Thursday, November 26, 2015

Japan, Part 5: Kyoto

11/13/15 Sanjusangen-do Temple
(Happy Thanksgiving! And now we return to our regular programming.)

Kyoto has always been one of our favorite cities. Cosmopolitan while also retaining old-world charm, the former capital of Japan is one of few places in the country where you can still occasionally see women dressed in traditional kimono (either because that’s the way they dress or because they’ve rented an outfit for the day to enhance their selfie-snapping as they shop).

11/13/15 Sanjusangen-do
I have to say, though, that compared to five years ago or previous visits, Kyoto felt far more crowded this time. Unlike Tokyo, which has wide sidewalks and other modern infrastructure to accommodate its huge population of residents and visitors, Kyoto has sidewalks where you can barely walk double-file. I felt like I was always being jostled and bumped, and wherever we went, we found gazillions of tourists (oh, yeah – I guess I was one of them). Apparently someone sent out a memo that November is a beautiful time to visit Kyoto!

Another thing that made me grumpy about Kyoto was that it rained quite a bit – heavily and continuously. In Seattle, we call it rain, but really it’s just intermittent showers, sprinkles or drizzles. In Kyoto, when they say rain, they mean rain. Of course, we had museums, temples and other indoor activities to fill those rainy days, and fill them we did. (And looking through my sketchbook now, I see that I still did plenty of sketching, so I guess I was grumpy for nothing!) One day I did what I might do on any rainy day at home: I walked down the street to Coffee Shop Amazon and sketched the other patrons.

11/13/15 Thunder God at Sanjusangen-do
One hall in Sanjusangen-do Temple is filled with one thousand Buddhist Kannon statues and their 28 guardian deities. Although photography in this sacred space is strictly forbidden (at the risk of having your camera confiscated), nothing was said of sketching, so I felt somewhat smug being able to capture the statue of the Thunder God, one of the deities. 

Despite being overrun with tourists, Kyoto is still a beautiful city with a fascinating mix of the ancient and the modern.
11/19/15 Gion

11/19/15 Entrance to Yasaka Shrine
11/15/15 Kyoto Tower sketched from Kyoto Station
11/20/15 Philosopher's Walk

11/17/15 Ladies chatting at Coffee Shop Amazon
11/14/15 Statue of the Buddha at Kyoto
National Museum
11/14/15 Kyoto Station on a rainy afternoon.
11/20/15 Ginkakuji Pagoda

1 comment:

  1. I think you made the most of the rainy days and really captured a lot in Koyoto. Nice sketches.


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