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A Day in Kyoto

Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.

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Before arriving in Japan I had heard about the Gion-matsuri, a month long festival, one of Japan`s three most important apparently, held in the city of Kyoto, and I was reliably informed that one of it`s highlights is "yamaboko jyunko", parade of halberds, on the morning of the 17th.

It was common knowledge in my Osakan hotel and a number of guests were planning to attend so when these Chinese boy`s (from Malaysia) that I had previously met told me they were going it seemed a good fit, they were organised and had the whole day planned.

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First it was on to the subway for the short ride to Osaka station..

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Then a transfer to the Kyoto line for the longer of our two journeys..

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The train system is incredibly efficient, and the station`s and carriages are so clean it`s almost like you could eat your dinner of them..

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We boarded our train to Kyoto and very soon were joined by many, many other`s, all obviously with the same idea as us..

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Are you seeing the pattern here?

Finally we made it to Kyoto to be greeted by blazing heat, large crowds and the slowest moving parade i`ve ever witnessed..

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After standing and watching the glacier like progress we decided there were other interesting things to do so headed off towards Nishiki Market, there we were greeted by a wide arrange of goods and produce..

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At this point we took a well earned break for lunch at where else but McDonalds, that free wi-fi is such a hook along with the comfortable booths, toilets and predictable fare, I hate saying it but it really works when you are travelling.

We then headed off to the Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji) a Zen temple, which looked boring from the front but it was one in all in so I paid my admission, entered and was met by the most wonderfully serene garden that you could imagine, established in 1482 by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the 8th Muromachi Shogunate.

Let wiki tell the tale..

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It really was special and I commented to the boy`s that I could have sat there all day drinking beer, this offended their Buddhist sensibilities (only slightly) and they suggested tea would be more appropriate..

After this it was a stroll down "Philosophers Lane" which surely was more impressive a few hundred years ago, before boarding a bus for the Kiyomizu Temple..

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Thanks wiki..

The temple complex includes several other shrines, among them the Jishu Shrine, dedicated to
Ōkuninushi, a god of love and "good matches".[4] Jishu Shrine possesses a pair of "love stones" placed 6 meters/20 feet apart, which lonely visitors can try to walk between with their eyes closed. Success in reaching the other stone with their eyes closed implies that the pilgrim will find love, or true love.[9] One can be assisted in the crossing, but this is taken to mean that a go-between will be needed. The person's romantic interest can assist them as well.

There were a number of Japanese couples dressed in traditional Yukata (summer kimono) trying their luck on the walk, very cute!

I was starting to fade a little in the afternoon heat and was hoping we would be headed home but no, now we were off to Gion in search of Geisha! We entered the street which is/was famous for it`s Geisha houses, there were others looking as well, and the mood was different, like there was an acknowledgement that it was somewhere special..

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A Geisha house, the girls would stand behind the screened windows and try to attract customers attention, apparently..

We managed to spot two Geisha`s, or ladies who were dressed as Geisha! There is a theory that the old houses now offer just a "Geisha like" experience, understandable given that most modern girls would never submit themselves to the training and discipline required to attain "qualification".

It was now early evening and time to go, it was a little awkward getting to the station as streets were still blocked for continuing parades, such resilience in the heat..but we made it to the train, I didn't give up my seat this time, it had been a long day and my feet were very tired, but it had been a wonderful day, well worth the effort..

Til next time!

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Updated 20th July 2012 at 06:06 PM by Mick Pacholli



  1. The Wright Thing's Avatar
    Well written Elliot, keep the stories coming

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Updated 27th July 2012 at 09:09 PM by Mick Pacholli
  2. Mick Pacholli's Avatar
    He must be having fun, haven't heard a word for a week !

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Updated 27th July 2012 at 09:10 PM by Mick Pacholli
  3. Mick Pacholli's Avatar
    Where ya gone mate, the Yakuza got ya???

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Updated 27th July 2012 at 09:10 PM by Mick Pacholli
  4. Elliot Ness's Avatar
    Back on Planet Earth after dodging the radiation in Tokyo..will post again soon..

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Updated 27th July 2012 at 09:11 PM by Mick Pacholli
  5. Mick Pacholli's Avatar
    Great stuff mate, hope you are cool, as usual...

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