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Friday, April 6, 2012

Japan - Day 4. Kyoto

Todays adventure took us on a 40 minute train ride to Kyoto.
As I have mentioned before.  The rail system is flawless.  This is Quiddy standing on the line that marks where the doors will be when the train stops.  Somehow I don't think this concept would work in Vietnam.

The JR Line (Japan Rail) is a little more upmarket than the ones we had been using.  Well this train was anyway.  Nice plush seats and a really comfortable and easy trip. photo!

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A long walk up to our first temple with the path lined with hundreds of shops, and people.

I then turned into a bit of a geisha stalker.  They were just so beautiful.  I think a common thing that tourists do is dress for the day and wander around Kyoto pretending to be a geisha.
Those one are pretty easy to pick. (see inappropriate photo above). Considering the crowd swarming these lovely ladies, I think they were real.

The back of the neck is a sensual area in traditional Japanese beauty standards, but for geisha and maiko, leaving that bit of the neck unpainted also adds to the sense of mysteriousness that comes from wearing the "mask" of white makeup. It emphasizes that there's a real person under the makeup whose features are obscured but not quite hidden by it.

The dress up kind.

I am by no means an expert on Japanese culture but I believe these are fortune slips.  People select a slip from a temple to help them find good luck for the year.  If the result is good they keep it but if it is not they then tie it on a tree or a board to bring better luck.

Did I mention that the ice cream in Japan is YUMMY!

Basically there is a well worn path that takes about half a day to navigate.  It winds its way through the old part of the city and it is like stepping back in time.

Thick as thieves these two.  

Unfortunately the weather was not on our side and the rain began to fall about half way through.

Being made of sugar (not really, the kids started complaining), my knight in shining armour procured me a taxi to take us the Philosophers Walk.

Check out the gloves.  How very civilised.

Philosophers Walk is is a pedestrian path that follows a cherry tree lined canal.  During Hanami, when in full bloom, it is one of the best places to view the cherry trees.  I had my fingers crossed but no luck today.

Still a lovely walk that takes about 30 minutes to complete, passing temples and some beautiful backyards!

Well it would take thirty minutes if my daughter did not have hollow legs.  I swear  she needs to eat every 5 minutes.

OK, so I helped her out with this one.  Did I mention that the ice cream in Japan is YUMMY. (Check out the name of this place!)

I will have to leave it to my imagination to see how stunning this would be in bloom.

Back to the station where we decided to treat ourselves......

Yeah baby...bring on the Bullet Train!

15 minutes it took us to get back to Osaka.  15 MINUTES!!!!

Loads of fun and best of all, because we were exhausted from all of the walking, a super fast way to get home.  So that was our Kyoto experience.  We thought it was a really beautiful city but be prepared for a lot of walking as it is quite spread out.  Definitely a highlight for me was this.......


  1. Gorgeous, fabulous, wonderful! LOVE the shot of the four of you with Kyoto heights behind. Did you try the Green Tea Mr Whippy Ice Cream? We rode bicycles down that same street whilst holding those ice creams! Scandalous! And don't worry - I was also a maiko stalker. AMAZING photos. xx

  2. Love the photos! Wish there were trains in VN!

  3. I went to Kyoto in December. I stayed there for 4 days and still left without seeing everything I wanted to. There's just so much to visit. Please tell me you visited Nara though. It's the perfect place to take kids.

    1. Never fear!!!! Nara is tomorrow. Definitely the kids have! Thanks for posting.

  4. Loving your photos Dani. Sensory overload. I too, would also be a geisha stalker, they are so beautiful. Shirl

    1. Is that you Shirl??? Was just thinking about you today!!

  5. Shirl from Perth (Tania's friend)


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