Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Anywho, I’ll try to update what I’ve been doing recently.
Two months ago, I was able to visit Kyoto for the 2nd time. The first time, we were just 2 weeks too early for the sakura, or cherry blossoms; this time, we were 1 week too early. *Le sigh* One of these days, the timing will be right.
Instead of traversing our way through Kyoto by bus this time, we were able to maximize the most of our time by having a private taxi tour/guide, courtesy of my friend’s boss. While quite pricey, it should be a consideration if you have at least 4 people to split the costs. The guide does a good job of explaining things in English, and the biggest benefit is that one can save a lot of time by not having to take public transportation. Unlike other Japanese cities, Kyoto’s many tourist attractions are usually mainly accessible by bus, instead of trains and subways. We were, therefore, able to see 1.5-2x as many sites compared to using the bus.
Overall, it was a lovely time in Kyoto, despite only seeing 2 trees with sakura and some rain. Kyoto really is the epitome of “Old Japan” with its numerous (thousands) of temples, shrines, castles, and Gion (was actually lucky enough to see a maiko, apprentice geisha, walking these streets). Would love to visit again!