image, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.
Calvin had us up at the crack of Tokyo dawn, making our way to downtown amidst the millions of commuters with our luggage for the week on our backs. We validated our Japan Rail passes and were soon speeding our way past urban centers and mountain valleys. Our destination for the morning was Kyoto, with it's many tourists sites and traditional culture. After a little confusion, Calvin led us to a great little guesthouse (ryokan) with traditional accommodations. We ditched our backpacks and headed for the sites after bowls of soba and udon noodles. A walking tour led us to join thousands of tourists to a scenic temple on the hillside overlooking the city. We walked through a huge cemetery on the way down the hill and stumbled on some monks chanting in another temple. As our energy began to fade from the heat, we strolled through narrow streets filled with traditional buildings a geisha wannabes. When our bodies finally gave out, we ate grilled vegetables and lamb (yakiniki) at a small restaurant where he cooked it in front of us and we ate off the grill. The end of the evening saw us bathed and in our yukate robes ready to share the floor of tatami mats and futons.yuk ate
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