Sunday, April 17, 2011
Kyoto - Geikos, Temples, Toilets & Manga
What can you say when you just fall in love with a place on arrival? Kyoto is simply a beautiful city, so cultured, so clean, so friendly and so polite. My only issue is thiｓ keyboard which has a tiny space bar and the button next changes the text to Katakana or some Japanese text.
This temple is in the Geiko (Geisha) district, and is devoted to the Shinto God of Money. However, I am not finding Japan a windfall for the budget. It is every bit as expensive as one might think. However, people smile and are the most polite I have ever met.
On my second day here I saw a Geiko & Maiko performance (Maikos are the apprentice Geikos). Above a Maiko collects for victims of the Tsunami outside a theatre. There is a whole district in Kyoto where the Geikos and Maikos live. The lanes are interesting to walk around, there are also many temples in the area as well, it makes for a fascinating tour. The hostel here put on a walking tour, lots of information!
Yesterday I visited the above - the Golden Pavillion, perhaps Kyoto's most well known site. The Gardens are also very impressive - generally gardens here are pretty special. Everything is manicured and looked after so well. And if you need the toilet - Japan is one place where the visitor need have no trepidation when going to the public loo! There are impeccable! In fact, most toilets are quite automated here. There is a bidet function, warm seats, and some have a button to make a flushinｇ sound. Why would you need such a button? I have no idea, maybe it helps people feel the need to pee???
I also visited the Manga Museum yesterday, where I learnt a little bit about Japanese comic strips - Manga as they call it. An interesting place with a HUGE library of Manga books. The locals come to sit and read, and some come to 'Cosplay' - as pictured above. The museum has a range of Manga costumes and some, girls in particular, pay 1000\ to put on the costumes and pose for costumes out in a courtyard.
So Kyoto, I have had a mere three days here, it feels like a lot longer! I have another four nights, I will be doing a couple of day trips Monday and probably Tuesday to Nara and Takarazuka to visit a museum to the creator of my favourite Anime/Manga character (really, the only one I know) - Astroboy, known here as 'Mighty Atom'!