"I loved the quiet places in Kyoto, the places that held the world within a windless moment. Inside the temples, Nature held her breath. All longing was put to sleep in the stillness, and all was distilled into a clean simplicity.The smell of woodsmoke, the drift of incense; a procession of monks in black-and-gold robes, one of them giggling in a voice yet unbroken; a touch of autumn in the air, a sense of gathering rain." ~ Pico Iyer

We left rainy Tokyo behind...
and took the bullet train (Shinkansen) to Kyoto...
where the skies cleared enough to 
provide a passing glimpse of Mt. Fuji in all its splendor.

If traveling to Japan, the Japan Rail Pass makes perfect sense
 but needs to be purchased outside of Japan.  
Plan ahead and an 'exchange order' will be mailed to you before you leave.
Although, we had to wait until we arrived in Tokyo
 to get the actual pass and reserve seats on a specific train. 
Necessary if you want the assurance of seats together.
All very organized of course.

Japan's ancient capital, Kyoto,
 was spared any large scale destruction during the war...
 and still has pre-war buildings standing.
Our group of five opted for a tour...
meandering about...
with the energy of these guys...
who of course now know how to "Hook 'Em Horns"!
A glimpse of Japan's culture...
both old and new...
were observed as we rickshawed through
 the peaceful streets of Kyoto.
The 'Foodie' reprimanded me for snapping a photo 
of this beautiful, bashful, bride and groom.
I know.
I am sorry.

Our guides tried to describe the life of a geisha...
and the years of training they receive before beginning their career.
When we commented on the number of ladies...
we noticed walking around in traditional geisha dress...
we discovered many were tourists who have rented their kimonos
 or others who have experienced the special dress up experience at Maica.
How cool is that?

Our day-trip to Kyoto was a peaceful escape from upbeat Tokyo
 and we enjoyed exploring with my parents and 'the foodie'.
Japan is always a good idea.

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