Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Going Home

Since we were boarding the Shinkansen, it is hard to give you an idea of how fast they travel.  Usually, they get up to speeds of about 180 out in the country.  You only have about a minute to board once they pull into a station.  By far, the coolest way to travel according to Aaron.

Leaving Nijo, we encountered the marathon crowds.  The trains were quite packed.  Luckily, the Shinkansen has reserved seating so the standing room only lasted a short ride.


Very tuckered out little boy. 

Nijo Castle

In 1601, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, ordered all the feudal lords in Western Japan to contribute to the construction of Nij┼Ź Castle, which was completed during the reign ofTokugawa Iemitsu in 1626.  It was built as the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa Shoguns. The Tokugawa Shogunate used Edo as the capital city, but Kyoto continued to be the home of the Imperial Court.  One of the most striking features of the Ninomaru Palace are the "nightingale floors" (uguisubari) in the corridors. To protect the occupants from sneak attacks and assassins, the builders constructed the floors of the corridors in such a way as to squeak like birds when anyone walks on them.
Some of the rooms in the castle also contained special doors where the shogun's bodyguard could come out and protect him.
Guess this is the kind way to say "We finished this creation, we don't need your input."

This was the last attraction on our list of must do.  Can you tell Evan is winding down.

Yes mom, I am bored!

These are some type of topiary creation.  They were interesting.

Miranda on the moat bridge.  There were two parts to the castle, one was the actual castle, the other was the residence. 

I have vowed to some how get one of these back to the states.  Thinking the front yard of the Florida house might need it.

Before damage is done

Heian Temple

Extracted from web-link:
Founded in 1895 ( it was re-created after the original structures were damaged by disasters) to commemorate Kyoto's 1100th anniversary. Dedicated to Emperor Kanmu who founded the capital and Emperor Komei the last Emperor to reign before the capital was moved to Tokyo. The Main Gate (Oten-mon) Great Hall of State (Daigokuden) and other brightly coloured buildings are smaller-scale replicas of buildings in the first imperial palace built 794.

The grounds of Heian Temple are quite spacious.  Evan had lots of room to run and explore. 

This gentleman must have been about 70-75 and had just finished the marathon.  He was grinning ear to ear with his medal and finisher towel.  I couldn't help but take a picture and smile. 

Kyoto Marathon and Heian Temple

The Kyoto Marathon was going on.  I loved witnessing all the support from the route.  This is near the end of the marathon at Heian Temple.  They had lots of Taiko drummers and traditions to cheer on the runners.

This might just be worth taking up running.  For all our marathon friends, I will sign you up next year.  We actually saw a lot of foreigners running.  I'm assuming marathon runners are like a circuit they follow.  This has to be one of the best!

I couldn't help taking a picture of this gentleman.  He must be about 70 years old and was grinning from ear to ear to be a finisher of the race.  He wore his medal proudly and since he was finished near the front of the pack, I'm assuming he did fairly well.

Shoren-in Temple

The Peasleys in a beautiful Japanese garden.  Little Peaslet is behind Tom's head.

Tom walking the streets of Gion

Miranda loves Mo-chi although Mo-chi doesn't necessarily like her braces. 

These floats were part of the Lantern Festival.  They are made completely out of rice paper.  Amazing artwork.

At the gate of Shoren-in Temple.  All the temples/shrines in Kyoto are from different sects of Buddhism.  Sects are sort of like denominations in Christianity.  Each sect has different rules and customs.  Some use water to purify, others use incense. 

These were the gates to the Temple, they are enormous.  All made of cypress and no nails are used.