If you can only go one place in Japan, there is no doubt about it that place should be Kyoto. While we are all for the beautiful insanity that is Tokyo, there was just something about the atmosphere in Kyoto that had us hooked from the moment we got out of the traffic on the way to our hotel. To quote Anthony Bourdain, "it was unimprovable."
When we arrived it was snowing. We sat worried for the weather the next few days while we were in town but were easily distracted by the pure beauty of snow falling a top cherry blossom covered mountains. Really, it was like nothing you could ever see, anywhere, ever.
You have already seen the view from our hotel room in Kyoto, but here is the view of the mountain the evening we arrived.
The next day we woke to amazing clear blue skies. Not an drop of rain to be seen. The weather even warmed up just enough to not require an under layer of clothing. Kyoto is very natural and scattered with many ancient temples and castles. Here are some photos from the many places we visited. You are not allowed to take pictures of the interiors -as to no disturb the Gods of course - so most of the pictures you will see are of castle and temple grounds.
Nijo Castle front.
A temple rock garden and fortunes.
Frolicking in the gardens of the 1,000 Buda Temple.
Hanging around a temple.
The Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion).
The brochure for this unbelievable temple referred to the Kinkakuji as "the world's most elaborate retirement home."
One night we were searching for a great place to eat. Brandon and I asked the concierge where she went to eat. She sent us to the Gion District and ultimately to the best food we have eaten in Japan, thus far. It was so good that the next night went back again with the parents.
A Ginkakuji Temple market.
The 10,000 Tori Gates.
We hope you enjoyed reading about our cross country trip! We had such an amazing time getting to know our new home even more and words can express how great it was to have family along for the adventure. Where to next?