Nov 3, 2006
Kyoto was a different but equally interesting city. The buildings are much lower, but there seemed to be many more tourists.
Much less English spoken. Much less English on any signs. Much harder to get around (for us...) And, many more shrines.Kyoto has over 1600 Shrines and 600 Temples or something like that. We saw tons of shrines, a castle, a golden pavilions, some really neat little streets and gardens. We saw a lot more women wearing the traditional Kimonos. This is where "Memoirs of a Geisha" was filmed.
At night, it is really magical in the small back alleys where you can see Geisha going to their evening appointments, you can wonder down small alleys and "take your chances" at a Japanese restaurant. We took our chances and weren't disappointed, but by the time we left today, I was REALLY getting sick of Japanese food. Tonight we are having dinner at the "New York Grill" - the restaurant/bar made famous in Lost in Translation...I am planning to have some chicken or something normal without seaweed!!! Too much seaweed!!!
We've had a lovely trip. We're exhausted from all the walking, touring and trying to figure things out. What you don't remember is that traveling in Asia really requires a whole separate level of energy for "figuring things out" and navigating the strange idiosyncrasies... for example, you are not allowed to touch cab doors...they automatically open and close them for you. They prefer you DO NOT touch the doors at all.... And then there were the bathrooms....these clean obsessed people do not seem to provide and hand drying in bathrooms, or at the table. we almost never received napkins when we sat down to eat. and then there is the thing that you are not allowed to eat in public (while walking) because it is considered really bad manners. And NO nose blowing in public. People just sniffle or wear masks...but they DO NOT blow their nose in public. So that's the wrap up. We leave tomorrow morning and arrive in NY on Saturday morning around 10am. We're ready to come home!