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Kyoto in Springtime

Our family took a little trip to Kyoto during spring break. It was a perfect time to go and see the cherry blossoms. Truthfully, I was not expecting to be impressed. I have seen cherry blossoms at the tidal basin in D.C. I have seen cherry blossoms here on Okinawa. So I expected to be underwhelmed but boy was I wrong. Kyoto is beautiful. The cherry blossoms were everywhere. We were catching the tail end of them so it was hit or miss whether you would see them in the trees or on the ground. I enjoyed them all ways.

We rented a airbnb apartment close to a subway station. It was great to walk through the streets of Kyoto and see how they live. My husband and I were so surprised at how exceptionally quiet Kyoto is for a city.

The view from our apartment. We were on the 5th floor. DSC_3723DSC_3724

Walking through the neighborhood headed to the metro station we would pass a park. Their parks are dirt yards with some play equipment. The kids welcomed the playtime in the morning and late afternoon.DSC_3729

I love the character of the streets. Every house would have a bicycle out front. Biking is the way to go here. DSC_3732DSC_3736

Nice classic VW in place of a bicycle. I wonder if they even drive it.DSC_3829


Our first site-seeing destination was the Kinkaku-ji Temple (a.k.a “Temple of the Golden Pavilion”). The gold Zen Buddhist Temple is very pretty especially when it reflects off the water and is one of the most popular temples in Kyoto. What you don’t see in my pics is the million other people there trying to photograph this beautiful temple. The crowds were a little overwhelming. DSC_3749DSC_3759DSC_3769DSC_3770

The kids waiting on a platform for the train to come.DSC_3842DSC_3845

Kyoto Station is one of the busiest places in Kyoto. It is known as one of the largest buildings in the country. It is a 15-story building filled with tons of shopping, a movie theater, a hotel and many eating establishments. We ate a ramen lunch set on the 11th floor.DSC_3783DSC_3795

We went to the top of the station to see the skyline. DSC_3809DSC_3821DSC_3826DSC_3828 DSC_3853

Our next site-seeing adventure was going to see the 10,000 Torii Gates called Fushimi Inari-Taisha. Each Torii Gate was donated by a Japanese business because Inari has been seen as the patron of business.  Everywhere you turn a torii gate is present. It takes a total of 2 hours to hike up the mountain.DSC_3854DSC_3855DSC_3924DSC_3916DSC_3919

Thanks to the hordes of people, my family and I took a little side path to explore. On our path we were able to see how some of the farmers have made lean-to structures to house some of their tools. DSC_3863DSC_3866DSC_3873DSC_3879DSC_3885DSC_3902

DSC_3939DSC_3943Another little park to stop and play at for a few moments. Nice break from the walking.DSC_3949DSC_3951

Headed to the Gion district. The oldest district where the authentic Geisha’s live and work. I tried to snap a few pictures of the Geisha’s but was unsuccessful. They were too fast for me and my camera. You will see the streets lined with women in their kimonos. I am not sure why many women dress so formal to site-see but it is clear that they are tourists. DSC_3959DSC_3973DSC_3964DSC_3969



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