Since today was our most touristy of days, so far, I figured I’d show you instead of telling you where we went. Using a visual medium such as the net, I might as well make this a visual thang, no?
Again, returning to the cliche, but Kyoto is mighty frickin’ bee-oo-ti-ful during the cherry blossom season. This grove of sakura lines a stream that leads back up to Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Temple. The crowds were oppressive, although not by Japanese standards, and I even caught a glimpse of an ignored and off-limits bamboo forest.
Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Temple, looks different from its silver brother but serves much the same purpose: It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s a major magnet for souvenir shops and the tourists that follow them around. Or do I have that backwards?
I think one of the best things to do in Japan is, while walking, to pick a random alley and see what you’ll find. This tactic has brought me the long way home, but I’ve found some of my favorite places in Tokyo by doing it.
In Kyoto, it dropped me off next to a shrine with lightbulbs instead of lanterns, and some strange factory in a wooden shack which looked like it could be used for processing milk. But there was nobody around, so I couldn’t ask them.
These valves were from the inside of the factory.
From Kyoto we headed to Nara. Finding the ryokan where we stayed was a major pain in the tuchis, but sunsets like this one made all the searching worth it.