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Published: March 4th 2007
This place was great at night without any crowds!
yes, one MORE time! third time in Kyoto was the charm. I think I have finally gotten enough of my real life adventures in Japanese Art History. I took off Thursday and Friday to have more time to travel with Mike. Hopped on a 5 hour bus from Matsuyama Thursday morning after some quick Dunkin Donuts and arrived in Kyoto that afternoon to a warm sunshine. Dropped our bags at Tour Club hostel (great place!) and checked out Nishi Hongan ji. There was a service in session so we sat for a while with the monks chanting, admiring the gold work inside the huge wooden structure. A long-ish walk to Nijo Castle to check out the nightengale flooring. Lots of other white people there just at the same time for some reason, but it was interesting anyways. Thought of heading straight to the Golden temple but realized how tired we were so headed back to check in and rest up a bit. That evening took a bus to Yasaka shrine in Gion area. This was nice to see on our own after I had been there with the parents and crowds of many Japanese on New Year's Eve. Walked through Gion
Mike, is that really appropriate?
streets to the other side of the river where we found a great Sushi bar for dinner. Headed home early to prepare for the next night.
Friday was spent in the North East section of the city looking at Ginkakuji (silver pavilion), walking the Philosopher's Path and checking out the Heian shrine. That night we hopped a train (after some confusion at the station) to Osaka. Namba area is known for its bright lights. We strolled the streets and ate some Fugu sushi (globefish) at one of the many restaraunts.
Saturday we rented bikes from a place nearby the station and rode south to Fushimi Inari shrine. This was by far our favorite. It combined the torii gates with hiking and mountain scenery. Great trails, but it was cold and we didn't spend all day there. Actually spotted some snowflakes at the bottom of the hill! Rode back into the city for Sanjusangendo and then the Imperial Palace gardens where Japanese were admiring the plum blossoms. (No cherry blossoms yet). Another night in Gion to make the weekend complete.
Sunday morning we hopped the buses to Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) which was packed with tourists, as usual. Then Ryoanji for the
Now that must be some good food!
great zen garden. Finally it was time to head home on our bus. Caught it on the south side of Kyoto station after shopping for my teachers' omiyage presents. Whew, what a weekend!
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