Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kyoto Day 1: After Nap Time
We had to go back to the hotel for Chloe to take a nap. We were hoping she'd sleep in the backpack carrier but she'd have none of that. Once we got to the hotel, I even got to take a little nap too. It was nice and rejuvenating. We left for a temple just down the street from our hotel.
Ok, the real reason I didn't blog about this the other day is because we weren't sure of the name. It took me forever to figure out the name. We didn't know what the temple name was the day we went and didn't pick up a pamphlet (don't think there was one) while there. If I would have just shown Eric a map, he could have read the kanji and told me the name. But, since he wasn't home I had to do it the hard way and find it in English.
Unfortunately we arrived at Nishi Honganji Temple at 5 pm and was closing down. This was one of the few places we went that didn't cost anything to see. We all wished we had more time to wonder around the temple and the grounds. It was massive. It is one of the longest wooden structures in the world.

You'll notice this tree is so big that branches are being held up

Incredible lights

The picture is bleary because we didn't want to disturb the monk with a flash going off. It was so beautiful inside and to see someone inside praying was a surprise.
A different room, no monks so of course the picture turned out better
The size of the wooden columns and the amount of tatami mats between both buildings is just amazing.
We spent no more than 20 minutes there which is a shame. We would have really liked to have seen more. Afterwards, we were on the hunt to find something for dinner. Instead we found a playground. Of course we had to let the girls run around since they had been so good during the day. We were surprised at how hard it had been to locate a restaurant. We were obviously not walking on a touristy street. Luckily Eric remembered passing a yakiniku restaurant during lunch time and we figured my parents would like it, since everything is cooked.
We had a great time at dinner. My parents got to enjoy some extremely good tasting meat we got to cook ourselves at the table as well as an array of veggies. Even Chloe helped eat a bunch of meat. Etta stuck to rice, as no surprise. That reminds me, I think I need to get some yakiniku sauce for my dad. He really liked it. If you can find a yakiniku restaurant in your neck of the woods, we highly recommend it. We've never been disappointed.
We walked back to the hotel and put Chloe to sleep. Since my parents were staying in the room next to us we decided to hang out there for a little while with Etta and have some drinks. Etta fell asleep in grandpa's bed minutes later and we had a good time to hanging out and catching up. It's so strange just sitting and talking with my parents. It had been 14 months since seeing them! It was a great first day in Kyoto and were going to have one more morning and afternoon in Kyoto before heading back to Shizuoka.

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