Tokyo guzzler January 2016, part 1 – Kyoto at Christmas

Happy New Year!

Three weeks off for Christmas is a long time (no complaints though!). We stayed in Japan this year and decided to do little trips and see some different parts (and some places we’d been to previously). First up, Kyoto:

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The giant tree at Kyoto Station (in the background – not my new nickname for Maz).

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We headed firstly to Kyoto Tower, a pretty ugly building but one that offers a good vantage point of the city and surrounding mountains.

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Maz looking down at what looked like a toy car park.

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A dragon fountain at Higashi Honganji.

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Gion district at night time, one of the most well-known geisha districts in Japan.

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Still signs of the beautiful autumn colours even in mid-December. No geishas though sadly.

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Kyoto station, a huge complex, with a massive stairway that lights up at night. Not to heaven though; instead, to Tonkatsu Wako. Mmmmmm, ooishi desu!

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The following day we took a trip back to Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion. It’s pretty beautiful, although rammed with tourists. Including one Indian man who walked around farting as loud as you could imagine.

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Our favourite place in Kyoto. We had to head back to Iwatayama Monkey Park.

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The wild monkeys are very gentle when taking the food, although a lot more savage with each other. The look of concentration on my face…

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“Got any more nuts please, Guzzler?”

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We arrived and it was feeding time. Dozens of monkeys came down from the hills and trees and ran rampant around our feet.

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King monkey. No one messed with this one as he had the pick of the feed. The little baby came along for a nibble too.

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“Lend us some Yen so I can use the telescope please, Guzzler”.

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About a 20 minute wander from the monkey park is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. A forest well worth seeing. Quite beautiful.

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A man feeding a feral cat. It’s not just all temples and monkeys in Kyoto you know.

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Our last day now and we headed for Kiyomizu-dera, a famous Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto.

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The main hall has a large veranda, supported by tall pillars, that juts out over the hillside and offers impressive views of the city.

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Oh god, he’s gone all arty again!

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Nearby is the Ryozen Kannon, a war memorial commemorating the War dead of the Pacific War. It’s 80 foot tall.

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Daffy Dog, looking a tad embarrassed, near Yasaka no To Pagoda. The surrounding streets are beautiful.

Kyoto is a funny place. Everyone raves about it. It obviously has some amazing sights and, of course, is of major historical importance. But I’m not a massive fan. It’s not the easiest to get around (maybe we’re just spoiled for transport choice living in Tokyo). It’s very old fashioned, which I guess is the appeal for many. It’s a stark contrast to the bright lights of the capital. A pleasant place for a short visit unquestionably.

More holiday adventures to follow….

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