7 day trip to Japan’s Nagoya, Shin-osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara (Feb 2012): I didn’t have time to write about every site I visited, so I picked three :)
Detailed architecture is prevalent all around Kyoto and the famous temple “Kiyomizu-Dera” (right column, first picture) was our first stop. The most fascinating thing about this historical landmark was that the temple was built without the use of a single nail! The view from the temple is incredible, the whole city seems to be within reach when you’re up there. You don’t even need to edit your pictures when you take them here, because the view makes everything look good!
The Heian Shrine and the view from there could not compare to the Kiyomizu-Dera of course, but seeing the temple, centred perfectly in the the space, with the sun hitting just the top of the roof as if it were sparkling, gave this site its wow factor. The front gate’s majestic and vivid colours (first column, second picture down) were even more so than what we originally saw in pictures on travel sites. Definitely worth visiting!
Moving on to the Nijo castle the next day (the photo below the heian shrine), we were greeted by the softest snow falling from the sky. It was a magical feeling, and this was the very first time I’ve ever seen or touched real snow. (the one in Melbourne doesn’t count- it’s hard and dirty and you can’t make snow angels with it) The castle was built as a home to the Shogun and his officers, and spans across a total of 275,000 square metres! There were about 3+ massive, different rooms that the shogun used for eating and sleeping (how many does he need!) but what I found interesting were the squeaking floors. Known as the “nightingale”, japanese officers were alerted if someone was coming because of the squeaks the floor made when stepped upon.
This is only a short segment from the trip, and if I were to discuss the food in Japan? I would be writing for years! haha the takoyaki and lovely steamin’ ramen noodles and unagi donnnnnn.. MMMMM!