Even if you don't want them you're going to get them.
So Wife and I are in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto, the Imperial home for centuries until the late 19th century when as part of the Meiji Restoration, the capital was moved to Tokyo. Because of its long history as capital and because it was not bombed during WWII it has retained much of the old temples and shrines along with neighborhoods that recall a much older time.
This post is just going to touch upon the high points of our day which was very long. We are only going to be in Kyoto for four days and it we will be packing in as much as we can to even see a smattering of the sights. Pictures by the way will be late. Our days are going to be long and we're taking a lot of pictures.
Our day was a mixture of good and bad luck. We started out what was supposed to be one of the nicer gardens in the city, the Shosei-en. Unfortunately, the major feature, a large pond, was drained for construction throughout the park. Since the trees weren't green yet, it detracted greatly.
Then we went to two major temples that were relatively close by to us. I say relatively as the distances are much longer than they look on the map. (Have I said that in the past when we visit places for the first time? Probably more than once). We actually went to three. One of them wasn't even on our map. It was deserted. We went into one of the main praying areas because no one was around.
We set about then trying to find this famous, well decorated gate to the temple known as Nishi-Hongaji. After some wandering around, we found it. It seemed as if no one was there either. We entered the temple complex and found it was milling with people as there was a huge celebration going on. They had opened up central part of the temple that is never opened to the public. That was very, very cool. Unfortunately they were not allowing pictures. After wandering around the festival we went back to the hotel and took a nap.
For at 3:30 we were off again, this time on a photography tour. We went to another major templet he Kiyomiziudera Temple just outside of town. It was insanely packed with people. There were all kinds of shops selling stuff. And there tons of very young women and girls dressed in traditional kimonos and a number of guys dressed traditionally as well. This is a big business in Kyoto, getting folks dressed up on traditional ware as they wander about the tow.
Our photographic guide/teacher was having us work on all kinds of methodologies for taking people pictures. It was very informative but man I must have taken over 200 pictures most of which will be rejected. We have another very long day ahead of us tomorrow going to three major sites around Kyoto that will require taking the subway and two separate lines of the railroad.