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Highlights of Japan Tour (Diamond Princess) 8/24/2017 – Day 1, Part 1

  • Posted on September 8, 2017 at 1:35 am

We made it to Osaka and were picked up by a driver, along with another couple, and driven to Kyoto for our 2 day tour starting the next day.  We stayed at the Kyoto Hotel Okura which was absolutely beautiful!!  Before sleeping, we had dinner at the hotel restaurant which was fun.  Husband had a “hamburger sandwich”, which was quite a good burger, and I ordered the “smoked salmon sandwich”.  The smoked salmon was awesome, cut into tiny ‘high tea’ size sandwich bites with the crust cut off, but very delicious.

Kyoto Hotel Okura

Because Husband & I had never been to Japan before and we knew we wanted to see and be able to get around with minimal difficulty.  My Japanese fluency is “sukoshi” (little), , although I have been studying, we had found an English guided tour/cruise on Princess cruise lines. We would have 5 days of ‘tour’, 2 in Kyoto and 3 in Tokyo, before boarding the Diamond Princess for an 8 days ‘Circle Japan’ tour.  For us, for our initial trip to Japan sounded perfect, and we’re so glad we decided to tour this way.

After a good night’s sleep we met the rest of our tour (about 20 people), along with our wonderful tour guide.  A Japanese woman whose name was unpronounceable.  She asked us to call her “Cheers”.  She was wonderful, very fluent and very knowledgeable about all the places we visited and any questions we had.
We boarded the bus and we were off.

Kiyomizu Temple was our first stop, and it was the first of many Buddist Temples and Shinto Shrines that we got to experience.

Kiyomizu Temple – Kyoto

Kiyomizu Temple – Kyoto

Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto

Kiyozuma Temple – Kyoto

The architecture and the details were amazing.

Kiyozuma Temple – Kyoto

 

Kiyozuma Temple – Kyoto

Then it was on to Nijo Castle.

Nijo Castle – Kyoto

Nijo Castle – Kyoto

Nijo Castle – Kyoto

Again the details are amazing.

Nijo Castle – Kyoto

Please note the request to “Stop operating smartphone applications such as “Pokemon Go” while walking in the castle.  This was probably an inportant Notice…. you know who you are.

We were not allowed to take pictures of the inside of the castle (the rule seemed to be if you had to take your shoes off, you couldn’t take pictures), but the link for Nijo will allow you to see the rooms, etc.

 

Some of these rooms in the castle were used for the movie “The Last Samurai” during the scenes with the Emperor.  We just re-watched “The Last Samurai” and it was interesting because the actors (Tom Cruise, et al) were wearing shoes/boots, but we did notice that there was a large rug down to protect the tatami mats.

Nijo Castle – Kyoto

Koi at Nijo Castle – Kyoto

Nijo Castle – Kyoto

Nijo Castle – Kyoto

 

By this time we were ready for our “Western Style lunch”, which was ‘interesting’ and nothing like we’d ever eaten before, but the people we met were very nice and seemed happy for us to be there.

I’ll finish this day’s tour later, thanks for letting me share.

Hugs,

Ellen