Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I have just been to Kyoto - the ancient capital of Japan to see my mother for a few days. She was heading to England so had a short stop on the way. It was not my first visit to Kyoto, in fact I think it was my fourth... but each time I go I find new things to see and am always amazed by the history and beauty surrounding the city.
Kyoto is one of the few major cities in Japan that was not bombed during the wars. A lot of the buildings we were wandering around were built in the 1600s or even as far back as the 12th century. Pretty hard to imagine when you come from a country such as New Zealand which has such a short history!
The gardens in Kyoto are definately the major highlight and as there has been a mild autumn this year we managed to catch the last of the autumn colours. We wandered around the streets at night - it was incredible to see the differences between each street - one minute you are on a street in which you feel like you have been transported back in time and then you turn the corner onto a neon-filled street packed full of young people out on the town.
One of the places we stayed was up a tiny cobbled street and when we arrived the first night there were no people, no shops, nothing -just a great atmosphere. When we came back the following afternoon we literally thought we were on the wrong street as it had been transformed into a very busy tourist alley - with shops and people everywhere.
Anyway, I could write pages and pages about our trip, but in summary Kyoto is definately a city you should go and visit if you come here to Japan. There are too many photos to put on this blog, but if you want to see a few more I have created an account at www.photobucket.com If you want to check it out please send me an e-mail at tsuwado@mx6.tiki.ne.jp and I will send you the username and password.

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