Kyoto

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Over the rooftops of a town on the train from Tokyo to Kyoto

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In a shopping arcade in Kyoto

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A lantern-adorned temple in the middle of the arcade

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A traditional New Years meal ... and tourist trap menu-item...

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...albeit one we ate in a restaurant without westerners in a tatami room

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Don't forget-- cigarettes are carried at the height of childrens' eyes.

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A very old cracker shop near the river in Kyoto

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... and from the outside

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We went uphill to Chion-in

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Monks filed out near midnight...

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...to a plaza up the hill...

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...where they rang an enormous bell...

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...using an enormous log with ropes.

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They rang it once for every human frailty.

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Further down the hill, people were lighting ropes in lanterns.

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As soon as midnight hit, everyone made their First Temple Visit.

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We thought of Holly when we stopped here for a cuppa.

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The cups were, strangely, the exact same generic brand you'd find in an American gas station.

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Ali liked the sequential art on the walls

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Should've been the "Surreal Cafe."

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Put "All Milk Fat" in your coffee.

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The front door of Crossroads Ryokan

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The winter was still warm enough for plants outside

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A Kyoto bus

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The fork in the river is a prominent feature on a map of Kyoto.

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... and is a nice place for walking

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Temples were everywhere in Kyoto.