48 Hours In Kyoto

Well, what can I say about Kyoto? We spent just over 48 hours in this wonderful city and it was nowhere near long enough. Here are the highlights:

Lunch in Nishiki Market

I didn’t eat these, but they looked amazing! Plenty of other lovely tasting food to sample though.

Squid Stuffed With Quails' Eggs
Squid Stuffed With Quails’ Eggs

Kiyomizu-dera Temple Visit

Off to the north-east of the city in a taxi, and work our way through the many crowds. There were a few people wearing traditional Kimono dresses – apparently you get a discount on your entrance fee if you turn up in them. This shot nearly made it for Day #1717.

Three Obi
Three Obi

Walking The Backstreets

There are hundreds of little streets and back alleys down which to get lost! Great fun to explore on foot.

Kyoto Back Streets
Kyoto Back Streets

On The Trail Of The Geiko (Geisha)

Two Maiko
Two Maiko

Geisha are known as Geiko in Kyoto, and the trainees are called Maiko. We enjoyed a guided evening walk in the Gion district where the story of Geiko and Maiko was explained – we even saw a couple of Maiko on their way to work.

I had already just about walked myself into the ground, but managed to rendez-vous with the group for a great buffet dinner – and plenty of Asahi to lubricate the throat after a hot day. I think I checked into my room at the hotel about 11:30pm, totally exhausted – and fell asleep almost before my head hit the pillow.

The Morning After The Night Before

Up early for a trip to the Silver Pavilion – to view the meticulously manicured Zen Gravel Garden at Ginkaku-ji Temple.

Gravel And Shade
Gravel And Shade

Paying Homage To The Fox

The afternoon was free for us to explore on our own, so I headed to the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine just south east of Kyoto. It is famous for its statues of the Fox god (Kitsune), and its amazing avenue of Torii gates stretching up the hill. I wasn’t disappointed when I arrived. However, this little shot of the prayer Torii nearly made it for Day #1718.

Prayer Torii
Prayer Torii

I had hoped to visit the Zen gardens in the north west of the city, but public transport conspired against me, so eventually I retired back to the hotel for a well-earned rest, before enjoying a Bento Box dinner with friends – we were too tired to forage further than the local supermarket!

Sanjūsangen-dō Temple Visit

Another early start for those of us who wanted to make the most of our time in Kyoto – we bundled into taxis for a visit to the Sanjūsangen-dō Temple. It’s an amazing wooden structure, rebuilt in 1249 after a fire destroyed the original complex from 1164. It houses over 1000 Buddhist statues – the Thousand Armed Kannon. Just a great pity that photography was not allowed inside, but some of  the external structure was still pretty special:

Ancient Roof
Ancient Roof

Saying Farewell

We made a final trip back to the modern station on foot, and as we had a few minutes spare before our luggage arrived from the hotel, I took the opportunity to look around. It’s a very impressive architectural design – 11 storeys in all – which even has a garden on the roof!

Up To The Roof
Up To The Roof

There is still so much to see and do in Kyoto – I will definitely be back – one day.

In the meantime, here is the huge selection of images I made whilst in Kyoto: