Itinerary Preview: Kyoto

After Matsumoto, our next stop will be Kyoto where we will be staying
a full five days. The truth is that I have not worked out a complete
itinerary for Kyoto yet, but I know that we'll want to have plenty of
time for exploring. Because Kyoto was spared the bombing of WWII,
there is so much to see here, but the challenge will be editing our
excursions so as to avoid temple and shrine overload with the kids.
The last time I was here, I did not have the luxury of seeing
everything I wanted to. This time, at the top of my list is Kinkaku-
ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, pictured here which is,
ironically, a 1950 reconstruction. The original, built at the end of
the 14th century, was burned down by a fanatical monk who was
enraptured by its beauty. Yukio Mishima wrote a novel from the monk's
point of view which I read long ago and have been waiting to see the
temple in person ever since. Other sites on my list are a few more
temples, the old geisha and merchant districts, a large food market
area, and the bamboo forest. We will be staying in a modern ryokan
which is built in the traditional style. It has beautiful baths and
we will be served elaborate Japanese-style breakfasts and dinners in
our tatami room. Stay tuned for lots of photos from Kyoto.

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