We were at about the halfway point on our journey, and so far it had been everything I had hoped for and more. We had seen the craziness of Tokyo, the serene horror of Hiroshima, and the quaint beauty of Miyajima. Next up was Kyoto and what we hoped would be a glimpse into the ancient past. All the guides say if you can only go to one place, Kyoto is the place to go. Everyone we talked to said they loved Kyoto the best.
Everyone can go suck a lemon.
There is a great deal of history in Kyoto. If we had had a guide to the city, or had I read a book about its history beforehand, then I might be singing a different tune. As it is, I found the whole of the city slightly interesting in parts, but mostly b-o-r-i-n-g.
Our two days could be summed up like this. Temple. Shrine. Temple. Temple. Shrine.
“Wasn't this the temple in that scene from Lost in Translation?”
Shrine. Shrine. Temple. Temple.
There are something like 8 billion temples and shrines in Kyoto, all of them registered historical landmarks. It was a bit like going to Alabama and trying to visit all of the Christian churches.
I'm being flippant here. There were a great many parts that were quite beautiful. The history is enormous and the culture fascinating. In the spring, I suspect it is all breathtaking. In the middle of winter, it was a little subdued. Trying to take it all in was too overwhelming. Each temple and shrine was interesting in its own way, but after the first half dozen or so, they all sort of blended and I was ready to go lay down and nap.
From Kyoto we headed over to Osaka. None of us were particularly interested in this city, but we needed to go as it might have been our escape route. Having still not received confirmation about our lost ticket status, we had no idea if we would be able to fly out of Japan and make it home. Our backup plan was to go by boat, and that boat left port from Osaka.