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Published: September 7th 2011
We landed in Tokyo and made our way to our hostel with the help of some friendly locals and checked in to a dorm for the night. We spent the morning lazing around and sorting our bags out before taking a Shinkansen (bullet train) down to Kyoto – 2.45 hours!! We had booked ourselves into a traditional Japanese Ryokan for the night with sliding paper shutters, and roll-out mattresses for beds. We enjoyed an open air bath before bed!
In the morning we went across the road for our pre-booked breakfast, Angelo had traditional Japanese (salmon, rice and miso soup) while Debbie was less adventurous with sausage and egg.
We spent the morning being dressed up in traditional Japanese outfits and then took part in a traditional tea ceremony.
We checked in to our much less expensive dorm where we would spend two nights before taking a trip over to Nijo-jo Castle which was beautiful, even in the rain! We had dinner at a restaurant next door to the hostel and called it a night.
After we figured out where to stand to catch the right bus (this took some time) we got ourselves to Tenruyi-ji Temple
then walked through Bamboo Grove which is round the back. After a noodle break we took another short bus to Daigoji Temple.
We went into town in the afternoon for a little look round the shops, wincing at the price tags. We bought ourselves some grub from 7/11 (they’re ever so good, they even heat up your meals in their microwave) and went back to the hostel to eat it, realised we had bought a plate of liver… ewww! And decided on pot noodle instead!! That evening we caught up on some much needed sleep.
The next day we were up early and went to the temple of a thousand Buddha’s. (Cannot remember the correct name). It’s a fantastic sight to see this collection standing side by side with their deities lined along the front. Unfortunately no photos were allowed.
Shortly after this we went to Fushima Inari shrine. We were told by a backpacker at Tokyo to expect to climb a lot of steps but we shrugged it of saying “ been to many temples, climbed many steps”. There were over 1000. But we climbed all of them and got right to the top - only to
discover there was not much of a view. The pathways leading up to the top are covered by Tori’s – massive red archways.
We decided that despite our jelly legs we would take the bus to Nezen-ji Temple which turned out to be more of a mission than expected. We took a look around but decided we didn’t want to pay the entrance fees (we’re on a budget you know!) and returned to the bus stop.
On the walk back to the hostel from the bus stop we decided to stop at 7/11 and so walked the long way round – lucky we did, as we spotted a couple of geishas in the street and we stopped to take a photo. We felt our Kyoto experience was now complete! We grabbed our backpacks and headed to the train station bound for Osaka.
Deb & Ang
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