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We had not done much research on Kyoto before we came. We knew there were a lot of nice shrines and temples, but not where they were located and we chose the lodging after what was available on AirBnb. Again our luck was on our side and our gorgeous AirBnb house was almost next to a shrine and in walking distance to one of the more popular temples. The AirBnb host met us at the house and took us on a guides tour in the neighborhood on our arrival day. 2015-06-25 16.13.47
Our huge Japanese house, had room enough for our two families and room to spare. Four bedrooms is luxury for people that are used to cramp together in a small hotel room.

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The Kitano Tenman-gu shrine. Our host Kazunori took us on a guided tour to the shrine and the walking street near our house.
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This shrine enshrines Michizane Sugawara, is famous for his great learning during his lifetime is worshipped as the patron of learning. Not the wrong place to bring the kiddos.

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Bos in front of the shrine gate.

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Prayers hang up wood prays go get more intelligent.

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Sunday we went to the Toei Kyoto Movie Park. Toei Kyoto Studio Park is the only theme park in Japan where you can observe the filming of period dramas (jidaigeki films). The place is packed with samurais, ninjas and geishas. This set depicts a street from the Edo period, and is used to shoot more than 200 films per year. Enjoy the atmosphere of ancient Japan by taking in a ninja show maybe even dressing up as a geisha or samurai.
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In the evening our host took us out for dinner in a local “hole in the wall” restaurant where they served squid balls and other local delicacies. A great night out.

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Kinkaku-ji temple were also on our list. The kids trying to trow money into a bowl. Temple of the Golden Pavilion (see head photo).
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On our last night we ran into these lovely maikos and a geiko on our dinner at the local restaurant. Their training facilities were in our neighborhood. They were such nice people. Not many geishas left in Kyoto. What a great finale to our Kyoto stay.

Next blog post from our stay at a Ryokan in Ikeda.


   On the road again. First stop Tokyo, where we checked in to a nice AirBnb house with our friends from NoMadfamily. So nice to meet them again. We are staying in Tokyo for 3 nights before we move on to Kyoto.  

  Getting around in Tokyo is quite easy with the metro. 

  First day we spent in Akihabara the “Geek city” lots of anime and manga.  

  Sushi for lunsch and dinner, no problem! 

  Lucas, Jack and Leon checking out all the different vending machines. 

 We even went to one of the many Maid Cafés.  In these cafés, waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants, and treat customers as masters in a private home, rather than as café patrons. (Wikipedia) Really gets you out of your comfort zone. 

 You can dress up and pay to take a picture with the maids. Dressed up our own rugrats instead. Great spot for people watching. Watching grown ups dress up as kittins and taking pictures with the waitresses is just something else.  

  Wednesday we spent the day in another cool part of Tokyo, Harajuku. Also known as the center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Lucas’s favorite part of town. 

  We had lunch at a small motor cycle cafè. 

  Ralph Lauren store. My impression is that a lot of the chic second hand stores in Harajuku are being replaced by chain stores. The area seem more mainstreem than last time we were here. 

  When in Tokyo!  

 Food again. Snack time in this little Airstream cafè. 

 In the afternoon we met up with the NoMadFamily again in Shibuya. Shibuya is another one of Tokyo’s many shopping areas. Dinner at a Japaneese barbeque restaurant. Lucas took over as the barbeque chef. We have had so many lovely meals in Japan. This was one of them. The meat on the grill in this picture is tuna fish.  


Thursday we changed city again. From Tokyo to Kyoto by Shinkansen the bullet train. 540 km in two hours. More on Kyoto in the next boring blog post! Stay tuned!