Saturday, November 03, 2007

Japan 13: Kyoto1, Lost in Kyoto

From Hiroshima to Kyoto.
From World War II to the cultural capital of ancient Kyoto.

However, upon arriving at Kyoto, what welcomes passengers is neither old temples or shrines, but modern buildings and shops.

This very modern cake shop in Kyoto sells tempting cakes that made anyone stop their steps and feast with their eyes.

After arriving, visitors can start to explore the numerous temples around the city. However, finding the temples may not be that easy, especially when they are located seemingly near the metro stations on the map, but in fact, visitors have to navigate through mazes of houses and never-ending roads.

Being lost in a maze of some local residential area while searching for temples. However, it did made some interesting discovery. There was a map showing the houses in the vicinity, including the household surnames. Do the Japanese really know their neighbours or at least their names? Quite a contrast with Singapore, if that is so.

The Japanese houses in this area features the beautiful Japanese architecture and landscape.

While searching the way around, asking the locals is a good idea for visitors. who are lost. Although they might speak very limited English, they are more than willing to help. Very often, they would mutter for a few minutes in Japanese probably in great details with sign languages, assuming that visitors can understand. Never mind not understanding most of the message, but knowing that helpfulness do exist in this part of the world is more than enough.

The architecture, seemingly simple while giving a sense of tranquility. Even the plants blend in well with the structure of the houses. They even have their surnames display at the front of their doors.
A very interesting shop.

This is probably an expensive restaurant. And yes, in the middle of a residential district.

This is probably unlike many houses in Singapore that are of the same conforming structure with each other, the houses here are all individualistic and probably reflects the taste of the owners.

Sights that one never expect to see, people that one will never otherwise get to meet, and when it all exceed the expectation, it is all worthwhile. So ditch the tour group for an interesting adventure off the tracks and off the guidebooks; lost in ancient city of Kyoto.



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