In Kyoto

I packed a Field Notes notebook and a mini-sized Delfonics ballpoint for our holiday. At first, in Tokyo, I made notes but only half-heartedly. I used to be really enthusiastic about documenting activities, thoughts and any/all noteworthies in my younger days, but now it’s a struggle. By the time we got to Kyoto, I was barely recording anything. I think I had given up before getting to the midway point of the holiday.

Where do you stand on this subject? Are you the dutiful notetaker-on-holiday, or are you happy to rely entirely on recall (not minding too much if you might mis-remember a detail here or there)? If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m still a little annoyed with myself for failing to fill my notebook. Especially now, it was a challenge working out which temple or shrine was which – because we visited quite a number of them! (There are more than 1,000 in Kyoto, in case you were wondering.) I had to refer to my Lonely Planet Japan so that I could make a reasonable stab at captioning the pics; I couldn’t pinpoint them all, though…

But on the hand, I’m reasonably content with the selection here, which I think shows Kyoto still holding on to its late-Autumn colours – we were there in December, which I think is considered Winter. It was really quite balmy when we were there. I think I could easily have done without my down jacket. (And don’t get me started on the climate change debate–!) Arashiyama Bamboo Grove was awesome and other-worldly, but I would’ve loved to have seen it on a less busy day; I don’t think December is considered high season either, which is a scary thought.

Arriving at the first of many…
Man at the gate
Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple overlooking Kyoto. The temple complex was established in 798, but the buildings on site today were reconstructed from 1633
Ancient Kiyomizu-dera temple captured on today’s most popular camera device
Sightseers (one with ubiquitous surgical mask)
Maiko and traffic cone
Southern Higashiyama area of Kyoto
“Take my picture!” she said to her boyfriend. After he had done so, she checked the photo, gave feedback, and asked him to do it again
Not Starbucks. It was a very stylish coffee shop, but I didn’t take note of its name…
Well-dressed older ladies in downtown Kyoto
Doing what everyone does at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
I think this area was called Kameyama-koen (near Arashiyama Bamboo Grove)
I gave up trying to capture shots of the bamboo grove with no tourists in the frame after a while, and moved on to fiddling with fallen maple leaves
We didn’t go inside this temple but I pressed my camera up close to the wall netting to snap the shot of the massive Buddha
Locals at the lights in downtown Kyoto
Nighttime stroll
Painting lanterns at night
Away from the crowds
Cycling through
Walking the dog, enjoying the surroundings
Bridge and maple tree on Kyoto Sento Imperial Palace grounds
North Pond, Sento Imperial Palace
Capturing the colours in the Imperial Palace Park
[Still] Autumnal
Tour group through the tree branches on Sento Imperial Palace grounds
Cyclists in Kyoto Imperial Palace grounds
Photo-worthy Kyoto


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  1. I love red maple leaves. We have some here in the U.K. too. They’re so small but perfectly formed.

    I’m very poor at documenting any kind of visit / travel until some time later: but that might work to my advantage. It gives me an opportunity to process and digest my feelings towards the place. However, that only works on a small scale: your adventure is much larger, and I feel that I would be inclined to miss too much relying on recall at a later date. For what it’s worth, both your pictures and words tell a wonderful story together.

    Happy New Year to you and to your family and friends. I wish you all the best, and safe travels, from myself and my family for 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, you see, we don’t have the red maple here in Aus, or at least, I haven’t come across them myself. So I was charmed!

      Thankfully, we have travel books and Google etc. readily at our disposal these days for post-referencing, that always helps! I’m glad the lack of detail didn’t detract from your experience of this post.

      Derek, best to you for and yours for 2017, too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. With the quality and beauty of the pictures you take, don’t even worry about taking notes – should you mistake a caption, it wouldn’t ruin our pleasure in the least! And by the way, I don’t take notes. Ruins my enjoyment. Whatever impressions remain after are the right ones 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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