Thursday, March 09, 2006

Temples of Kyoto

Since I'm going be moving house soon from Osaka, in the Kansai region, to Niigata, way up north, I thought I'd better have a good look around at this area. So, last weekend, I went with some friends to Kyoto to do a bit of temple you do.
The first photo is me in front of the Golden Temple. It was beautiful, but to be honest, there were so many tourists there you had to practically queue up to have your photo taken. It kind of messed with the ambiance if you know what I mean. But, living in Japan, I'm kind of used to crowds so I still had a great time.
On the way to the next temple I spotted these Maiko babes...sweeeeeet! A Maiko is like an apprentice Geisha, and yes, there are still geisha in Japan. Because of all the misrepresentation and confusion about what they actually do there is a lot of secrecy about their lives. This contributes to the confusion, which encourages the secrecy, which... you get the picture. These two looked cool, but I could tell that they'd already had their photo taken about a thousand times that day so they were not impressed when another freaking gaijin* (a simian one at that!) asked to take their photo.
The last photo is me at another temple looking out over Kyoto as the sun was setting on a chilly but beautiful spring day. Ahhhh!
After that we went to eat at the 'Peace Cafe', an excellent vegetarian restaurant in Kyoto near Demachiyanagi Station. Such a cool vibe there, and the Thai curry and organic beer was good too!
Peace out!
*gaijin- a Japanese word meaning 'foreigner', usually used a bit derogatorily


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