Kyoto and Hiroshima

We had a great last few days in Kyoto, checking out temples and…. checking out more temples. We saw Fushimi Inari Temple, a shrine that starts at the bottom of a small mountain and a Torii tunnel path (red pillar-like structures inscribed with Japanese characters) winds its way up and around the hill.

We also saw another temple called Sanjūsangen-dō, which was originally built in 1164 (but since restored a few times) and is filled with 1000 statues of Senju Kannon, 28 guardians deities and an 11 feet tall seated Senju Kannon. Pretty impressive, though we weren’t allowed to take photos in there, so I’ve had a rely on Google images. It was actually quite nice being in there without a million cameras flashing away, being replaced by silence and the smell of incense.

Yesterday we jumped on a bus and made our way to Hiroshima- not quite as nice as the bullet train and certainly not as fast, but not too bad all the same. Once we arrived we checked out the Peace Park, which is dedicated to the victims of the Hiroshima bombing as well as the Peace Museum, which was very sombre but worth seeing. The Japanese’s dedication to a nuclear arm’s free world is admirable. Last night we wandered around the streets trying to find some food and ended up in a little joint that didn’t speak a lick of English, using phones to translate and pointing at pictured. We did really well up until the last dish which was semi-cooked pig fat.

Today we got out of the seemingly-endless cities to an area called Sandankyo where we went for a hike in a beautiful valley. It was really nice to see some proper greenery and escape the city for a few hours. We even did some Reiki- picture evidence for you below, Mark!

Tomorrow we’re back on the buses and on to Nagasaki via Fukuoka – a bit of a trek but its supposed to be a nice area. We’ve got a few days there and then will make our way back to Osaka and Okinawa.

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