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October 23, 2013
Day 20 - Kyoto

Kyoto (s) served as Japan's imperial capital for over 1000 years from 794 until 1868. As such, it is the unrivaled prime destination for everybody interested in Japanese history, culture and tradition. It is now the country's seventh largest city with a population of 1.4 million people.

Seemingly countless temples, shrines and other historically priceless structures survive in the city today, existing in conjunction with more recently built modern buildings.

Today's Report
Kyoto in the rain

Kiyomizudera never fails to inspire.

Today was my first time having so many people joining me on the walk. There were four other people asides from me, three from Kansai Tourism Supporters; Kondo-san, Ine-san from Korea, and Xie-san from China, and Kiyoshi-san. Thank you for coming despite the rain!

(l-r) Kiyoshi-san, Xie-san, Ine-san and Kondo-san

Coming into Kyoto city after being in the countryside for the most part, has been a little bit of a shock. All I could think of was gthere are so many people and so many carsh, gso many different shops open and so many things happening at the same timeh, and gthere are so many things to see!h.

Tour groups everywhere!

School children waiting in line to drink some water.

Even in the rain, Kyoto is still breathtaking. The view from the top of the third gate of Nanzenji Temple was just beautiful, as well as the view of Kiyomizudera. I cannot get enough of seeing how Kiyomizudera is built on stilts, and how itfs sturdy enough to support tens of thousands of people stepping on it. Truly an architectural feat!

Nanzenji's third gate. The stairs to the viewing platform are really steep.

Picture time at the top.

We took a leisurely 6-hour walk from Kiyomizudera to Ginkaku-ji, with stops for lunch and a cafe break. There are many steps and slopes in Kyoto, but that didnft stop the elderly from visiting the temples and shrines. We saw many tourists, tour groups and school children on their school trip as well. Kyoto is definitely a popular destination in Japan! If you are not a fan of crowds, it might be better to come to Kyoto in the winter when itfs not as crowded. Sakura season and the changing leaves season are Kyotofs busiest seasons.

May your wishes come true!

If it's not a slope, it's stairs.

The route also took us up the Keage Incline which Ifve never walked before. The Keage Incline was used in the past to transport boats and cargo. It was a treat to walk there because it took us off the tourist path and into little alleys with almost no one for a while. The Philosopherfs Walk is another beautiful path to go on a stroll, enjoying conversation under the shade of maple and sakura trees. Fortunately (or is it unfortunately), the rain also meant there werenft as many people there, perfect for picture taking.

A small tunnel under Keage Incline.

More green than red this time of the year.

We parted ways at Ginkaku-ji, with Kondo-san, Ine-san, Xie-san and Kiyoshi-san heading back to Osaka while I headed back towards Sakuraan Kyoto Hotel where dinner was waiting. Thank you once again for coming all the way to Kyoto to participate in the walk!

Shiro-san is the man to go to for a guided rickshaw tour.

Heian Shrine

Autumn colour report - we're still a few weeks too early, come back in a month.

I spied upon a camera crew.

Angry face crab came scuttling out on the road. Looks like it's ready to throw a shuriken at me.

Under the brick bridge by Nanzenji.

Green tea cappucino at Yojiya cafe.

I'm sure there's a sand/rock formation of these ripples somewhere in Kyoto.

Today's Program
Today's Walk: Through the historically enriched streets and sights of Eastern Kyoto

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Today's walk leads through the narrow streets and residential areas at the foot of Kyoto's Eastern mountains, stopping at several of the city's most popular temples, shrines and other attractions along the way.

Date October 23, 2013
Start Time 9:00
Start Kiyomizudera Temple (around the orange Niomon Gate)
Goal Ginkakuji Temple
Distance 7 kilometers (about 6 hours)
Terrain Today's terrain is easy to navigate, involving walking mostly on paved roads and stone paths. Some climbing and descending of steps and slopes is involved, especially around Kiyomizudera and the Higashiyama area.
Weather Average daytime high: 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit)
Average nighttime low: 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit)
Weather Forecast for Kyoto
Access Kiyomizudera can be reached from Kyoto Station by bus number 100 or 206 (15 minutes, 220 yen). Get off at Gojo-zaka (܏) or Kiyomizu-michi () bus stop, from where it is a ten minute uphill walk to the temple. Alternatively, Kiyomizudera is about a 20 minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station along the Keihan Railway Line.
More details on how to get to Kyoto
Lodgings Kyoto City offers a wide variety of accommodations.
Search hotels in Kyoto through Agoda, or Japanican

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Daily Quiz
The deadline for answering the quiz question for day 20 has passed.

When did the Japanese Emperor move his seat from Kyoto to Tokyo/Edo?

0%   After the Genpei War (in the early Kamakura Period)
3%   After the Battle of Sekigahara (in the early Edo Period)
90%   After the Meiji Restoration (in the early Meiji Period)
0%   After World War Two (in the early Showa Period)
8%   None of the above

The correct answer is: After the Meiji Restoration (in the early Meiji Period)

The Emperor moved from Kyoto to Tokyo after the Meiji Restoration.

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