Sunday, December 5, 2010
A few weeks ago I wrote about a trip to Kyoto with Becky and Amber. Well, the next week I took another trip to Kyoto with two of my friends from choir.
Last summer I was talking with them about some of my favorite places in Kyoto and they said it had been a long time since they had been to Nijo Castle, one of my favorite places in Kyoto. So, we made plans to go in the fall. In October we set the date and were all excited about our little excursion. Unfortunately, one of our other friends who had planned to go with us wasn't able to go. We missed her!
As the time grew closer we decided we may want to visit more than just one place in Kyoto so started looking around for another place nearby. We discovered that the week we were planning to go was one of only two weeks during the year that the Kyoto Imperial Palace is open to the public! That settled it, we'd found our other destination! Two palaces in one day.
It was so interesting to visit the two palaces, to see the contrasts and to learn a little more about the history. I love learning about the history of places, I just wish the information would stick in my head so I could share it with others!
Here is a little recap of the day, in pictures...
The day started with a beautiful sunrise!
The gate of Nijo Castle. No picture taking is allowed inside the castle. There are many beautiful painted paper doors, wood-carved walls and a lovely nightingale floor. You'll just have to come see them for yourself!
There was a full array of fall colors in the garden!
Then we got to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Looking into the courtyard in front of the hall used for coronations.
I got into a frenzy of taking pictures of bridges in the garden there. Something about that curved bridge just attracts me.
After standing in line for some yummy mochi, we made it to lunch, which was also delicious!
Out the window of the restaurant we could see a lovely river-actually the joining of two rivers. As we ate I watched many people cross the river on these huge boulders that had obviously been set in place for such a reason-some of them were even in the shape of turtles! The train station where we needed to catch our train home was on the other side of said river. So, what do you think is the most logical way to get to the station?! Yes, there was a bridge where cars were driving that had a sidewalk. However, if you have ever spent any time with me in nature you will know that I am part billy goat. If there are stones to be climbed, that is the route I will take. So... here are my friends carefully following me as I jumped across the river:)