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When it Rains, it Pours

Toei Kyoto Studios and the Imperial Palace

rain -20 °C

For anyone reading our blog who has suffered a bit of sun-envy from our photos, you may be pleased to hear that it chucked it down today. All day! On the bus ride to Kyoto Studios, Emma was observant enough to notice that EVERYONE was carrying umbrellas. It was at this time that we realised we might been a bit premature with the suncream and sandals.

The rain didn't dampen our spirits though as it gave us a good excuse to buy an umbrella. Usually buying an umbrella wouldn't be cause for occasion but the brollys here are fabulous and women use them for the dual purpose of sun shade and rain protection. An investment purchase it certainly was because we were out in showers all day.


The Kyoto studios are used for filming period dramas. The main attraction is the life size model village of Edo Period Japan (1603-1867) but there are also other film related amusements.

First we watched a short, live performance of a fighting samurai scene. We were really pleased when the show started because in the 5 minutes previous, quite a spectacle had been created around us. One girl had asked for a photo with us and we agreed, this then invited a whole queue of people jumping in and posing with us as if we were novelty statues. It was only 9.30am and there hadn't even been enough time for the caffeine to kick in from our morning coffee.

The performance was quite fun (from what we could interpret from the Japanese dialogue)- the actor's picked out one girl next to us in the audience and kept talking to her or running at her with swords to the amusement of the audience.


We enjoyed strolling about the Edo set, taking a look in the houses and posing in the bars. Here's some photos of us larking about:

We threw in a couple of comedy statue poses:

before heading to our favourite attraction: the Ninja Maze!! There was a brief introductory talk in Japanese which meant we understood nothing about what we were going to experience. We had gathered something about secret doors and ninjas jumping out at you, so by the time we came to entering the attraction we were at full panic stations!
The maze was actually incredibly fun and you had to go into a series of rooms and try and find the hidden doors. Once through, costume dressed staff often appeared in front of you causing you to jump. This was much better than the image we had created of ninjas dressed in black attacking us from the ceilings!

We took a brief look in at the Game Station, with little success for either of us:

We finished up our trip at the studios with a trip to Superhero land and what must have been a children's TV set or something. It was pretty weird but who doesn't want to see some oversized fried eggs?

and having achieved a good morning's worth of general lunacy and chuckles we headed off to the Imperial Palace for some high brow culture darling.

We were a little less excited for the tour when we realised it was going to be conducted outdoors...in the pouring rain. Brollys in hand, we had 60 minutes of admiring the outside of the palace. It was a battle of the brollys to get to the front of the crowd for the best photos. Ashton took at least 1 man out with a side swipe of her umbrella straight to his face.

Overall, it was an interesting and enjoyable tour and we learnt a lot about palace life and the history of Kyoto, which was the capital city for 1000 years. Our favourite sights were the gardens.


We headed back on the bus (once we had found the bus stop). Yes, we have had to brave buses today, blergh! We made a good brew and were given some lovely warm scones by a family from Singapore who we got chatting to.
In bag lady update, we think the staff have discovered her stash of carriers but we can't be sure what the outcome of that is. Emma will continue to have nightmares until further investigation is made.

Posted by Ashton and Emma 06:55 Archived in Japan Tagged kyoto palace studio imperial tolei

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