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01 June 2004 @ 08:17 pm
japan 4 - kyoto  
got back last night from my 2 day or trek through kyoto...

monday - knowing its going to rain changes one's plans a bit..:> so instead of heading out early to get to kyoto early and spend the day wandering to various temples, i took my time. took a Shinkansen (bullet train) around noon and got to kyoto at around 3pm. by this point the rain was hitting hard... so went over to Shijo (downtown Kyoto) with the intention of finding a hotel, dropping my stuff off, and wandering around the covered marketplace... ended up getting a small single room at Toyoko Inn (cheap biz hotel.. i should have brought my laptop since they had free 100 mb net access), dropped my stuff, and began the wandering..:> the covered marketplace was fun! started off with an open food market.. smells of fish and fruits and whatnot... then it turned into a covered mall (much better than a normal mall, as there was no ozone to give me a headache) whereupon i found tons of stores selling all sorts of stuff..:> by dinner time the rain had dropped down to a light misty rain so i wandered further down into Gion and Pontocho (my kind of place, with old style buildings and nummy food and pretty lights..:>) visited the Yasaka Shrine and then went wandering about till i found a nice Eel place and ate nummy eel..:> then wandered some more and eventually hit up the hotel room and crashed...

tuesday - the weather had cleared to a really nice sunny and warm day. so i began my temple traveling.. checked out of the hotel at around 8am and took the train to Higashiyama and then walked to Heian Shrine. then it was a train ride over to the Imperial Palace (i didnt register for permission to enter the palace early enough so i didnt get to go in.. next time i will). had a nice brunch of rice balls on the palace garden grounds..:> then a bus ride to Kinkakugi (Golden Pavilion). let me just say that 1. the pictures out there dont do it justice. 2. the temple grounds is pretty big and the garden is beautiful.. they really should show more pics of it instead of just the golden pavilion. By this point i had accomplished what i had originally intended to in Kyoto... so from this point on was rather a random wandering... i had gotten to the bus stop to head back into central kyoto when a bus had just arrived. i hopped on it and noticed it would take me to Nijo-jo (Nijo Castle) (those of you who have seen Kurosawa films will find the castle rather familiar). the place is HUGE. and beautiful...:> got to tour inside Ninomaru...:> with the squeaking nightingale floors and the beautiful interior... *sighs* i suspect i would have been happy living there during that time period... *grins* then a quick walk to nijo station and a hop over to higashiyama... ended up taking a bus over to Ginkakugi (Silver Pavilion). unfortunately my battery in my camera died (it had been on super low for the day.. was surprised how long it had lastest.. note: next time one travels always bring the recharger... i had left it in tokyo...) after 2 or 3 shots so i was unable to get a shot of the amazing view from the top of the hill... the garden is absolutely gorgeous... at this point i had gotten a bit tired from the walking and whatnot.. so i stuffed my bag and such in a coin locker at Shijo station and went wandering the streets of Gion and Pontocho again. had an incredible dinner of Yakitori and japanese steak..:> then back to kyoto station and onto a Shinkansen home...

(btw.. pics... im going to throw together a page with all the pics and commentary and such soon...)
 
 
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Laniaznqt1 on June 1st, 2004 08:53 pm (UTC)
pictures! ooOOo, fun. the suspense is killing me! *teehee*
Jen Ifritspitcurl on June 1st, 2004 10:54 pm (UTC)
yay kyoto! :)