Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunday in Kyoto

M. is in town, so we trekked down to Kinki for a long weekend looking at the ancient cities.
Checking in once again to the White Hotel after availing ourselves of the slightly cheaper and slower Puratto Kodama shinkansen, we prepared to squeeze some sightseeing into the rest of the day.
One of the closest big temples to Kyoto Station is Sanjusangendo, which I hadn't visited before. We hoofed on over there and arrived at about 330, just in time to get a good gander at the thousand and one Thousand Armed Kannon statues held inside. So cool! No pictures allowed, but just being in there among so many carved-not-cast statues, obviously made with care and great detail, was fantastic. Except for the idiot boy tourists behind us who kept making stupid comments.

After, since it was still light, we walked over toward Kiyomizudera, which I went to last year when J. was here. We didn't pay to go in, but did gawk at the pagoda a bunch and trolled the shopping streets of Teapot Lane (on Teapot Hill) and Sannenzaka. I. and M. sampled many pickles at a traditional pickle shop, and I bought a packet of cinnamon an-filled mochi triangles, the Kyoto specialty.

Finally, we strolled up the river to Gion and walked around the area. Just when it looked like we were out of luck, a maiko came clattering along one of the narrow cobbled lanes, completely decked out in finery.

A fitting end to our first day in Kyoto.