The very first time I saw a glimpse of Kyoto was on a cigarette calendar. That was more than 3 decades ago. And when I had the chance to go to Kyoto during a long weekend in October, I grabbed it right away. I took the 7-hour midnight bus, which I thought was a bad idea as it made me very sleepy the next day. I guess I won’t be in another midnight bus anytime soon, unless it has beds. Finally reached Kyoto around 7 am, immediately saw lots of locals and tourists holding a map of the city. I didn’t have any map so I applied my sumimasen-while-smiling method of asking for directions.
like watching a film
embrace Japanese cultures
After a quick breakfast, I fell asleep. Late afternoon, I biked around Gion in hopes of seeing maikos and geishas but it wasn't just my lucky day. It is such a quiet place where old-style Japanese houses can be seen. As much as I wanted to see Gion at night, I wasn't able to do so. Maybe next time.
The next day, I started my trip as early as possible. It was a long day. First stop was at Byodo-in Temple. Unfortunately for me again, it was being renovated. Another reason to visit Kyoto again next year.
I had a quick stop at Kyoto's oldest bridge, the Uji-bashi bridge. I may not seen any geishas the other day, but saw lots of locals in kimonos. It was like being in another era.
Visiting Kyoto won't be complete without visiting the famous golden temple known as Kinaku-ji. I expected it to be very crowded but going there was a bit of a challenge. The buses were always full and it was making me very impatient. But once I got there, the challenge was how to take photos with lots of tourists blocking the temple.
Forgetting to take my lunch, I headed to Fushimi Inari-taisha. The very moment I saw a shot of the place in my friend's photo stream, I knew I had to go there. It was a long walk, and too bad I wasn't able to finished path leading to the shrine. Again, maybe next time.
Before the sun sets, I chase to visit yet another popular temple in Kyoto, the Kiyomizu-dera. I arrived too late that I failed to appreciate the place as it was getting dark already. But in case I'll visit Kyoto again, i'll see to it will be during autumn.
I think there's still lot to discover in Kyoto. But for the meantime, thanks for the memories and see you again, Kyoto. I still have some unfinished business with you.