After a trip on the shinkansen and two subway stops we arrived in Kyoto at Guesthouse Yululu. The guesthouse is a lovely traditional building with tatame rooms and a kitchen full of manga that serves draught beer.
We went to Nara, where the homeless unemployed deer harassed us for deer cookies on the way to Todaiji temple. Todaiji was built in 752 and was the center of Buddhism in all of japan. The main temple building is a replica and is currently the largest wooden structure in the world despite being only 2/3 the size of the original. The main hall houses a 15m tall bronze Buddha.
After Todaiji we went to the nearby Bamboo forest which turned out to have been taken over by a totally different forest of selfie sticks. However, the forest itself was beautiful and I was able to get one good photo.
In order to avoid the selfie stick infestation we went to the Fushimi Inari shrine early in the morning.
It was dead quiet and very peaceful. A kitten ran out and meowed at us as we passed between two sets of gates.
Our last exploration of Kyoto was Gion. Gion is the district of Kyoto famous for being the first Geisha district.
We took a tour which was rich in historical info about Geisha culture and on our last night we went to an authentic Tea Ceremony just before rushing off to get our bus to Nagoya.