Minoo Kanko Hotel
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Bullet train to Kyoto, booked seats, air-con and smooth. Brilliant trains in Japan they run on time!
Off to Nijo Castle which isn't a castle but a palace. It was built in 1603 by the Shogun who wanted to keep an eye on the Imperial family.
The palace is a series of large reception rooms going from public to private as you process to the centre of the complex. The wall paintings are beautiful, they are from the Kano school..even if you ...
... nightingale' floors which were fitted deliberately to warn of intruders (the floorboards squeak as you walk on them!). The gardens surrounding the castle were also nice to walk around, with lots of cherry blossom trees.
A short walk then led us to the Imperial Palace Park which - you guessed it - surrounds the Imperial Palace. Unfortunately the palace isn't open to visitors, ...
... next stop was Sanjusangendo Hall (another UNESCO World Heritage Site) built in the twelfth century and containing an impressive 1,001 statues of the 1,000-armed Kannon Buddhas. Each Buddha was carved from cedar and covered in gold leaf. It was so incredible to see 1000 Buddhas all lined up in rows and one giant one in the center.
Some people took the subway back, we took the bus back to our hotel. For dinner we found a place for ...
... crowd, we found our way to the bamboo grove. Although we were surrounded by people, it was difficult not to feel the serenity of being surrounded by giant, green bamboo, covering the pathway with shade. It was like being in a maze! We constantly snapped away, trying to capture the beauty of the grove.
To end the day, a bit of a workout to get rid of all the Katsu and ice cream. Arashiyama is also home to a monkey park, where ...
... to Tokyo. This will leave absolutely no time for sight seeing in Tokyo unfortunately.
During the day we plan on making the best of the situation and seeing a bit of Osaka.
The Almost Ugly
We booked our hotel and made our way into Osaka by bus. After an hour long bus ride we arrived at our hotel. The hotel itself is very nice and the staff are great. When we got to the room and started unpacking ...