December 1st thru 5th
Trying to catch up with a synopsis of our Kyoto days...even though we are far from Japan now.
Off to the bamboo forest of Kyoto. Easy trip on Japan Rail - maneuvering amid throngs of Japanese weekend tourists doesn’t kill all the quaintness but diminishes it a bit.
Himeji - castle town. Beautiful and beautifully restored castle. We arrived reasonably early so the lines weren’t so bad - going thru the west wing first was ideal.
Can’t believe the restoration process that they undertook for this - like 10 years!
Local gardens still have tons of color. Really gorgeous and well maintained. We ended up staying late for an interesting light show and the lights on the castle.
Climb to the top of Kyoto - saw the inspiration when Christo brought the gates to New York’s Central Park. They love orange! It was pretty strenuous and not a super-clear day, but definitely worth the investment.
From the top of Kyoto:
Took the train up to Kurama for another hike. Unfortunately the hike to a nearby temple was closed from devastating Cyclone 21 in September 2018. See how the trees were tossed about like kindling!
But the area was beautiful, and much less crowded than most of our other Kyoto-area forays.