We arrived in Kyoto by shinkansen and eventually made our way to what looked like an old town with traditional architecture. This is Higashiyama district. It's a very charming area with lots of shops and restaurants that celebrate the flavors and styles of traditional Japan:
(Food vendor selling croquettes and bread)
(Higashiyama at night)
Working our way through Higashiyama's shops and narrow streets, we found our way to an impressive temple called, Kiyomizudera:
The temple has a huge wooden terrace and an amazing view.
Our next mission was to infiltrate Nijo Castle. This castle was the residence of the shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and was built in 1603. It is maintained carefully with lots of beautiful carved wooden room dividers and painted screens inside. Unfortunately, we weren't able to take pictures or even sketch in the interior of the castle, but one of the most interesting features for me was the "nightingale floor," floors that squeak when you walk on them. You have to be a pretty skilled ninja to walk around the inside of this castle without making a noise! The exterior is pretty too:
(Nijo Castle front gate)
After completing our mission in Kyoto, it was time to move on to Hakone, an area famous for hot springs! To be continued...
Other Adventures in Japan :