Thursday, April 05, 2007

kyoto (part 1)

My aunty and her boyfriend, Werner are in town for a couple of days. Yesterday, I went "sight-seeing" with them around parts of Kyoto. It started off as a beautiful day and then sudden turned evil and very cold! Of course, I was dressed very lightly for Spring, so I was FREEZING! In some parts of Japan, there was also sleet, snow and twisters! Yipes!

Our first stop was Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavillion), I think this is a UNESCO site. They recently re-finished the pavillion to keep its golden-ness pika-pika (shiny). While we were visiting the pavillion, it began to rain, so we ran into a cafe for lunch.

After lunch, we took the crowded bus back to their hotel so that they could grab their rain gear. We then headed back onto another crowded bus to Eastern Kyoto to walk on the Tetsugakunomichi (Philosopher's Path). This walkway runs along a river and has many cherry trees. It was a very peaceful and beautiful walk despite all the people.

The path ended at Ginkakuji (Silver Pavillion). Now, when you see this pavillion, it isn't silver at all, in fact it is still its dark wood color. This pavillion was actually a villa for Shogun Ashikaga. He attempted to make it silver but after he died, the villa was converted to a temple.

We rode another crowded bus back across town to Murayama Park. This is another spot with many cherry trees, especially the weeping type. Despite the cold, there were many blue tarp out to reserve space for party-goers.

Nearby Murayama Park is a little area called Gion. This is where you may possibly see a geisha or two. The buildings in this area have kept it's nostalgic look to them. In recent years, many have questioned the safety of having the roads this narrow, for example, fire engines or ambulances wouldn't be able to get in should there be a need to.

It was a great day despite the cold and ALL those people.


ilingc said...

Did you see any geisha's on the street? We didnt :( in fact, looking at your Kyoto posts, we might have been in Kyoto around the same time you were. Didn't walk far into the Tetsugakunomichi but we did manage to visit the other places you went to, except Murayama Koen and Kawabun. We also manage get tickets to the Miyako Odori performance :) Absolutely loved it!

K and S said...

Nope, we didn't get to see any geisha, Ilingc. That is so neat that you were in Kyoto at the same time.

Take care!