Castles and Temples continued

Trip Start Aug 25, 2011
Trip End Sep 08, 2011

Flag of Japan  , Kinki,
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We ate a huge traditional homemade Japanese breakfast (with some American mixed in too) in the morning at the inn.  It included a ridiculous amount of food - scrambled eggs, soup with tofu, sesame flavored veggies, crab salad, a slice of salmon, seaweed, rice, green tea, a few other things I cannot remember.  It was amazing though.  After breakfast, we walked back to the train station to purchase some all day bus passes for 500 yen.  It was well worth it!  Usually it costs 220 yen for a single ride.  First, we took a bus to Gion area to try to find a fish market, but we did not find it.  What we did find was a temple - the Kiyomizu temple.  Then we took a bus over to the Sanjusangendo hall, where the temple contained statues of 1000 soldiers, Buddhist gods, and a large Buddha.  It was very cool, but, like most of the cool things that I was able to see in the temples, photography was not allowed.  I am sure you can google or wiki it and find pictures though.
    Next, we jumped on a bus over to the Imperial palace gardens.  They were not quite what was expected.  I anticipated lush greens and lots of colorful flowers, but it was mostly gravel pathways and trees.  To get inside the palace itself, we would have needed to make arrangements ahead of time, which we did not do.  We then tried to find the Heian shrine, but it was closed on the day - things are closed on random days here, and not always on a consistent basis.  For instance, it might be closed on a monday, but only during certain months, then closed on a thursday during others.
    That failed, we went over to see the silver pavillion, which was designed based on the golden pavillion we saw yesterday.  It was not finished before its builder died though, so he never got around to putting silver on it.  Still, it looked neat.  On the way there, we made a quick pit stop for some more soft serve ice cream.  This time, I got a sesame flavor.  Not as good as the sweet potato, but not bad.  After the silver pavillion, we walked down the so-called philosopher's path.  It is about a mile-long path along a small creek with some quaint little coffee shops along the way.  I can see why it would be popular.  The path lead us down to the Nanzenji temple.  By this time, my feet were killing me - similar to when I dragged my mom up and down Chicago a few summers ago - but again, I think it was worth it.
    We were both tired and hungry after walking around the temple grounds for awhile, so we caught a bus back to Kyoto station.  We walked over to Shijo-dori, then found a department store to eat at.  Up on the 8th floor, Terry chose an Italian place, where we ate some thin crust seafood pizza and drank some cool sake.  After dinner, we made some attempt to find nightlife, but the bars seemed to be in weird places like on a random floor or basement of random buildings.  We ended up at a very strange piano bar, which had only one other person there besides the woman playing piano and singing slow depressing songs, and the beer was extremely overpriced...We did not stay long.  Chalk it up to the problem with not knowing a local to tell you where to go.  We decided we should recruit Beth's help to go out in Tokyo instead.
    Overall, Kyoto was fun, and it is a very clean city with a mountainous backdrop.  I think this is going to be at the top of my list for favorite experiences at the end of the trip.
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eddad24 on

Cool Story. I can almost feel like I am there with you as you tell the story - in a good, non-stalkerish way... My feet even hurt, thanks very much - I like it all except for your taste in ice cream. I suppose, when In Kyoto, Do As The Kyotans Do is not empty rhetoric. Hai!

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