Ah, Kyoto. The former feudal capital of Japan and home to 2000 temples and shrines, 17 of them UNESCO World Heritage listed. Yep, it’s a “must see” city in Asia … so, we just had to err, see it.
After zipping through the heavily industrialised countryside of Japan and gazing through the surprisingly small shinkansen (bullet train) windows, first impressions of this city were not good. I wish I had read the Lonely Planet entry for Kyoto before I arrived, because I was expecting a beautiful old place. Instead you are affronted with the typical beige and grey concrete blocks and crowded streetscape. However, when you get out of the city, and find the pockets where the famous temples are, and head to the foothills on each side of the city, then the true magic and hidden beauty of Kyoto becomes apparent. And the traditional feel of the city speaks to you. We even caught a glimpse of a couple of geisha nipping into a restaurant before the start of their night’s entertainment. A rare sight indeed. But sorry, they were so quick in avoiding any cameras that no-one on the street got a photo.
Here’s just a few photos from my iPhone from two days in Kyoto. I took my new Canon 1D Mark IV around with me, but you know what, due to the ease of iPhone-ography, I haven’t even uploaded the shots onto my computer yet to look at them.
But sometime soon I will post some entries with my “proper” photos, and the slide film panoramas from my new Horizon Pefekt camera.