Well I started off by trying to go to the Imperial Palace – but you can only get in with a permit – and today the office was closed…. so no permit – no imperial Palace tour.
So instead in the morning I went shopping, all sorts of interesting craft shops and electrical shops and of course – this is Kyoto – various shrines scattered amoungst them. Bought some japanese CDs after a brief listen on the listening post and a fractured exchange of words with the shop assistant.
In the afternoon I decided to do another walk from my guide book as the last one had been good. Got on a tiny (one carriage) train and headed out to Arashiyama. The train chugs away, past tiny little stations and some of the way on the road. The destination station has goldfish ponds in the waiting area …. and at the end of platform one a place to sit and give yourself a footbath while you wait for your train.
Off the train and into Tenryu-ji… now if you’re talking gardens that place has one! I want it! (In the absence of my uploads you’ll have to Google Image it). Then a walk off through progressivly more rural areas with a rainbow in the sky. After a long walk past various temples up to a final Tori and the Ayu Chaya Hiranoya resturant and tea house. A very very nice lady in a kimono served me green tea at a traditional crosslegged table. the place is gorgeous. Unasked she gave me a post card of their establishment, so prepared I was able to swop one of Nottingham. then when I paid my bill she gave me another present of some of their beautifully presented house chopsticks (again pre-planning! I was able to reply with some Nottingham leather bookmarks!). Seriously that was wonderful.. miles out in the sticks with thatched roof buildings and sitting cross legged looking out as it gets dark and drinking green tea… magic.
Back to the city by the same train and a supper from a Japanese fast food outlet – takoyaki or octopus dumplings, although I think mine had more prawn than octopus.
There is a LOT of Kyoto that I haven’t “done” (although I think that for the moment I’m “templed out”) so if you’re coming folks – give yourself longer.
Tomorrow morning before my train I may do the sightseeing bus – just to check out what I’ve missed.