Chaos in Kyoto

Trip Start Sep 02, 2010
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Trip End Apr 20, 2011


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Flag of Japan  , Kinki,
Friday, October 22, 2010

When we say Kyoto you think climate change and you wouldn't be wrong, for the first time since we came away Matt had trousers on in the evening and both umbrellas saw good action. But as we're sure the more knowledgeable among you are aware Kyoto also has 17 UNESCO world heritage sites, 2000 Buddhist and Shinto temples/shrines and enough restaurants and bars to keep competition eaters and binge drinkers happy for years.

We were in Kyoto over a weekend and consequently everywhere we went was packed out with local and foreign tourists seemingly in direct competition with each other to take the most pictures, visit the most sites and buy the tackiest souvenir. If the Guinness Book of World Records were in attendance at the Friday evening annual Fire Festival in the tiny village of Kurama, a short sardines in a tin train ride away, we’re sure that "the most people in a square kilometre", “most pointing and shouting by a single policeman”, “most confused tourists” and “least action seen at an organised event” records would have been broken. Kyoto could also have written its name in the record books for “longest parade” earlier in the day when seemingly the entire population of Japan trooped past us dressed in traditional costume from across the ages. Mass evacuation style crowds aside we did enjoy visiting the must see temples and gardens in Kyoto, each with its own peculiar feature, the golden pavilion, the painstakingly raked sand cone, the lucky in love stones and the path of philosophy were among our favourites.
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