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.