Kyoto Highlights with sister Barb

I had planned to visit the aquarium in Osaka with my two sisters, but the night before, a passenger who sits at the table next to ours in the dining room, asked if anyone at our table would like a free ticket for Kyoto Highlights as his wife was ill and would not be able to go.  I took him up on his offer.

The trip between Osaka, a major seaport as well as industrial and trade center, to Kyoto took about an hour and a half over modern super highways, bridges and busy city streets, passing skyscrapers and commercial enterprises as Osaka merged into Kyoto.

The Golden Pavilion, a key highlight of Kyoto, was our first stop. This three-story, architectural masterpiece is covered in gold leaf and even glittered brightly in the snow that fell while we were there. We enjoyed walking around the reflecting pool and through the extensive gardens surrounding this World Heritage site.

The Tokugawa Shogun created Ninja Castle in 1603 and the relatively solemn exterior contrasts with the beautiful interior. The nightingale floor announced friends and foes alike.  No interior pictures or sketches were allowed and we had to leave our shoes outside before we entered. Exterior architectural details, solid rock block walls, a moat, and interior landscaping made this a unique and historic place to visit.


Beautifully carved ornamentation

The vermillion (bright orange) arches and of the Heian (Shite) shrine were dramatic. Many of the Japanese embrace Shintoism during life and Buddhism after death.  People go to the shrine for inspiration and contemplation. The adjacent Japanese garden was lovely as spring flowers were just starting to emerge.


Sake stored in porcelain jugs


Cherry blossom time in Kyoto


Our last stop was the Kyoto Handicraft center where we were able to watch artisans at work as well as stimulate the Japanese economy.  We explored seven floors of merchandise and were tempted to buy paper products, kimonos, swords, dolls, lacquer ware, prints, woodblock prints, souvenir gods, and beautiful pearl jewelry.

It was a wonderful experience, but all I really saw of Osaka was the huge Ferris wheel near the port and lots of bicycles, tall apartment buildings and people walking. We were impressed by the cleanliness and lack of graffiti. I was exhausted by the time I got back from my 10 hour adventure and could not even rouse myself to go see the movie Secretariat. My sisters did go to the aquarium and after they process 950 pictures you will get to enjoy.


3 Responses to “Kyoto Highlights with sister Barb”

  1. Amazing photos!! Love the 2 girls in the kimonos! Looks like she’s texting while walking! Wow, what a ferris wheel! Bet it’s beautiful at night too!

  2. Well I already did leave one but when it asked for me to authorize it or something like that I did not know what to do and still don’t. Let me know what to do and then I will send along another response.

  3. Thank You so much for your Post, I am so enjoying the trip With you, Mug’s getting to see all your travels and loves to see your adventure! Keep up the post and Please stay well! Love and best wishes for FL. Scott & Mug’s

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