Trip to Kyoto 31st January to 4th February
After the snow fields of Nagano we headed to historic Kyoto to take on the roles of (supposedly) culturally sensitive tourists. Japanese former Imperial capital and in many ways its culture capital, Kyoto really is a magnificent place. The Fushimi-Inari-Taisha shrine was perhaps the most spectacular of all of Kyoto's sights. Dedicated to Inari, the god of rice and sake the shrine is situated on a wooded hillside. The vivid red of the shrine integrate magnificently with the beauty of nature.
The hillside trails lead through hundreds of spectacular red 'torii' or shrine gates.
In Japan the fox is traditionally seen as the messenger of Inari, the god of cereals, and fox statues littered the hillside. They often had a key to the rice granary stuck in their mouths and this fellow also had something of a modern touch. A chilly morning with misty rain only added to the charm of the Daitoku-ji Temple area. A bonsai in one of Kyoto's many formal gardens.
Plenty of local produce was on display at the Nishiki Market.
Lanterns are a hint of Kyoto's fantastic nightlife.
Okonomiyaki is always a winner.
As was our brunch stable; the bowels of steaming noodles that we sucked up with relish each morning.