Kyoto Day 1 - POSTED BY BOB

So after Fumika's house we made our way to Kyoto to see all of these amazing shrines and temples. I cannot even remember all that we saw and this is just a sampling of all the awesome that is Kyoto.

The first thing that we did when we got to Kyoto was go to this office, which was right in the train station somewhere. I do not exactly what it is, but all I know is that Jason and I went in there and a nice Japanese lady with pretty good English found us a Ryokan, which is a Japanese style accommodation. She found us a really cheap one that was a 5 minute walk from the train station. The crazy thing was that there was no one there and that the women did it for free and with a big smile on her face. She was really helpful for apparently no reason. Her job is just to find dumb tourists places to stay. Pretty sweet deal for us.

This is the entry way of the Ryokan we stayed at. That guy there is a Billiken and you are supposed to rub his feet for good luck.

This was our room. That is all there is to the room.

Here is a perfect example of maximizing space in Japan. Here is our bathroom. Notice that the shower is connected to the sink to minimize pipes.

Apparently this week there were a ton of schools in Kyoto for class trips. This is pretty common in Japan. They are all pretty well organized. I am sure the school uniforms help keep things running smoothly for the trip.

This is the entrance to the Shrine of 1000 Red Gates.

There are definitely more than 1000 of these gates. There were always multiple paths to choose from and someone could probably spend days exploring each path and finding all of the little shrines all over the place.

This does not look very steep, but I had to climb a lot of these to the top of this mountain. I am so out of shape that this was really painful. My feet and legs were destroyed after this climb, but it was totally worth it. I was walking funny for the next 3 days.

The shrine has a ton of these fox statues, which I love. They are apparently some type of messenger for a rice god or something. I am a stupid American so I am not sure, but I do love them.

This fox was particularly awesome.

I felt bad taking the picture of this guy praying at this shrine, but it had to be done. There are tons of little shrines all over where you can throw some money in and pray or wish for stuff.

"Hi I am a crazy looking dragon." All over the place there are these places with water and these little cup things for washing our hands. You can also drink the water and use it cool off your face. These are all over the place and wherever there is a holy site there is one of these.

I thought mom would like these frogs.

Here are the Raish brothers in action.

There was this one little thing with a ton of porcelain foxes on it and I love it.

This is a crazy little thing off a little side street near 1000 Red Gates. No one walked down the street while we were there and it is super peaceful. These have something to do with letting dead babies obtain enlightenment, but they are this really old stones where the faces are worn off from years of exposure. They also are the protectors of travelers. This is my brothers favorite place in all of Kyoto.

This is some holy Temple in Kyoto with a great view. It is special for some reason, but once again I dumb American. Japan is really green. Probably because it a bunch of islands that get a good amount of rain, but lucky it did not rain at all while I was in Kyoto and the surrounding area.

This is a GIANT Buddha statue somewhere on the east side of Kyoto. It is is really hard to describe how big this is. I mean it is really big.

Jason said that this tree is awesome during cherry blossom season. It is not cherry blossom season in Japan. That came up a lot. Jason kept saying how cool everything looks in Kyoto during the fall when the leaves change and during the spring when the cherry blossoms bloom. I think it was still cool.

This sign scares me. I cannot even imagine what would happen if there was an emergency and some poor guy did not have any change to buy toilet paper. This is the only one of these signs I have seen, but I have never seen this sort of madness before.

Here are the Raish brothers on "one of the most beautiful streets in all of Asia". It was cool and I am definitely glad I saw it, but I am not sure if it lives up to the hype.

After a long day of running around Tokyo we rented bikes at the ryokan we stayed at and rode bikes around. We stopped here by the river for a drink to relax a bit before dinner. One might think that riding bikes would be nice, but once again I am so out of shape that riding up one little hill destroys me and I have to catch my breathe. I am so pathetic.

These two pictures are from one of the most amazing meals of my life. It is a 7 course traditional Japanese meal. The first picture was desert and the second picture was just some amazing stuff. The shrimp you see there can only be eaten at that restaurant. This meal was amazing. There were close to 30 dishes. Each dish was only a few bites, but each bite was so amazing. Under those flower dishes were chicken meatballs and some eggplant. This concludes a crazy day of running around Kyoto. More Kyoto in the next post.


mr. pineapple man said...

omg i dropped the small water bucket while trying to get water from the temple....and the sound was so loud i was so embarassed!!