Tuesday, 21 September 2010
First Taste of Kyoto
After a busy first month in Osaka we are finally beginning to find the time to explore the wider region. We have been told that one of the must see places is Kyoto, as it provides some authentic Japanese experiences with it’s numerous temples and shrines. So on the Monday holiday (respect for the elderly day), we join the many citizens of Osaka who board the local train for the forty-minute trip. Upon arrival the differences from Osaka are not particularly evident (although a little more low-rise), but it is not too long before we are wandering through the tiny lanes and even passing quite a few citizens dressed in traditional kimono and hakama. We particularly enjoy looking at the art & craft galleries and purchase our first piece of Japanese artwork, which is a 120 year-old woodcut print. After a traditional Japanese lunch, we make our way to the Kiyomizu Temple that stands magnificently in the foothills close to the city as it has done since 798. It is crowded, but still very calm as people sip and wash with the sacred waters then respectfully touch the statue of Budda. Jules buys a temple book and begins the popular tradition of having it signed by the monks at every temple you visit…the calligraphy is a work of art in itself. Clearly Kyoto has much to offer and it won’t be too long until we return to sample its many other attractions.