The second major city we visited on our trip was Kyoto. It's traditional old world charm makes it a major tourist spot (great at times and not so great at others).
I learned a few things in Kyoto:
- Do not harass the geishas! I didn't actually see any geishas but Rob saw a few. One of those times there was a big group of tourists gathered around the women taking photos and blocking their way. I felt horrible and embarrassed when he told me about it. Though I constantly tote my camera along when we travel, I still get really nervous taking photos in public, especially of people. I try to pretend like I'm taking photos of something else or take my photo really quickly before anyone notices. So I was mortified for those poor geishas and it made me even more apprehensive about taking photos in public.
- UNIQLO is awesome! It's like the GAP of Japan. I've started ordering my clothes from the US UNIQLO site and get some really great deals. One of my co-workers compliments my outfits pretty often at work (we just have the same taste) and she's started following up "Where did you get that?" with "In freakin Japan?!" automatically. I need a bigger shopping budget next time we go.
- None of the breakfast options seem very "Japanese". The only things open in the morning are French style bakeries, convenience stores, and tea/coffee houses where "sets" (eggs and toast usually) can be added on to your drink order. Pancakes are a popular lunch food but no one serves them for breakfast.
- Locals go crazy over cherry blossoms too, it's not just the tourists.