Asia 2008:
Day 2 - Kyoto, Japan [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Asia 2008: [Day 1 - Tokyo] [Day 2 - Kyoto] [Day 3 - Kobe] [Day 4 - At Sea] [Day 5 - Nagasaki] [Day 6 - Busan] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Dalian] [Day 9 - Beijing] [Day 10 - Beijing] [Day 11 - At Sea] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Shanghai] [Day 14 - Shanghai] [Day 15 - At Sea] [Day 16 - At Sea] [Day 17 - Hong Kong]

Tuesday, March 25: It's sunny today! Let's go see Kyoto! This is the atrium of the lovely Nikko Kansai Airport Hotel ...
... and this is the entrance looking toward the train station.
The Kansai Airport Express goes all the way to Kyoto, so we didn't have to change trains today. We saw people outside fishing in the sun, ...
... boulevards lined with flowering trees starting to bloom, ...
... and local residents shaking out their laundry.
The Kansai Express doesn't make very many stops, but Tennoji was one of them. The helpful electronic signs alert you in Japanese and English what the next stop will be, as do recorded messages.
We passed this massive, shiny stadium, ...
... this city cemetery, ...
... and these Kyoto-area homes.
The Kyoto station is about 15 minutes farther than Shin-Osaka, so we were in Kyoto in no time. The station is huge, modern, and open-air.
As we looked around the station, our mouths agape, we saw the most amazing sight ever: Café Du Monde! In Japan! We later learned that there are over 50 locations in Japan. Is it possible to love this country any more? We think not!
The café was much smaller and cleaner than the original in New Orleans, but it served the same delicious beignets. There were a few pigeons strutting around the floor to lend authenticity to the atmosphere.
We were beside ourselves with joy. The beignets were served in white take-out boxes with tiny spears to eat them with and official Cafe Du Monde wetnaps to clean up afterward. When we returned two years later, this store was no longer serving beignets.
Here's the view from Cafe Du Monde looking out over the station. There were at least two or three floors of shopping below this, leading to the train level.
This is the view looking up.
From the Cafe Du Monde level, we went up one more level to find this set of three escalators leading to the very top of the structure. Seriously, this thing was huge.
This is the view looking back down from the top. All along the left side of this shot are entrances to the different floors of a department store. One floor was labeled "Watches, Jewelry, Kimonos," which gave us a clue that buying a genuine silk kimono was going to be a little more expensive than the polyester and cotton kimono-like robes we had seen in the gift shops.
This lovely garden was at the top of the station.
The entire level was surrounded by glass with views of the city.
We took this very clever self-portrait in the reflection.
Some visitors were more interested in their Game Boys than in the views.
We finally left the train station and headed out into Kyoto. Our first destination was straight ahead of us: the Kyoto Tower.
We bought a few souvenirs at the base of the tower, then bought tickets to visit the top. The views were terrific. Here's a view of the train station we came from. We saw the same view at night two years later.
This is a view of the Higashi Honganji temple grounds we visited later on.
We heard a little Japanese girl say "Shinkansen!" and saw one of the bullet trains arrive.
If you visit the Kyoto Tower, be sure to head to the second floor to use the finest restroom on the planet. This toilet had a heated seat and two different bodily splash functions, and was the first 10-star restroom on the Bundlings Restroom Scale that we've ever encountered. Right outside was a household goods shop where we got a tube of toothpaste and a large pack of travel tissues for only $2. We love Japan!
Our next stop was McDonald's, so Debbie could have another Filet-O-Ebi (shrimp burger) and Tom could try a teriyaki burger, along with hot, golden fries and tiny Diet Cokes.
It was just another block or two to Higashi Honganji temple.
The temple grounds are surrounded on all sides by a moat with two-feet-long koi.
The various buildings are beautiful ...
... and the detail on them is amazing, right down to the highly life-like pigeons.
We enjoyed this serene rock garden ...
... and this dragon water fountain.
Who is in Japan? We are!
This shot shows how close we were to the Kyoto Tower.
This fountain was across the street from the temple.
The cherry blossom trees were just starting to bloom, so we were very fortunate to be visiting in the spring.
We walked around the entire temple complex and spied this pretty garden just inside a private entrance in the back.
We passed vending machines on nearly every block. Regular readers know how much we love vending machines, so you can imagine how much we love this country. Debbie was fighting a wicked cold, so hot Royal Milk Teas were always welcome.
Nearly every home and apartment seems to have a garden of some sort, even with nothing more than a few feet of sidewalk. A few tiny goldfish peeked out at us from this little water garden in a vase.
When we'd had our fill of beautiful, sunny Kyoto, we headed back to our beloved Kansai Airport Express/Haruka for the 75-minute ride back to our airport hotel.
We saw containers along the way but nary a Maersk container anywhere.
Of course, we had picked up bento boxes at the Kyoto rail station for our dinner. Debbie always went for the most seafood she could find, ...
.... while Tom leaned toward sushi, presented here in green leaves of some sort.

At the end of our trip, we made the now-familiar crossing of the bridge to the man-made island containing the Kansai airport.

Day 3 >

Asia 2008: [Day 1 - Tokyo] [Day 2 - Kyoto] [Day 3 - Kobe] [Day 4 - At Sea] [Day 5 - Nagasaki] [Day 6 - Busan] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Dalian] [Day 9 - Beijing] [Day 10 - Beijing] [Day 11 - At Sea] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Shanghai] [Day 14 - Shanghai] [Day 15 - At Sea] [Day 16 - At Sea] [Day 17 - Hong Kong] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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