We took the bullet train to Kyoto from Tokyo. The ride was quick and the tickets expensive, but the experience well worth it. Kyoto is more laid back and a lot smaller than Tokyo. The people were even more friendly and the food was amazing. We stayed at a hostel across the road from the Kyoto Imperial Palace. The grounds are beautiful and we managed to fit in a few runs while there.
We went to the main attractions. We started at Arashiyama to see the incredible bamboo forest, which lived up to expectations. I was still taken aback by how clean the streets were, absolutely no litter even with all the tourist who flock there. Even the train tracks are clean…unbelievable.
The bamboo forest is truly incredible…
We had seen beautiful pictures of Fushimi Inari-taisha and we needed to experience it for ourselves. It was very crowded at the base at the main entrance but the crowds thinned out the higher up we went. It was absolutely beautiful.
Kyoto wasn’t too hot at the time which was great, and it made the walking a lot more bearable. The last stop was Ginkaku-ji (Temple of the Silver Pavilion). We actually wanted to see the Philosopher’s Walk but figured we should see the temple while we were there. The gardens are so beautiful and so well maintained.
We did a day trip to Hiroshima to see where the US dropped the atomic bomb on innocent civilians. It was heartbreaking reading some of the survivor’s accounts and just learning more about what the people in that area went through. It was a very moving afternoon.
We were blown away by how green and lush Kyoto and Hiroshima are and it was cool to see the different colours on all the trees. We had really good food in Kyoto (including an amazing steak), walked down interesting alleys and had fun with it all. I bruised my hip on a run when I took a really bad fall and I was sure I had broken something. Fortunately it wasn’t serious.