Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 17, 2010 Temple Walk Day in Kyoto

Today we decided to see some temples in Kyoto. We started off walking towards the Kyoto train station because there is a tourist information office in it. We stopped at Starbucks along the way for a  cool drink. There was a temple, Rokkaku-do, tucked in behind Starbucks and we went to see the various shrines including the fox one. There were aprons and tams on the stone figures around the temple probably because of this festival going on right now. There were carp in the ponds around the temple. We walked around a temple right by the train station, Higashi-Honganji. There were lots of pigeons.

We had lunch in a Japanese restaurant on the top floor of the train station mall area. It had a view that overlooked the city. We just ordered the bento box that the women beside us were eating as the menu was all in Japanese and it was very hard to decipher with no photos. The bento was very good. A little bit of everything and all in little packages and boxes and bowls. Lots of nice little surprises. Then we looked around the shop a bit and marvelled at the kimonos and other shiny things for sale. We walked up from the train station, across the Kamo river to the Sanjussanjen-do Temple. It has hundreds of golden Buddha figures in a hall and a beautiful garden.

We took a cab from there over to the Gion district which is where the Geishas entertain. We looked at the shrine there, Yasaka. We found a fox shrine here too. Then we walked around the street looking at the wares for sale, had dinner at a soba noodle shop, and walked along the river back to the hotel. April is finally getting the hang of the dreaded squat toilets though she still prefers the sit toilets and takes them wherever she can. The key is in a wide stance and using the handles. 

Starbucks with a temple immediately outside

Fancy lunch

The modern face of Buddhism. This bench can be found outside a sacred temple.

It is appropriate to slurp noodles in Japan. In fact, it is a sign that you are enjoying them!

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