Day Two Recap
Temples and Gardens of Kyoto
We were all excited for today’s excursion to the Ryoanji Temple and its famous contemplative rock garden. Mimi gave us a quick preview during the pre-trip meetings. There are 15 rocks in the garden, but you can only see 14 at the most at one time. To view the garden we had to remove our shoes and observe it from a seated position.
Yesterday’s “Silver Pavilion” prepped us for seeing today’s “Golden Pavilion,” Kinkakuji. The site was sprawling with visitors, but that didn’t take away from its magnificence. As we made our way through the grounds, we found Mimi waiting for us at a whimsical teahouse where she pointed out some subtle details. At first glance the structure looks fairly simple and is small in size. But, when looking closely and having Mimi there to explain the details, the structure started to become more and more beautiful and interesting. For example, there was one round window when all of the others were rectangular.
We then explored the grounds of Daitokuji temple before experiencing a vegetarian Buddhist lunch at Izusen restaurant. Each bowl held a unique and flavorful delight. When finished we could neatly stack the bowls inside each other, so clever!
A stop by the Kyoto Handicraft Center to check out their wares and an optional Geisha dance performance concluded our final night in Kyoto.