If it seems like each day I have packed in quite a crazy amount of stuff, well, you’d be right. Kyoto (and its surrounds) was the main destination on my trip that I knew I had a lot to see and do. Temples, Castles, Parks, Bamboo, Monkeys… a lot to get through in 6 days.
Well, today being my last day, and having pretty much checked the main things off my list, I decided to just chill. Now by chill I still donned the walking boots and headed out, but today with no real plan. It was the first cloudless day in Kyoto… 31 degrees and beautifully sunny. I couldn’t waste it! So I just decided to head off and re-experience some parts, as well as see what I could find for Ella and Jake (of course).
So today’s post is just a bit of a ramble about Kyoto as a whole, as I depart for Hiroshima tomorrow morning.
You could no doubt tell that I have loved Kyoto. The mix of city and tradition is pretty amazing. I have avoided the “city” side of things for the most part… shopping and bar hopping hasn’t been too high on my list of things to do. But I figured I have Tokyo to look forward to, so why not soak up ancient Japan?
As a first introduction to Japan, I think I made the ideal choice too. City enough to start dealing with public transport and crowds, but small enough not to be too overwhelming and all crazy-like.
A nice way to start too to experience that there is really not that much english around. Sure you never go too wrong in train stations and major places, but I have been surprised how many times ordering food and things like that, where it was all being polite and pointing at pictures. But hey, I would have been kinda disappointed if that wasn’t the case.
So yes, the people have been lovely. Whether it is in a shop, on the train, or on the street, I have not seen anything other than a warm welcome or respect. I am sure I will miss the cheerful sound of “Irrashaimase!” when I get home.
I know I will come back to Kyoto one day. Being here in summer, I am dying to see what winter is like. I think I have seen one too many postcards of temples and castles covered in snow…
So my favourite places? In no particular order:
– Himeji Castle (probably my number 1)
– Arashiyama Bamboo forest
– Wandering Nara
– Squeezing through the “nostril” in Todaiji Temple
See you again Kyoto I’m sure. Speak to you all from Hiroshima (assuming I have free wi-fi there too).