Ha! So, the vision I’d had of Tokyo as a mad city turned out to be false last week; now I have been disabused of my vision of Kyoto as a verdant place of peaceful gardens. But more on Kyoto later.
Yesterday and last night I enjoyed two of the best travel experiences I have ever had. That May morning walk from Magome to Nagiso and then my stay at the 260-year-old ryokan in Narai were just stellar. The ryokan owner (ninth generation!) could not have been a more gracious host; I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months on his futon and buckwheat pillow, even though I’d worried about sleeping in a room with so much history lurking in the corners; and the four-course vegan dinner (and then breakfast) he prepared for me was outstanding. Very sweet; very special. They will be hard to top.
But I had to leave lovely, ancient, preserved Narai for Kyoto; I got there on three very fast trains. So far, Kyoto appears to be just a noisy, traffic-infused, Asian-flavored city that worships commerce. I did find a vegan restaurant, but I’m not sure I’ll return.
Anyway, here are some photos, although my time in Japan up to now has been far richer than any photograph could portray.
I’ve been a Europhile for so long; I may have to rethink that notion.
Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.