Kyoto

I realized when I went to write this post, it’s been over 3 weeks since my last post! Today also marks 8 weeks in Japan! My how time flies!

My mom was in town the last week and a half of May and we were out and about the whole time, non-stop. I had the best time with her. We went to Kyoto, Hakone, and explored Tokyo too.

Kyoto was fantastic, we walked SO much and saw SO much but had a wonderful time and made sure we ate well to make up for all of our walking. It has been my favorite food so far. We also discovered this most amazing cream cheese custard filled cream puff from the Family Mart, like a 7 eleven. It was so good we made a stop both nights of our stay to pick one (or two) up.

We stayed at the Kyoto Hana Hotel and I would definitely recommend it to anyone going to Kyoto. It was such a nice stay, impeccably clean rooms, fancy foot massager in our room (!), and a great location.

For our biggest sightseeing day in the Higashiyama district, we followed the walking itineraries on this super helpful website. I definitely recommend poking around the site if you have plans to visit Kyoto.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple looking out onto Kyoto.

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Aquaduct at Nanzen-ji Temple that was actually still a functioning aquaduct.

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Overlooking Ginkaku-ji (the silver temple). Although not actually silver, the view of the city from the gardens was great and zen sand formations were pretty awesome. _DSC0953

This may be surprising… but this is The Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji). It is covered in gold foil and by far the most popular attraction in Kyoto. _DSC0962

Second in popularity to the Golden Pavilion is the Fushimi Inari Shrine that is known for its rows and rows of bright orange Torii (shrine gates). They continue on and on up the mountainside. The women in their Geisha clothing make this photo look really authentic. _DSC0973

Although not nearly as popular (read: less people), my favorite place was the Sho-ren-in Temple. The outside is surrounded by these outrageous camphor trees. The inside is a serene garden and also a series of buildings with amazing painted walls and screens and other historic items from when the it was used as a retreat for Buddhist teachers. DSCN0923

Today, I am heading to Yokohama with a few coworkers and we are going to go to the Cup Noodle museum and will get the chance to make our own cup noodle! Sunday, I’m visiting a different church where a friend that I met while doing BSF over here sings in the choir and then heading to the Hydrangea festival in Bunkyo. I’ll try to get a post together to share the weekend happenings.

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