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Day 99- Kyoto Arrival; Rain, Shopping & Caricature

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11 March

Stew hadn’t slept well so I got up to make eggy bread for breakfast with the intention of waking him up when it was ready but apparently made such a ruckus I woke him up before I’d even opened the beans (although in fairness, I was opening beans without a can opener so it was a tough task from the outset). We made breakfast together, probably for the best as he’s a better cook than me. We checked out of the little apartment and jumped on the train to Kyoto, only a short 15 minute train away. We found our hotel, looking super fancy, and dropped our bags off since it was only 11am and we couldn’t check in till 3. We only had two and a half days to explore the city so had to make use of every spare second.

Walking up to Ninjo Castle, we considered whether it would be closed or not. Of course it was! Well part of it, they were offering half price admission but with it pouring down with rain and as it was only the gardens open we decided to skip it.


Instead we cowered in a 7-Eleven before buying an umbrella (everyone in Japan seems to have the same 7-Eleven umbrella so it must be pretty decent). We continued on our way to Kyoto Imperial Palace, free admission and all open! Win! Since they didn’t have an English audio guide we used the guide book to learn about the place, it seemed every building was just used for ceremonies.


There was a lovely designed gardens with a funny story of princes and royals sitting in the river and placing a glass of wine in the water with them and taking it in turns to make up a poem before the glass had floated past... or you miss a drink, I think this is the Royal version of smoosh. I found it amusing such a pompous drinking game.


We headed to an area called Gion where authentic geishas spent a lot of time in. We were amazed at all the beautiful kimonos, although, not seeing an geishas, we just saw lots of teenage girls hanging out with their friends all dressed Up. They all look beautiful except they all have baggy oversized unfitted white socks and clogs. We had seen kimono's elsewhere but here everyone was wearing them.


The shops were full of crafts and some lovely souvenirs. We bought a pair of cherry blossom earrings as an early birthday present to me amongst a few gifts. There was an art studio with anime styled caricature, having previously discussed this being a great souviner of our trip to Japan we went inside. There was loads of different styles and we asked to be drawn in kimono and as a samurai with a background we’d seen in another drawing although unaware of where it was. Sitting there was an anxious wait. Having a large nose I assumed this was going to be the main focus! We sat for half an hour before setting the final product... we love it!


We quickly checked out one of the local shrines beforeb heading to the hotel to check in and find some dinner. Our room was super fancy, being used to travelodge’s, we get very excited at the luxury. A simple 7/11 bento box filled out tummies and an evening spent writing blog- were so far behind!


Posted by Bears on Tour 19:38 Archived in Japan Tagged kyoto kimono gion bento caricature

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