AsiaJapanKyoto

Kyoto, 27th to 30th November 2007

Kyoto Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 9 › view all entries
Kinkaku-ji Temple and the mirrored pond

Arriving from our pit-stop in Hiroshima we had a bit of trouble locating our hostel thanks to a rubbish map in the Rough Guide guidebook. Another lesson learned. We were staying in the Aoi-So Inn which was okay apart from seeing a huge cockroach in the kitchen. Our first day we were up early and set off to buy our daily bus pass (500 Yen).

First stop Kinkaku-Ji Temple also known as the golden pavilion. We got there just as the gates opened at 9am and were caught up in the initial tourist rush but it didn't detract from the beautiful sight as you enter, of the gold leaf covered temple reflecting in the lake that surrounds it. We walked through the grounds for a bit and the setting with all of the autumn leaves in various shades was lovely.

Ryoanji Temple Zen Rock Garden
As we left we scored some free tasters of Kyoto speciality sweets (Mmmmmm) and some weird pink tea with gold leaf in it (Yuk).

Next stop was the Zen style rock garden at Ryoan-Ji just up the road, it was also very much on the tourist trail and it would've been nice to contemplate the hidden meaning of the rock gardens in a bit more seclusion and tranquility but it was impressive as well as  relatively calming and peaceful nonetheless. A Korean couple asked Steph to take their picture and then a little strangely asked Adam to take a photo of the two of them with Steph!!! Must be the golden locks.

We had planned to eat in the restaurant at the temple as it is a Vegan restaurant on account of it being buddhist but it was far too early.

Ni-ijo Castle entrance
Instead we headed off to Niijo Jo, a castle in the centre of Kyoto which was spectacular. Walking around the palace we could really picture the Shogun all those years ago pacing up and down with his court and ministers attending to his every whim. We got to walk around the vast palace and experience what are called "nightingale" floors which are designed to squeek with every step to warn the Shogun's guards of intruders. The castle gardens are also beautifully manicured and make for a really nice stroll.

For details of our awesomely delicious lunch you have to read our review of Obanzai restaurant.

Feeling a bit worn out from our sightseeing and weighed down by our full bellies we decided to search out the department stores and pick up a couple of Yakutas. We scored in the first one we went to called Daimaru. Really helpful staff and great quality Yakutas which they then wrapped up beautifully in silver paper and little bows.

Ni-ijo Inner Palace Gate
Not exactly what you get from Debenhams.

Our next day we headed to Nara and Inari which we will write about separately.

Our final day in Kyoto we decided to relax a little, we are both a bit wary of getting templed out too soon what with the whole of China, Vietnam and Cambodia still to come. We used the internet access provided by the tourist info and went back for more Obanzai then took a stroll through the busy shopping area and into an older area called Gion. Had alast meal in Japan at a place called Cafe Peace which is all Vegan and is reviewed as part of our Nara and Inari day.

Next morning it was pack up and off to the station for the bullet back to Tokyo and leaving Japan.

 

barrieandann says:
All looks fabulous, but tell us which sumo wrestler was you?!
Only joking, I am sure you are both having a wonderful time.
Love Mum xxxxxxxxxx
Posted on: Dec 02, 2007
stabber911 says:
Please know that your reader is actually waiting for picture to go with the story. :)
Posted on: Dec 01, 2007
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Kinkaku-ji Temple and the mirrored…
Kinkaku-ji Temple and the mirrore…
Ryoanji Temple Zen Rock Garden
Ryoanji Temple Zen Rock Garden
Ni-ijo Castle entrance
Ni-ijo Castle entrance
Ni-ijo Inner Palace Gate
Ni-ijo Inner Palace Gate
Steph at Kinkaku-ji Temple
Steph at Kinkaku-ji Temple
Adam at Kinkaku-ji Temple
Adam at Kinkaku-ji Temple
Kinkaku-ji Temple
Kinkaku-ji Temple
Steph by the Shrine at Ryoanji Tem…
Steph by the Shrine at Ryoanji Te…
Ni-ijo Palace gardens
Ni-ijo Palace gardens
Steph overlooking Ni-ijo Palace ga…
Steph overlooking Ni-ijo Palace g…
Adam overlooking Ni-ijo Palace gar…
Adam overlooking Ni-ijo Palace ga…
Ni-ijo Palace gardens
Ni-ijo Palace gardens
Overlooking Ni-ijo Palace gardens
Overlooking Ni-ijo Palace gardens
Kyoto Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
We found this amazing vegetarian restaurant just around the corner from Niijo Castle. It is a predominantley vegan restaurant with only one or two dis… read entire review
Kyoto
photo by: ys484