No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

28 June, 2009

No geisha sightings on this trip

I love how a train can make everyone marvel.
I think Edita was most excited about the Shinkansen. We've been on it before and we were still looking forward to our trip to Kyoto primarily because of the bullet train. The Japanese still marvel at it and it's over 30 years old. It's just so smooth, fast and cool.

These kids approached me with a sheet that said, "Let's Talk English!" They took turns asking me questions directly from the sheet, such as, "What have you bought in Kyoto?" and "What is your favorite food?" I was having fun with them and asked them the exact same questions back. The only response I got was a blank stare and "eh?"

Inside the grounds of the Golden Pavilion of Kyoto.

Kinkakuji is stunning. The gardens, the gold leaf and the pond made for the most breathtaking scene.

To be out of the city and into nature again was such a wonderful feeling.

I love vending machines in Japan. I think I will make a photo book of just vending machine pictures. This one is selling vacuum cleaner bags, batteries, film and memory sticks. The one next to it sold men's ties.

My "pretty good" 100 yen fortune from the temple.

hmmm....I couldn't have said it better.

Tie your fortune here if it is not "excellent, pretty good or good."

another shrine in downtown Kyoto

wishes and paper cranes at the shrine

Nishiki Market in Kyoto. Check out the guy bowing. Kyoto had such a lovely small town feeling compared to Tokyo. Even though it is filled with over a million people, it was more casual, old world and enchanting than the skyscrapers of Tokyo. You could see the hills from most areas in the city and people were genuinely friendly to tourists. We hit Gion at night, the old town area from Memoirs of a Geisha era, to see the modern leisure district, tiny wooden houses and maybe a glimpse of a maiko on her way to an appointment. It's become a concern that tourists are too aggressive in their pursuits to spot a geisha in Kyoto.

making delicious okonomiyaki in Kyoto

The gardens at Nijo-ji castle in Kyoto. The grand palace had a "nightingale floor" that alerted the feudal lord if anyone tried to enter the palace. As you walked the floor gently squeaked--even a ninja couldn't get past it!

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