A day in Kyoto – Shrine visits

Greetings from 34000 feet above above the Pacific Ocean! Please excuse the poor quality of the picture, the built in camera on my netbook can only do so much in such low light!

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It has been an awesome trip culminating in an eventful side trip into Kyoto. With Saturday being the only full day we had in the historic capital of Japan, we set to work visiting several shrines in the area. Our first stop was the Fushimi Inari shrine, which is most famous for it’s numerous gates along the walkway built into the mountain.

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Since schools are in session on Saturday in Japan, we ran into several large groups of students out on school trips. The main street leading up to the main entrance was crowded with locals and students. Compared to some of the other places we visited that day, there were far fewer tourists in the area. First though, a quick stop for some breakfast at a small restaurant along the way.

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Kyoto Day 1 – Traveling to Kyoto

This afternoon we left Tokyo behind and jumped on the Shinkansen for Kyoto. It had been a great week in the biggest cities in Japan with a lot of sightseeing and shopping, but it was finally time for some R&R.

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It would be about two and a half hours by train to go from Tokyo station to Kyoto station, which is pretty impressive considering the 300+ mile distance between the two cities. We got to the station a little early, so we ended up looking around for food and generally taking it easy. Eventually, the train did arrive and we got on. This is my first time on the Shinkansen, so I was pretty excited and grabbed a window seat.

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Tokyo Day 7 – Washinomiya Shrine

Weather in Tokyo yesterday was probably the best it’s been all week, with sunny skies, mild temperatures, and low humidity. It was the perfect day for taking the train out to Saitama for a shrine visit. Today however, it doesn’t look like we’re so lucky. One again, the commuters in Shinjuku have their rain protection employed.

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Fortunately for us, we’ll be on the Shinkansen bound for Kyoto for the first half of the day. Yesterday was very eventful, starting out with going to Washinomiya Shrine in Saitama, making a quick stop in Ueno on the way back, and then finally Ginza for Kabuki theater and shopping. Before leaving Ginza, we stopped in a bakery for some sweets.

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This particular melonpan was filled with some sort of melon flavored custard, which (according to Shana) borders in blasphemy. I, on the other hand, think it’s quite delicious and want to figure out how to make it. Umai-ki!

Enough about today’s breakfast, it’s time to talk about yesterday’s main event: Washinomiya Shrine in Saitama.

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Tokyo day 3 – Harajuku and Shibuya

It’s another beautiful day in Tokyo! After yesterday’s entry, I went out for a walk to take some photos around the hotel. What resulted is a beautiful 314 photo Photosynth set of the plaza outside of Shinjuku station…

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It was off to have a quick lunch at the station and then off to the Harajuku area. It’s known as one of the trendier districts in Tokyo and is full of boutiques, clothing shops, and some of the most interesting fashion I’ve ever seen. Sundays are typically the day when the younger folk get dressed up and go hang out in the streets. Cosplayers are no exception here, and they typically hang out on the bridge next to the station…

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