My visit to Kyoto is now almost six weeks past, but the photos I took over the weekend never really got a decent airing. While I was there, Japan was still in the middle of a wave of record-breaking heat, and the whole Kyoto trip remains something of a blur, probably because the air everywhere I looked buckled and shimmied like the space above a white-hot charcoal grill. (When I landed in Tokyo on Aug. 14 and learned that it was the hottest day in the country’s recorded history – 105 F – all I could think was, “I left freaking South Carolina for this?”)
Kyoto has somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 historic temples and shrines – which I would think compares favorably with the sum of all the Baptist Churches in Greenville, SC. They’re huge with amazing gardens, a lot like small cities, actually, and probably 90 percent of them are on the International Register of Stupifyingly Important Cultural Treasures That You’ve Somehow Never Heard Of. I visited maybe 10 of the most well-known ones in the three days I was there. Have a gander at this slideshow of some of the better photos I took. I’ll hit you with the other 1,490 next time I visit.