Kyoto in Photos

While Josh and I are exploring Singapore we also caught up on pictures of Japan to share.

Though we were there at a time of turmoil during the earthquake, city life was relatively unaffected in the corner of Japan that we were in: Kyoto. We had planned to see more of the country but after the quake, stayed put.

It was far from a hardship post. Kyoto is considered the cultural and historical capital of Japan (and was once the actual capital). We heard that the rest of Japan considers Kyoto residents to be a little stuck up because of this. We couldn’t disagree more. Every person we talked to went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, sometimes walking us down the street to show us something important or pulling us into Karaoke at a bar. One group literally begged me to sing Top Of The World by The Carpenters. I, of course, complied.

There were so many highlights of our week in Kyoto, to list a few…
1. The people. Friendly, polite, oh so orderly and quiet. It’s something to be on a packed bus and have it be silent.
2. The food (this warranted it’s own album: here). Given we had no idea what we were ordering half the time, everything, with one exception, was outstanding.
3. Cherry blossoms. We didn’t plan to be there during the short blooming season and though they weren’t at full bloom we were lucky to see them at all.
4. Ancient temples everywhere. And when we say old, we mean it. Kyoto boasts more UNESCO world heritage sites than any other city on earth. One temple we went to was built in 796AD. Mind boggling.
5. Vending machines. It was astonishing how many there were. It was common to see six in a row. They sold bottles of hot and cold drinks, vacuum cleaner bags and ties. Amazing.
6. Bullet train. Japan has some of the fastest trains in the world going up to 300KM per hour (or 186 MPH) and we took one on our way out of the country. Video of how fast we were going here.

7. Kabuki theatre. Two words: Over-dramatic (to a tee) and bizarre.

Click on the first image to view as a slide show.

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Comments
6 Responses to “Kyoto in Photos”
  1. Bree Boehlke says:

    Wonderful photos! Stay safe and enjoy every moment together.

    • Sasha Bruce says:

      Thanks Bree! Also, I realized the link to Kabuki theatre was broken. I just fixed it. I think it’ll appeal to your artistic side. 🙂

  2. Huw Westmaas says:

    Very good looking photos Sasha .What is Pachinko? It looks like a vertical pin ball game.

    • Sasha Bruce says:

      Thanks Brother!

      I can’t say I’m able to explain Pachinko very well. As best I can tell, you get a ton of little silver balls and they get thrown up inside the machine and come out the top. There are little steel bars for them to bounce off of. And the player has a knob to control, ever to slightly, the angle at which they enter the game. The goal is to get as many of the silver balls into a tiny hole at the bottom. The more you get in there, the more silver balls you get in return and the cycle continues. We say people, many in fact, with 4-6 full trays of silver balls. But It took $10 US to get enough balls to have a good go. And they were gone in 5 minutes. So I didn’t try again! 🙂

      Also, I realized the links to the video of the bullet train and kabuki theatre were broken on the site. If you want to check them out they’re working again.

      Love you — Sasha

  3. Brenda & Lester says:

    Hi-
    Seems as though you two have taken the word ADVENTURE to a whole new level.
    The photos are fabulous. We are happy that you are safe and are thinking of you and the people of Japan.
    Re: Kyoto – Ann, Laurie and Clark’s American relatives had a summer place in Kyoto from the 1890’s on. One of them was one of the first American architects in Japan and the other the first Episcopal bishop to Tokyo – small world.

    Lester has fond memories of his time spent in Japan with the U.S. Navy. I wonder about those geisha girls in his Kyoto photos????
    B&L

  4. mary ann says:

    Hi my world traveling COOL cousins! Here I am , sitting on my sofa in Columbus Ohio and I have just been to Kyoto with your FABULOUS photos and details! Thanks so much for sharing with us all your adventures..I LOVE ’em! Glad you can eat the food, I think I would be on the hungry side! God bless all your travels and fun, love ya, Mary Ann 🙂

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