On the first full day in Kyoto we dragged ourselves through the streets, under the scorching sun, with the goal of visiting the Imperial gardens and Nijo castle.
We got out of the 9h hotel and headed to our next hotel, because unfortunately, the host of our house here in Kyoto had to come back home due to work issues — we got to meet the lovely Atsuko in Lisbon, because she was visiting Portugal for the summer before she had to come back — so much for coincidences, heh?
The hotel was nice and let us drop off our bags, so off we went to explore the city. We walked to the Imperial Palace Gardens where unfortunately every temple was closed (you have to request a visit beforehand) and we were getting a bit desperate for something, because it was insanely hot outside. We came across a baseball team composed of elderly but very fit members, who invited us to sit with them and watch the game. It was a wonderful experience. Everyone was nice and having loads of fun and they really seemed to enjoy what they were doing. We learned from a Swedish guy, who apparently knew everybody else, that the whole gang gets together every week to play baseball.
We then headed to Nijo Castle, trying to avoid the sun as much as we could, and majorly failing at it. The humidity wasn’t helping either, as wasn’t the lack of water for so much time. We quickly got inside to cool down and slowly started to walk inside Ninomaru palace, as the wood creaking followed us, and step by step the light started to dim down as we advanced through the different rooms.
Finally at Nijo Castle. Even the moat is gorgeous.