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Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nishiki Market

JAPAN | Tuesday, 23 April 2024 | Views [115]

Gonaitei Garden—Kyoto Imperial Palace

Gonaitei Garden—Kyoto Imperial Palace

DECIDING TO RE-VISIT KYOTO WAS A NO-BRAINER. We have a few days to kill before we sail from Yokohama, Japan is one of our favorite countries and there are a few things we missed in Kyoto in 2014. KABIN Taka isn’t as convenient to public transportation as Hotel Grand Bach where we stayed last time but our room is twice as large and costs half as much—a little exercise never hurt anyone, right?

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             Only one more ride on the carousel

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                KABIN Taka, more room for less money

We spent Sunday night near Inchon Airport, flew to Osaka Monday morning and caught a direct train to Kyoto. Doing the “bag drag” two kilometers from Kyoto Station to the hotel drove home the point that we—I, at least—aren’t as young as in our back-packer days. The trek helped orient ourselves to the neighborhood and Connie filled in more of the map on her morning walk.

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                 Nishiki Market, home of Godzilla-size oysters

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                         All things Prawn 

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                     Sushi doesn't get much fresher than this 

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                     Veggies for a well-balanced diet

Since the weather report is “iffy”—cloudy and drizzly with periods of light rain—we decided to stick closer to home today and go farther afield when the weather improves. The Nishiki Market has been around in one incarnation or another since 1310, first as a seafood wholesale market and today mostly a retail market popular with both locals and tourists. While we shunned street food in Korea I can’t wait to get back to Nishiki around lunchtime to try some of the fresh seafood. I’ve never seen such huge oysters, so many preparations of shrimp or tiny octopus on a stick.

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              Last of the Cherry Blossoms

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               Kenshunmon Gate—one of 8 gates to the Imperial Palace

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                  Shunkoden—Hall of the Sacred Mirror

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                    Shishinden Hall for State Ceremonies, Imperial Palace

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              A peek inside Ostunegoten, Imperial Palace

It’s about two kilometers from the market to the grounds of Kyoto Imperial Palace, although it felt longer in the rain. There is no entry charge for the Palace and once on the grounds proper, it’s One Way only. Since the last—eighth—restoration in 1869, Japanese Emperors have resided in Tokyo so the Imperial Palace we saw today, though impressive, isn’t exactly genuine. 

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                 Reflections—Gonaitei Gardens, Kyoto Imperial Palace

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                     Tranquility, Gonaitei Garden

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                     Azalea in bloom, Gonaitei Garden, Kyoto Imperial Palace

The Gonaitei Gardens, on the other hand, really knocked my socks off! Even in the rain with the season’s cherry blossoms but a memory, the beauty and simple elegance of the Garden is overwhelming. I “sumimasen-ed” (“excuse me” in Japanese) one of the docents and asked if he spoke English. When he nodded yes I told him how lucky he was to be able to see this every day.“Only two days each week,” he replied sadly.

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                        Bridge over Peaceful Waters, Gonaitei Gardens

A little exercise may never have hurt anyone but my dogs were barking and my back was stiff by the time we got back home. Seven miles on pavement at Connie’s nearly did me in.

 

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