Kyoto was beautiful – just as I’d remembered it from a previous, super short visit. This time we had almost a week here, with plans to eat the best gyoza and ramen in town, to explore some of the many beautiful temples, and hopefully to catch glimpses of traditional life, like the Maikos and Geishas that zip between venues in the evenings, offering mere seconds for those with cameras at the ready to capture a shot of them.
My sister and her friend were with us and they were very keen to visit the monkeys in the monkey park at the top of the hill. It became an interesting afternoon when we went there on the last day, not realising there was only a half hour before it closed. We were breathless by the time we’d made up there, but still managed to get some nice snaps of the lovely/far-from-lovely Japanese Macaques, depending on your opinion.
The shrines and temples were very interesting, offering insight into different religions and traditions in Japan. Each temple certainly had its own character. Sanjusagendo Hall offered the opportunity to see 1001 life-sized statues, another had huge bells to ring in anticipation of good fortune. Some had incense burning and coin tossing, while Kiyomizudera had a natural spring and people drank fresh water, in true Japanese style, from UV light-sterilised cups. These places were all special in their own way, and we were pleased we made the effort to visit them.
With such wonderful, friendly people, exciting things to see and do, we’ll surely be back here again one day!