At the Kyoto Station I was met by my friend and former student Ayu-chan, and we went on a walking tour of the city.
Now, I’ve read a fair amount of Japanese history, about how Kyoto was the national capital for a long long time, and how it had many historic buildings that were spared the bombings of WWII. I had a picture of Kyoto as a quiet, tree-lined, almost university-town-like atmosphere. Not at all.
It’s a bustling city that just happens to have a bunch of shrines and temples, and those are so scattered that it takes days to see them all on foot. We had an afternoon, so we saw two. The Higashi Hongaji, near the station, and the Kiyomizu-dena, on a tall hill complex in the center of the city.
The Higashi Hogaji was mostly closed for renovation. Covered with a large metal shed, it looked more like a light industrial complex. There were a couple of sub-temples that were worth photographing. One with me in the frame, somehow.
The Kiyomizu-dera was a goodly walk, across the Kaomagma River and up a fairly steep hill.
It being a national holiday — Labor Thanksgiving Day, killing two with one weekend — there were thousands of locals and tourists who took the trek with us. At the top were more temples,
and a beautiful view of the city.
A view which many others appreciated as well.