Kyoto, Japan

Arigato (thank you in Japanese) for looking at my blog again!  After our Mother’s Day breakfast we headed on a bus, then a train to Kyoto, Japan.  One of Mariko’s friends from high school, Kazu, who lives in Kyoto, met us there.  Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan…do you know what the capital is now?  Kyoto also used to be the most populated city,  but now it is ranked number 7 behind Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo and Kobe.  Kyoto is located in a valley and is part of the Yamashiro Basin.  It has a humid subtropical climate, which means the summers are hot and humid and winters are relatively cold. We planned our trip to Kyoto at the right time, because the rainy season is June and July!

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Now I will tell you about the 2 days that we stayed in Kyoto.  Kazu had planned a very special lunch – once again, traditional Japanese.

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We had a delicious lunch in a quiet restaurant, where you don’t order your meals.  They serve your courses of different food, a lot of which includes tofu.  We had soup, noodles, a variety of pickled veggies, seaweed, tempura, and dessert.

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After lunch Kazu took us to some famous shrines and temples.

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This is where you toss your coins in to make an offering to Buddha.

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Kazu took us to Kinkaku-ji Temple.  The temple was so beautiful.

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To enter a shrine/temple, you must purify your hands and face in the correct order.

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First, you scoop up water up and wash your left hand.  Next your wash your right hand.  Then you cup your left hand and pour water into it to rinse your mouth, but you spit the water out.

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Another thing you do is light a stick in a flame and drop it into the ash, breathing in the smoke and putting it on different parts of your body to improve that part.  For example, if you swish the smoke onto your head it will make you more clever.

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You can also ring bells and drop money in boxes to make an offering to Buddha and/or gods.

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When you pull on this rope the bell rings, which will wake-up the Gods.

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This a traditional Japanese cafe.

On our way to dinner, we walked through an area that looked like Diagon Alley.  If you read the Harry Potter books you will know what I mean.   These areas were teaming with people.

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I had two plates of delicious steak (not sushi this time).  Yum!

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After dinner, we returned to our hotel.  I learned how traditional the hotel was.  Almost 100% of the time when you enter a home or hotel in Japan, you take your own shoes off and put their house slippers on.  It was no different at our hotel.

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There was a warm bath and Japanese shower, which we all enjoyed.

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This is the courtyard outside of our room.

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Rice paper doors add to the Japanese feel, don’t you think?

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And we slept on the traditional futon bed roll-out mattress (we did in our home-stay in Kobe, too)

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Here I am reading books on the I-pad that we download from the Sacramento public library. This makes me very happy, because you know how much I LOVE to read. In fact, I have already read nine books on this trip!

Well, I am getting sleepy — next post is about the next day in Kyoto.

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A Traditional Yukata

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Look for more posts from your Junior Worldtrek Reporter

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Keep Calm and Travel Around the World

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Nameste!

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