After staying the night with Yoshtsune in Osaka, we went off to Kyoto. This is a place I have long wanted to visit, ever since I read 'Memoirs of a Geisha'. The old part is filled with traditional buildings, temples, tiny roads and alleyways, and of course, the Geisha. We were extremely lucky, as we saw quite a few. They can be a bit elusive, but as it happened to be a public holiday, some were taking a stroll or a ride in a carriage.
They were so beautiful it took your breath away. Later that evening we saw some scuttling along in Gion, on their way to the tea houses, no doubt.
Kyoto was full of wonderful temples in stunning parkland and gardens. These are some of the photos:
This is the Golden Temple.
I was rather proud of this 'arty' photo!
And this one!
Thought this was pretty good too!
Some foodie images for those of you who like foodie pictures. This was the traditional/Western breakfast we had in the very nice hotel we stayed in in Kyoto. (My Christmas present from Jack and Miki!). We cooked our own eggs, mushrooms and/or bacon.
To answer to some of the points raised in my last posting: Japan is not particularly expensive, and it is a lot cheaper than London. Coffee is good and reasonably priced. (NB Berky in our deli). It is also very reasonable to eat out in Japan and a meal that would cost about £60/£70 for two people in England costs about £20/£30. Funnily enough, it is more expensive to buy groceries in supermarkets, especially things like cereal, milk and bread. You can buy a very good Japanese wine for about £4 and I tended to often buy a bottle. Sake varies in price according to the quality. I bought a bottle of Nikka Whiskey for Peter because I like the name! It also tastes good, if you don't compare it to a single malt made in one of the Outer Hebridian Islands.
Allan loves traditional food and happily munches on onigiri, nori, noodles and slurps his miso soup with gusto!
The Japanese people are extremely courteous and if you try to speak even a little Japanese, they glow with pleasure and tell you how well you speak it. I have learnt a reasonable amount of vocabulary (including some 'baby talk' from Allan ) but I do have difficulty stringing words together and using verbs. But more of this in my next posting. Yes, I have loads more photos. Miki, Allan and I went to stay with her parents in Koriyama, and I haven't even started on that yet!
One last thing though; I have never come across a public Japanese toilet that makes you want to go "bleurghhhh". They are all spotlessly clean. And the toilet seats are remarkable! I would love to bring one back to England. They have buttons down the side that can be quite alarming if you press one accidentally. There is the button that sends a jet of water up your jacksy, there is one that plays sweet music so that others cannot hear you having a tinkle and there is the, oh, oh, oh wonderful heated seat button! On a cold day you never want to get up and leave!