kyoto – day two (east and west)

I don’t know if there’s anything better than the quiet of the early morning, seeing a city come to life in the glow of the sun as it starts coming over the mountains. I was so happy I headed out early on my second day in Kyoto so I could do just that.

I had a very “American” breakfast (ketchup?) at a lovely outdoor cafe where I was able to watch the city as it woke up. And the toast was delicious. I hadn’t realized how much I had been missing bread until it was put in front of me all toasty warm and covered in butter.

After breakfast, I wandered through the rest of the streets on the east side of the city–the ones I hadn’t been able to get to the night before–on my way to Kiyomizu-dera. There were also a number of other neat things I got to see along the way.

The driver thought he could make this corner. He was wrong.

Not sure what this is, but it was pretty, so I took a photo.

Also not sure what temple this is. But it was also pretty.

Singing (chanting?) monks were walking down this little street about 50 feet apart. There were about five of them. I couldn’t have planned it better.

Loved these stairs up the hill…and all the shops along the side. 
Just a little garden I popped into.

The entrance to Kiyozumi-dera.

The view from the temple.

It was a busy day here. Can’t imagine how crazy it will be in another month.

From across the valley.

I stopped to take a little break at this lovely park.

After the rest of my adventures on the east side, I headed back to the hotel to grab my bag and go to the train station to store it in a locker before heading to the west side. Very convenient, those lockers at the train stations. And, unlike airports, train stations are typically very central, so it didn’t take too much extra time.

At this point, I had spent more time wandering (and shopping) than I’d intended, so I knew I wasn’t going to get to everything I’d had planned. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to Kinkaku-ji (the Temple of the Golden Pavilion). I’d seen post card pictures of it around town and it just looked like a little much. But it is one that all the tour books and anyone I spoke to said I needed to see, so I went. Totally worth it. The post cards do not do it justice.

After that, I wandered down to the Zen temple Ryoan-ji, which is famous for its gardens. Along the way, I finally figured out what smelled so good as I had been wandering through the city: these little blossoms. There’s nothing like a happy scent to add to a perfect atmosphere.

The gardens were every bit as amazing as the books promised. Seriously stunning.

Japanese Maples are probably my most favorite tree. We had them in our backyard growing up, so they remind me of that. And they are just gorgeous. I’d never seen such big ones, though, as the ones in Kyoto.

And with that, I was out of time. Not knowing how long I’d have to wait for the bus and judging by how long it had taken to get to this part of town from the station, I decided better safe than sorry. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss my train.

There was so much I didn’t see that I still want to see. And the city just has this amazing vibe. I loved it (in case it wasn’t obvious). So, I will definitely be back. Plus, it was pretty cool to ride the bullet train down there.

One thought on “kyoto – day two (east and west)

  1. This is so pretty. Also, I have that car. I think it's called a Tiida in Japan or something, but it's a versa here in 'murica. These are great photos.

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