asked me to take their pictures. It took me a few minutes to realize that they actually wanted a picture WITH Dustin. So cute! So I took one with my camera as well.
We went full tourist here and bought a gold-flecked ice cream cone while viewing the Golden Temple.
Another highlight from our first day touring Kyoto was a delicious tofu lunch at a restaurant that Dustin’s brother highly recommended:
It was a cool experience enjoying all kinds of tofu sitting on the tatami mats. We were the only foreigners there at the time, though obviously they did have an English menu.
There a few remaining geisha districts in Kyoto, though foreigners are not welcome in any of the establishments there. One can still wander around those districts, i.e. Ponto-cho and Gion. The only time I thought we saw geishas was during the day’; Dustin’s brother looked at my picture and said these were not true geishas…just people dressed up as geishas. It was still fun to see their outfits.
Our first night in Kyoto we stayed at a regular hotel, but the second night, we stayed at a traditional Japanese ryokan. That was a unique experience that I’ll save for another post. Just a few more Japan posts before it’s back to Fitness and Fitness Fashion!