J2K1 – The Kyoto area

Japan, October 1-17, 2001
Kyoto, Uji, & Nara

Kyoto.  What can you say about Kyoto?  Completely different from Tokyo, but even more amazing and historic.  No matter how many times we go, we have to stop in Kyoto.  There is always something new to discover, or an old favorite to revisit.  If Tokyo is the heart of Japan, Kyoto is its soul.

There used to be a Tezuka World at Kyoto Station.  Sadly, we never did visit it.

A Roy Lichtenstein-esque ad or digital art next to one of the escalators at Kyoto Station.

View from the top of one of the escalators.  I’d never been on one quite so tall before.  So shiny and modern, just like Kyoto Station.

A post box in Uji, a town just outside of Kyoto.

Byodo-in in Uji.  Absolutely beautiful, and my photos do it no justice at all.

Sleeping dog, Uji. 🙂

And not far from Uji is Fushimi Inari Taisha, which as become one of our favorite shrines to visit.  Also the first (and only) time I’ve knowingly eaten sparrow.  It’s a specialty at the shrine, as sparrows are considered a pest as they eat the rice from the fields.  And we all know that rice is Inari-sama’s (the fox guardian deity) favorite food.

A building named Luminous Nose.

And this sign in a back street in Kyoto.  There was no place around named Noise, so we were baffled.  And amused.

Kiyomizu-dera, in Kyoto.  Fantastic views of the city and an amazing temple.  It is always packed.

We also visited the Daibutsu in Nara.  On Sports’ Day, as it happened.  One of those holidays that we didn’t think would be a holiday, but actually is.  So the place was packed.  It’s hard to convey just how massive this building is.  It is the largest wooden building in Japan, if not the world.  The tiny little dots in the photo are normal-sized people.

The lighting inside was dim, at best, so I have few decent photos of the Buddha itself.  Again, it doesn’t look that impressive from these photos.

For scale, the hole (below) that this child has crawled through is the same size as the nostril on the Buddha.  Crawling through the hole is said to bring good luck.

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