Kyoto Journals

Impressions of Kyoto

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An April 2000 trip to Kyoto by albrigi

The Tawaraya Ryokan Photo, Kyoto, Japan More Photos
Quote: No person can claim to understand this planet until they have visited the east, where most of the world's population resides. The people are so different from what we consider the "norm" in the west. They look different, act different, think different, eat different, dress different. We soon realized why our worlds are so different and always will be. Yet, people all over the world are still human and finding ways to communicate and connect with each other, while challenging, proved to be most rewarding. To learn more, read on ...

Impressions of Kyoto

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
Japan is so utterly western with its large hotels, western styles of dress, clean cities and focus on customer service and business. Yet, it is utterly, dramatically and stubbornly non-western in its cultural traditions. It almost seems as if Japan emerged from the Second World War to create its economic miracle by adopting certain aspects of western culture while disregarding the rest. Kyoto is the Florence of Japan; the city vibrates with creative energy. For over 1,000 years, skilled craftsmen, wise masters and promising young artists have come here to find fame and fortune. The city certainly contains many of Japan's finest art and architectural treasures. Quick Tips: I meditat...Read More

The Tawaraya Ryokan

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Hotel

The Tawaraya Ryokan Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
In the Japan of today, the traditional ryokan or inn is the ultimate Japanese paradox. Life so hectic in the modern Japanese city. Everyone is in a hurry, rush, rush, rush. Late into the evening we see the businessmen and women on their way home still carrying briefcases. It is so at odds with the birthplace of Zen Buddhism with its emphasis on solitude and meditation. Conversely, inside a ryokan - everything is low key and oh so quiet. We are fortunate to stay at one of the most famous - The Tawaraya Ryokan, which has been in the same family for 11 generations. There is a beautiful and completely private garden right outside our bedroom. We walk around our room without shoes on tatami...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 11, 2000

The Tawaraya Ryokan
Fuyacho-Aneyakoji-Agaru, Nakagyo-Ku
Kyoto, Japan
011-44-207-580-2663

Kyoto Prefectural Botannical Gardens

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Attraction | "Kyoto's Gardens"

Kyoto Prefectural Botannical Gardens Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
Kyoto’s gardens and ryokans (traditional inns) are magnificent zones of tranquility. The great Shogun Ieasu’s great great-grandson built the Shugakuin Imperial Villa in 1659. It contains beautiful grounds at the foot of a mountain with serene, vistas over Kyoto. Our favorite though are the gardens, seen here, of the Shinto Heian Shrine built in in 1895 during the Meiji restoration. The combination of water, buildings, greenery and flowers is quite breathtaking.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 11, 2000

Kyoto Prefectural Botannical Gardens
Shimogamo Hanki-cho
Kyoto, Japan
+81 075 701 0141

Sightseeing

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Attraction | "Other Sights"

Sightseeing Photo, Kyoto, Japan
Quote:
We visit Ieasu's famous Nijo Castle which was built with intentionally creaking floors to warn of an impending enemy attack. The Sanjusangendo Temple is famous for its wooden goddess with 1000 arms. We see the Golden and Silver Pavilions. It's an ongoing feast of history, culture and beauty.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 11, 2000

Sightseeing
Throughout Kyoto
Kyoto, Japan

Some Musings...

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Story/Tip

Quote:
It seems fitting to look back at my expectations written before going to Japan, to see which were met. I wrote "...we are at 36,000 feet high and traveling at 560 MPH, heading north west on a great circle route over Fairbanks Alaska and out over the Bering Sea. It seems paradoxical that while we are traveling back in time we are going forward at the same time. As we travel west we always set our clocks back; yet, as we head out over the sea and cross the date line it instantly becomes tomorrow and when we land in Tokyo we will be 11 hours ahead of New York". What a perfect paradox this is to help Japan. It almost seems as if Japan emerged from the Second World War to create its economic mir...Read More