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Dad in Japan – Part Three, Kyoto

On November 16, we got up excruciatingly early to meet at Nagoya station at 8AM. Except that I missed my first train, so it turned out to be more like 8:20. We bought our tickets and hopped onto the Kodama Shinkansen, the ‘slowest’ one. It still took less than 90 minutes to get to Kyoto from Nagoya.

Our first stop in Kyoto, minus the time I spent wandering around in a daze as the computer that is my brain struggled desperately to switch from ‘subway transportation system’ to ‘bus transportation system,’ was Kiyomizudera, probably one of the most famous temples in Japan. I didn’t get any really coherent pictures since the area is a maze of shrines and temples and it seemed like everyone in Japan was there to see the fall color.

Busy busy busy, despite the rain and the chill. There are shops lining the streets all the way up to the main gate selling traditional Japanese products, though you might have to watch the comparison shopping – some places were selling completely unique items that were for sale in the shop next door for 500 yen less.

By request, the “photoshopped” one. My younger brother was the first to point out, on Facebook, that my dad didn’t look quite right. I happened to agree – it looked like I had digitally added him in later.

Besides various knick knacks (sp?), plenty of places were selling food, much of it grilled/baked/killed on site. This one took the cake though – it’s an automated device for churning out little cakes with a dollop of chestnut-flavored filling. Check out the video on YouTube.

As I said before, Kiyomizu is a more a complex of various shrines and temples than just one set building. I did get a picture of myself in front of the bell near the entrance though.

Please ignore my shirt as it tries to escape from my shoulder.

A up close shot of a reddening Japanese Maple.

These are pretty neat – you buy a blank (or decorated, with a blank space) bit of wood with a string and write down a wish for the future. You can then hang it up on a board like this.

From Kiyomizu-dera, we grabbed lunch on the run and caught the next bus at Gion, heading for Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion Shrine.

The weather had thankfully started to clear by the time we got there…just in time for the sun to set at what felt like 4:00PM.*

Introducing…

…the most photogenic building in Japan.** You can’t not take good pictures of this thing. I mean, it’s covered in real gold.

Not bad, eh?

Afterwards, we hung around Kyoto Station for a little while, before heading back on a Nozomi Shinkansen train, also known as the fastest thing in Japan.

Dad: You’re aiming in the wrong direction.

Me: There’s no way I’m going to get a good picture of ours.

I was right, a minute after I took the above picture, our train blew by us so fast all I got was a white blur.

Anywho, that ends the Dad in Japan sequence. I have another post lined up about my new neighborhood, but first, I have a request. A couple of months ago, I requested subjects for me to photograph and wrung a few posts out of the results of that. Now what I’m looking for are things to write about. I’ve been here long enough that I think I’ve got a fairly good basis on which to set most of my experiences.

So ask away. What do want to know about my particular slice of Japan?

*You think I’m joking. It’s not that bad in Nagoya, but the sun set in Sapporo at 4:04PM on today, November 25. Yikes.

**This is the picture in my new header.

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