After hearing so much about Kyoto, this had to be a mandatory stop on our route.

Our first stop was at Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Temple), and don’t get me wrong, the temple itself is worth a couple of pictures (you are not allowed inside or even near it), but the enormous disappointment was that it is a real tourist trap. I was expecting a peaceful place surrounded by hills and small lakes – maybe some Buddhist monks doing some  meditation– and the only thing we got for our entry fee were souvenir shops and an outdoor food court within the premises of the temple. If I want to go to Disneyland I will drive to Paris. So much for finding my Zen.

After this disillusion we decided to skip the Silver Temple and went around town looking for smaller shrines and temples, which luckily turned out to be a good idea. We found a place that we had for ourselves and although it is not nearly as famous as the other site, we enjoyed it much more.

Truth is, the best thing about the day trip to Kyoto was actually the ride with the Nozomi high-speed train.

Ok, this is quite a provocative statement and you may rightfully say it doesn’t pay homage to the history of the city. It is impossible to grasp the essence of a city in a few hours. Well, you are totally right. Unluckily we were running out of time and it was raining for most of the week therefore a second day wouldn’t have made much sense.  Nevertheless I was very disappointed and it just didn’t click.

This is my party and I cry if I want to…