our Japan trip-Kyoto

Our Japan trip-Kyoto-Kate Uhry photographyorganic producelined the streets-Kyoto-Kate Uhry Kyoto-Kate Uhry photographyKyoto was the best part of the trip in so many ways. The landscape, the people, the shrines & temples. It is stunning, all around. It is hard to put into the right words. The food, the warmth, the serene air, the sound of monks chanting. Kyoto-Kate Uhry photography We stayed in the Gion District, which I highly recommend if quiet and quaint cobblestone streets, with temples and shrines down every alleyway is your jam. It is also known as the area where the Geisha’s live. And yes, you will see them scurry, down winding cobblestone paths, in full dress, usually in the early morning (from the back on the left). The other women may be in training. Geisha-Gion district-Kyoto| Kate Uhry photographyView of Kyoto_Kate Uhry photographyKyoto| Kate Uhry photographyKyoto-Temple-Kate uhry photoKoi Fish-Kyoto, Kate Uhry photographyKoi in the river moat! This is the roofline of the Chion-in Temple, so amazing, I spent an hour at the top once I climbed the unbelievably steep stairs (more like a ladder).

View from the top-Kyoto

View from the top of the temple-Kate Uhry photography

Bamboo in Kyoto-Kate uhry photography

Zen garden at hotel-Kyoto-Kate Uhry photoKyoto trip-Kate Uhry photographyThe river that runs through the little town center, surrounds the largest Shrine. There are beautiful arched bridges throughout-I can totally see how Monet was inspired by Japanese gardens and landscapes. That green color is the real deal. I think the light reflects all the lush green trees around it. It’s surreal. Kyoto-Kate Uhry photography This first Shogon’s castle was seriously, one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. It was a really hot day-and it took three hours to walk around it-but I wouldn’t have missed it, despite the tourist scene. Craft museum-Kyoto-Kate Uhry photographyWe spent most every day walking, everyone walks everywhere in Kyoto and Gion, or rides a bike. Other than walking and looking at temples and shrines, and eating, we went to this one arts and craft museum, which was beautiful, but also had some  displays that showed all the traditional crafts in Japan. Kyoto is really arty-so wherever you go there are little galleries, and a lot of museums. That’s my dad in the red baseball cap-we stuck out like a sore thumb, there were not a lot of American, or Western tourists. street scenes -Kyoto-Kate Uhry photography Top of thepphilosphers trail. Very popular durring the cherry tree in bloom. Its a tiny narrow path along the river. street scenes -Kyoto-Kate Uhry photography This day. So amazing. We took a Taxi up to the top of the Philiospher’s Trail. And hiked up to the temple. It was so hot, but they had soft serve green tea ice cream, and tiny cafes just before the opening of the temple, so I cooled off in the shade with the best green tea ice cream I’ve ever had. street scenes -Kyoto-Kate Uhry photography street scenes -Kyoto-Kate Uhry photography To give you an idea of the  everyday architecture…this little gated home was so pristine, and private. These homes were tucked away off tiny small winding roads, barely big enough for a car to pass through. Very pretty, and all had beautiful landscaping. METICULOUS wedding going in every day in Japan, it totally made me feel like an amateur gardener! View of Kyoto_Kate Uhry photographyOur hotel was AMAZING! We staying at the Westin, and it was perfect. Right in the middle of everything we wanted to see, on a quite street, with amazing views of the green hills. They were also really great at giving us little tips about where to eat, and hike around. I loved the temple & shrine that was litterally next door to us. There are llong wide steps that lead up to, you’d never know that it was even there, I sat there many times at the shrine, and quietly listened to the chants from the monks, and the view from the graveyard…stunning, and powerful in so many ways. view from the graveyard-KyotoTradtional Japanese room-Kate uhry photographyThey also had a traditional Japanese style rooms “Kasuien” at the hotel, where you can stay on Takati Matts. It is a 7 level home-steeped over the hill so its lots of different levels. It is surrounded in glass (very mid-century modern) with a zen garden in the middle. We opted for the Western rooms, but I love that you have options if you wanted. I loved the creature comforts of the the Western rooms, which came with a kimono, and signature pajama’s! View from the hotel bar-Westin-Kyoto-Kate Uhry photographyOn our last night we had cocktails at the lounge/bar and watched the sun set…A very swanky pretty room which is art deco (ish) and a bit mid-century. There is a grand piano and these views. The entire bar is glassed in, with a view from every side. I loved the lemon drinks they had, fresh lemon juice, with some rind, and sugar at the bottom. So refreshing! FYI The Queen (living) Elizabeth stayed here and had drinks in this lounge…can you picture that? THe bar at the Westin in Kyoto_Kate Uhry photographySunset view from the bar-Kyoto-Kate Uhry photo

There are over 1, 600 temples and shrines in Kyoto alone. So I would recommend planning a bit ahead, and decide what you want to see. You cant see everything if you are there for a week-even two weeks. However they all begin to blend into one, and the bottom line is, none are disappointing ! No matter what you do, where you eat, and stay, Kyoto is really magical.

I could post a million more pictures of Kyoto, and go on and on, but I will spare you. It is everything and more, that I hoped it would be.

xx

Kate

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  • Aliki - Dear Kate,
    Thank you for sharing this inspiring trip with us. The photos are sumptuous yet delicate – like the houses, gardens, and people. Your brief descriptions are perfect to fill in and guide us on this miraculous tour. I felt I was walking beside you. If you can’t resist sending more, do! I will love it. I hope you don’t mind if I share these with the family.
    Thank you again.
    Love,
    AlikiReplyCancel

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