Friday, October 15, 2010

J and S's Grand Adventures in the East Part 3: Kyoto, part 2

We embarked the next day to discover Kyoto, the historic Japan. First we went to a temple called Kiyomizu-dera, which was at the top of a hill. On the way up, we had to pass at least two dozen souvenir stands. So much for historic. Once we got to the top, there were a number of temples, and the place was crowded with young, yukata-wearing couples. Why couples? They have something called a "love stone." Legend has it that if you walk backward from the love stone to another stone located about 10 feet away, you will get a wish. And if you don't do it successfully you won't fall in love for a long time.

Walking back, the heat gave us an unneeded excuse to buy ice cream. We went for the triple-decker: orange, green, and white. It turned out to be the fascinating combination of vanilla, green tea and mango. As we ate it, we wandered along the Path of Philosophy. It was a trail that ran alongside a canal, with boutique shops, bars, and restaurants on either side. I believe it was a Sunday, so it was practically empty. It made for a very serene, and very long, stroll. We stopped into one shop to look at yukatas and kimonos.

With a little bit of time left, we headed over to Ginkakuji Temple, home of the Silver Pavilion. It is so-called because the rooftop is silver. There was also a very cool Zen sand garden.

The next day we grabbed a train to Nara, Japan's first capital.


  1. I know that it's supposed to be a Zen sand garden, but it reminds me of mini-golf. Specifically the stupid volcano hole that everyone should be forced to take an automatic 6 on.

  2. I totally know what you're talking about and it does look like that stupid conical mini golf hole. Totally un-Zen.