Okay, so a TON has happened since Kyoto with Josh and Rachel (I've actually even been back) - I've gotten SUPER behind in the writing department. Mostly because, for some reason (probably that the internet connection here is terrible), I couldn't get my photos to upload - I finally found a new site, Fotki, that works! So since I'm sure what interests you guys most is pictures anyway, I'm going to try to minimalize the writing and just post mostly pictures. Enjoy!
I was SUPER psyched to go to Kyoto for the first time, as I had heard a TON of great things about it. It definitely lived up to expectations!
When we got there, we immediately hopped on a bus and headed over to Tenryuji Temple.
There, we ate DELICIOUS vegan temple food (although there were lots of pickled things, of which I was NOT a fan),
and from the place where we were eating, we had the most AMAZING view!
On the temple grounds, there was also this ridiculously OLD koi pond. It was huge and amazing and wonderful and forgive my lack of adjectives to describe it.
Then we headed over to Kinkaku kuji, the Golden Temple, which was, without a doubt, all that it's cracked up to be. It was AMAZINGLY beautiful, and the gardens were also a sight to behold.
After then going down the Path of Philosophy, which was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, we made our way over to the Kyoto Arts and Crafts center (which was super cool), and we got to see the most amazingly huge Tori I had ever seen. It was breathtaking.
One day, we rented bikes, which made getting around Kyoto SOOOOO much easier, as the day before we had walked NON-STOP, and I know my feet and hips had been killing me. Having bikes was such a relief.
We biked up to this restaurant (Cafe Proverbs), which was by the river. Cafe Proverbs was, I think, as of now, the most delicious vegan restaurant I have found in Japan. It by far tops all the others! I got this to die for soy milk ramen. The river was also cool because there were all these bird and turtle shaped stones that you could use to cross it.
Other than that, while in Kyoto, we checked out a cool art exhibit, and we got to do our own woodblock print, which was cool.
We checked out Ginkaku kuji, the Silver Pavillion, which was nice,
but what was really amazing about it was the gardens. I want a garden like that at my house if I ever grow up.
We walked around the Gion area (unfortunately didn't see any geisha) and got to see the big shrine filled Ueno park.
I feel like everywhere we looked there was the most BEAUTIFUL moss. I really don't know how they get it to grow like that, but it was impressive, and I just wanted to roll around in it.
We also checked out this world-renowned rock garden, to which many buddhists monks have been known to meditate. It was really quite something.
We went to a performance and got to see geisha dance and perform a tea ceremony. There were two different musical performances and also a traditional style Japanese play. It was totally worth doing!
And, of course, we checked out Nishiki Market, where there were some amazingly interesting things, such as vegan ice cream and these vegetables covered in miso.
And I wrote FAR more than I was planning on writing. Forgive me. EVen if you don't read it, I hope you enjoy the pictures.
I'll be updating soon about TOKYO!!!! :-) So stay tuned!