The Philosopher's Walk
Trip Start Jun 16, 2012
106Trip End Oct 14, 2012
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We went north one and a half blocks to the Imperial Palace & Gardens which is huge - 800m by 1,5km with several hundred acres of gardens with wide gravel paths. It's ok but you can’t get into the palace so we didn’t waste any more time on it and at the north headed east along Imadegawa dori (street) and after about 5 km came out at the northern end of the Philosopher’s Walk.
This trail follows a stream that runs from north to south down the east side of Kyoto along the base of the mountains, from Ginkakuji temple, known as the Silver Pavilion, past Honen-in, and a couple of other temples & shrines that we never stopped at, onto Eikando temple
Next on our itinerary was to find Kyoto station and buy our train tickets to Osaka for tomorrow. We found it, but not without a couple of wrong turns. The roads are in a grid with north south roads being numbered, but some are very similar and there are main roads, ordinary roads and small roads all with the same name and a word tacked on the end so it’s easy to take the wrong one
Instead of battling the language issue, we bought our tickets using a ticket machine that had an English option and got to choose our own seats – two next to each other with no space for smelly locals, and in the back row of the front carriage so we have space for our luggage behind our seats. Well that’s the theory. We’ll see how it turns out tomorrow.
The station building is modern and magnificent, with a huge department store underneath and around it covering 14 floors. The central area is very impressive but on one side it goes up in steps for 12 stories with a bamboo garden at the top and views over Kyoto. The entire building is in pink & grey granite, glass & stainless steel. We bought rolls from the department store bakery and took escalators to the roof to eat it.
It was looking like rain so we took the motor bike back to the rental company across town and after giving us a present, the guy took us a couple of blocks and got us a taxi. As we drove off it started to rain – maybe because we had a woman taxi driver.
After a shower we had a walk around the old narrow lanes around the hotel and ended up at Paddy-san’s restaurant for another round of yakitori & kushikatsu which Al washed down with a bottle of saki. Because we were such customers Paddy-san sent us a Japanese desert after we had paid. It was a type of sorbet which they explained was made out of a cross between an orange & a lemon.
We have loved Kyoto and could well be back.