Our departure from Tokyo and arrival in Kyoto by 'Shinkansen' - the Bullet Train was amazing - more akin to travelling by aeroplane than a train. The (relatively) new train station is a fabulous structure and prepared us well for what we were to see in this beautiful city. Historically the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto retains much of its' grace and stature in addition to its' spirituality.
Home to many of the nations most important shrines and temples, we were bowled over by its' atmosphere, phyiscal and natural beauty.
The Philosopher's Walk starts just north-east of the city at the Shishigatani Canal just west of Ginkakuji Temple and must be reached by bus or taxi (we split up and did both as taxis refuse to take 5 passengers). We were just too late for the cherry blossom but it was a beautiful and very peaceful walk. Our first stop was at Kinkakuji Temple which is just as you might imagine a Japanese Temple and garden to be and was idyllic. We walked for several hours through Easterrn Gion, Geisha - spotting and stopping at as many sites as we could manage. The boys were amazingly tolerant of our
cultural pursuits and have produced some very good photographs themselves. Kiyomizu Temple built on massive timber stilts on the side of a cliff where it has rested for over 1000 years was just one of the incredible sights of the day. A 'must-do' for any trip to Japan - don’t miss it if you intend to travel here.
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