— Feathers and Wax

Three days in charming Kyoto

The first leg of our trip to Japan was a few days spent in Kyoto, the former capital, and, as I would find out, the country’s most picturesque and charming city.  Here we visited a few ancient temples and the Nijo Castle, saw dozens of beautiful women in colorful yukatas and even spotted a handful of modern-day geishas.

We also took a quick day trip to the Yamazaki whiskey distillery, which Fred was quite excited about, and practically ate our weight in matcha ice cream, which I was quite excited about.

These first few days in Japan were incredible, for me. I loved all the food, I loved all the architecture, I loved all our interactions with kind waiters and shopkeepers who were so nice and took pity on us for not speaking more than a few words of Japanese.

But the best moment was on day one, when we climbed to the top of Fushimi Inari and saw a grand view of Kyoto spread out all below us. There was something magical about the whole experience of climbing step after step and marveling at the bright orange torii above our heads. There are thousands of small shrines along its path, and we’d often leave the main trail to explore them and all their stone fox statues.

I’m not sure how many steps there are to the top, but it takes about two hours to climb, and it’s estimated to equate to about 58 flights of stairs. No small feat for our very first day in Japan!

Come back next Thursday for more Japan!

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