Getting to know Kyoto

I don’t know what to make of Kyoto yet. Coming from Tokyo on the Nozomi Super Express #23 bound for Hakata, a Shinkanzen (bullet train) among Shinkanzen, it was clear that the coast of Japan is densely populated. There are no small cities in Japan.

Kyoto Canal © Harold Davis
Kyoto Canal © Harold Davis

So it should not have surprised me when the outskirts of Kyoto were fairly brutal in their urban leanings, with a train station crowded with hordes going in every direction in apparent chaos that is in fact efficiency. The decorum makes up for a bit of this, with all the uniforms so roles are apparent, and the bows to arriving and departing buses and Shinkanzen (it is a deeper bow for a Shinkanzen than for a normal train!).

All that said, when you find the old Kyoto—temples beyond count, canals, ancient alleys and streets—it more than makes up for the rest. I’m looking forward to some real exploring tomorrow!

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