Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Japan Day 6: Kiyomizu-dera & Okonomiyaki


We finally went into a Lawson's drugstore. Breakfast our first morning in Kyoto: mushroom chocolates, mango-apple yogurt and cheesy Pringles. 

For the majority of our time in Kyoto we stayed at the Westin Miyako.  It was nice but it wasn't our favorite hotel. There were lots of tourists, older rooms, maze-like hallways, noise (from said tourists), and it was a little out of the way from the main city which made getting food more difficult. Hence our nutritious breakfast above. On the plus side there was a beautiful Japanese garden inside the hotel and easy access to sites on the north-east side of Kyoto.

John told me he liked Kyoto a lot more than Tokyo overall. He's not much of a big city person and loves trees and lush scenery. I do too, but I also appreciate good shopping :) In Kyoto there were temples and shrines everywhere and every few steps there was something new to discover.

For our first full day in Kyoto we visited Kiyomizu-dera which is famously known for being built without a single nail.

Most fashionable matching couple award goes to these two in their navy gingham! Dressing like your significant other is a thing here. There were some really weird matching androgynous pairs too, like the one that looked like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum at the Ghibli Museum . . .

Flags are used lot when leading large groups in Japan. This lady was leading a group of school children.

You can see how crowded it was that day.

Lots of fern and hydrangea all around the complex.

We also took a detour and walked up a random path that led to a lonely cemetery and mountain hiking path.

One last parting look at the temple. John swears all the school kids were waving to us, but I don't think they could see us.

It was really hot that day and there were salted iced cucumbers being sold on the road up to the temple. They're supposed to help you cool down. John said the road to the temple reminded him of the paths taken on medieval pilgrimages because of all the vendors along the way.
There was just so much to do in Kyoto and no way to see it all in the amount of time we had. I was feeling a little pressured to do more after Kiyomizu-dera, but instead took a super long nap out of pure exhaustion when we got back to the hotel. When I woke up it was 9pm! Oops! We had planned on visiting the Geisha districts that night, but just ended up doing dinner close by because it was late. We had Okonomiyaki at Kiraku. 

Okonomiyaki! (Japanese pancake-omelet). I mostly knew what these were from watching Ranma 1/2. Haha! 

I got a plain okonomiyaki and John got one with yakisoba. As you can tell we both really liked the cheesy grilled corn! 

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