Sunday, April 30, 2017


Forty-five years. Yup. K was 20 when last in Kyoto. How fun to see it and dear Nihon again.  She recognized nothing!

We had only two short days, but we made the most of it.
Starting at the Fushimi Inari shrine, photogenic home to thousands of tori (gates).

A certain photogenic couple
 People travel from all over the world to see the cherry blossoms in Kyoto.  Advance weather reports indicated that we might miss them, but our normal state of incredible good fortune kicked in, and it turned out that we hit them at full bloom--gorgeous! 

The weather was perfect, the blossoms were at their peak, and some started falling as pink snow--magical!

The Philosopher's Walk is especially favored for cherry blossom viewing

some philosophers

Pink snow!
At the top of K's list to visit was Ginkakuji, the Silver Pavilion, near which she had lived so many years ago.  It was lovely

pink snow on moss

We traveled by bus and subway

Everything is well-thought out. Trains are "mildly air conditioned"
So much good food 
A good meal was necessary for these samurai-to-be.

Ta da!

crossed swords
Samurai duds

They passed--well, got a certificate
After all that, one needs ice cream. B took us to a famous sundae place. Here's one costing $200
Or perhaps you'd prefer:
K noted the same brands of cigarettes as long. long ago--hard to forget about Hope and Peace

We visited the Nishiki Market:

cherry blossoms to go

We also attended Miyako Odori, an annual geisha dance performance held each April in Kyoto for the past 143 years. We were not allowed to take photos; this photo is from Japan Talk website.
It was spectacular.  We were very glad that we chose to rent audio guides though, or we wouldn't have had a clue what was happening.

Later we happened to see these geisha trainees ("maiko") walking down the street. We only knew they were trainees thanks to the performance guide which had explained the difference in clothing = longer sleeves and obi and higher soles on the shoes.

and going
Ah, Kyoto
and this is a common sight as well:
Pachinko parlor!

Time to say bye, Kyoto

We would both love to return to see more of Japan someday.

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