We walked ourselves silly today – temples, shrines, slides and sushi
Two days in a row we have taken full advantage of the perfect weather and stomped around Kyoto. By perfect, I mean perfect – clear days with fluffy clouds here and there, accompanied by breeze strong enough to cool you off, but not so much that your hair whips you raw, and temperatures that just call your name outside. Perfect.
Kyoto is a very walkable city. Even the small alleys never feel claustrophobic to share with the vehicles, as they actually see you, which is not the case in the rest of Asia. It was quite a shock and reason for jubilation when on our first day here, a car actually stopped and waited for us to pass on a green light on the zebra crossing. I think we giggled like little kids.
Today we walked around 10km, from 11am, until we made it back home at close to 9pm, tired, achy and full of sushi.
We started with stroll through the south part of Gion – Kenninji Temple and Yasaka Shrine and ended up in the Maruyama Park’s small lake where we had a bit of a break and watched the ducks and large koi in the green waters.
This area is probably the most touristy one we have been in so far, still, it cannot compare to the horror of China – its still peaceful, authentic and enjoyable.
One thing that has unpleasantly surprised us about Kyoto (I dont know how it is in other parts) has been the playgrounds. For a culture with such sharpened aesthetic senses, an ability to make anything a visual treat and squeeze pleasure out of just about everything, their playgrounds are frankly, uninspiring. They are basically bald spots in the city scape, covered in white gravel and with a sparse sprinkling of old ugly swings and slides. Thats about it.
Still, we are not picky ;)
We walked through the big orange torii gate and entered the Heian Jingu Shrine, which is vast, bright and became one ofÂ Mr.Blab’s favorites.
From here we took the Kamo river walk down to Pontocho Alley, where the girls wanted to ‘save’ a few more Lego Mini Figures.
By now we were exhausted, but we wanted sushi for dinner, so we made the long painful, seemingly never ending road to Tanbaguchi Station, where upon entering we were met by a line of people waiting to eat our food. We collapsed on the chairs and proceeded to drift in and out of conscience until our turn came. Mmmm…warm green tea, fatty salmon followed by fatty salmon with mayo and radish on top…I think I may have purred at this point, I dont know…eel…special orders of flying fish roe and cucumber maki were blinking on the screen and joining us through the ‘train’…bonito with pickled veggies and to finish us off, some slightly seared tuna.
Then a long walk back home, only made better by the beautiful night and our bellies full of sushi.