Kyoto, Japan, Day 2 - 20th January 2023

After a happy reunion with our Japanese family and Emma surprising us with how much she had grown up since we saw her last, we all headed together to To-ji, a Buddhist temple, originally founded in 796 and completed in its current form in 1644. In addition to a beautiful five storey Pagoda, on this particular Saturday morning it was the venue for a local market featuring everything from Bonsai trees to dried fish.

We decided to visit again on another quieter day to admire the ancient buildings.

If only I was allowed those in my luggage!

Buddhist Monk welcoming the crowds.

Offering a prayer at To-ji.

Dried Fish.

At To-ji with Eri, Kaz and Emma with her Welsh 'Granddad'.

Eri and Kaz patiently explained unfamiliar items to us and it was fascinating to see the range of items being sold. After making an offering and a prayer, we decided shopping was hungry work and headed to a nearby mall in search of lunch.

Plastic version of a menu.

We passed several restaurants proudly displaying plastic demonstration models of the meals they offered. Never mind the real food, creation of the realistic models took a lot of artistic skill.

We opted for a sushi conveyor type restaurant while we had our friends to guide us. Kaz explained how each dish was priced according to the colour of plate upon which it rests. At the end of the meal, the plates are counted to prepare the bill.

Sushi conveyor.

Emma enjoying her healthy bento box.


Emma had her own packed lunch, healthy and laden with vegetables as ever.

The downside to taking a holiday in January is the cold. On feeling the bitterly cold air outside, we decided upon a museum visit in warmth. The Manga museum we'd selected was closed so we toured the nearby Kunjyukanto at Shoyeido Incense Company and learned about the tradition of Japanese incense production.

Later we went to the nearby park at the Imperial Palace and bravely wandered for a short while before heading to a tea shop instead where we could thaw ourselves out.

Our friends then kindly invited us to their lovely 8th floor apartment.

Imperial Palace Park.

At the apartment.

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