We catch up on the past travels! While in Japan for the first weeks of June, we hop on the Shinkasen (fastest bullet train) from Tochigi and travelled south to Kyoto, the refined bastion of Japanese heritage and arts.
The center of traditional Japanese culture flows out from Kyoto. While in Kyoto we walk through Bamboo Forest paths, visit many beautiful temples and wander through the Entertainment District of Gion where Geishas/ Geikos (women of the arts) perform traditional arts of dance, music, conversation and tea ceremony at tea houses. Also popular are male and female evening escorts that entertain at modern style bars and lounges. We were very fortunate to spot a pair of beautiful geishas under their umbrellas on their way to their evening gigs, but were not fast enough to get out our camera!
Stu pauses in the romantic alleys of Gion District under a gifted umbrella. Earlier in the day we were walking near the Golden Temple under the rain. A young Japanese schoolgirl, perhaps 13 years old, wordlessly bows and presents us with her umbrella. “Hontoni?” I ask (really?) and she smiles as we take the shield. She walks back to her group of giggling middle school friends under the June shower.
We rent bikes and ride among the locals on quiets streets and foot paths.
We love signs that bring attention, make us smile, and think. Japanese folks appreciate aesthetics in every aspect of life, especially kawaii or cute things. Even the signs are cute! Any of our Japanese reading friends are welcome to correct our interpretation of the signs!
Fast curves may cause falling off bicycle!
Coming soon, our adventures on Kumano Kodo, a thousand year old pilgrimage trail!
For more photos from this segment of our travels, click here for our picasa page.