Kyoto, old capital of Japan

Trip Start Jan 25, 2007
Trip End Jan 25, 2008

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Where I stayed
Kyoto Cheapest Inn

Flag of Japan  , Kinki,
Friday, April 20, 2007

After leaving Hiroshima late in the day, I didn`t arrive in Kyoto until
arund eight in the evening. I then had to find my way to the hostel
caleed `Kyoto Cheapest Inn`. Although it wasn`t the cheapest palce in
Kyoto it should have been, there was just one big dorm with about
twenty beds. One nice feature they did have was curtains on the bunks
but really that`s all there was to recommend the place. The common room
was downstairs in the garage and wasn`t up to much. Still it was a good
location and all the other hostels were booked out (I wonder why?). Ray
and kuba who had also left for Kyoto that morning were already at the
hostel and the plan was to do a bit of sightseeing the next day.

Kyoto was he capital of Japan before it was moved to Tokyo and is still
the capital in terms of temples. There`s temples everywhere, you just
cannot avoid them.. Although I was suffering a bit from temple fatigue,
Kyoto definitely has the best temples I have seen apart from Angkor Wat
but then it`s not really fair to compare Angkor Wat to other temples,
it`s in a league of its own.

First stop was a castle near the hostel called Njo-Jo. The best thing
about this castle was the nightengale floor boards. The shogun who
lived here had given instructions that all the floor boards should
squeak when stepped on . This way no assasin could sneak up on him .
Obviousl a very paranoid or very unpopular person, it certainly makes a
great tourist attraction walking around and hearing the different
squeaks as you`re feet hit the floorboards.

After that it was time to visit some temples, not really much to say
about them really, the pictures say more than words. Needless they were
all very busy and there were gift and souvenir shops everywhere.

Kyoto is also the home to most of the remaing geisha girls. We didn`t
see any as they are rarely seen on the streets but we did see a lot of
girls dressed up as geishas for the day. When we asked  some of
them if we could take their phots they said ok but that they weren`t
real geishas. It`s possible to rent a geisha costume for the day and it
seems a popular thing for Japanese girls to do.

After a day loooking at temples I had had enough and the next day I
just spent in the new city browsing through the markets and shops. As
well as being a very old city, Kyoto is also a very modern Japanese
city with all the strange people that come with a modern Japanese city.
Sometimes it`s fun to just walk around the city watching these people.
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