Soggy in Kyoto
Kyoto Travel Blog› entry 18 of 174 › view all entries
October 3rd, 2009 – by: domnicella
I arrived in Kyoto a little after 1pm in the midst of quite the rainstorm. After drying off and checking in, I decided to do the unthinkable and head out in the rain to knock some sights off the list. "Embrace the suck," as one of my friends calls it. With only three nights in Kyoto and so much to see, it seemed foolish to stay in (even if the lounge area in the hostel is a welcoming sprawl of comfy couches and tea with a covered terrace outside to boot).
Visited two different Buddhist temples nearby that I probably wouldn't have otherwise gone to, but they were close and earned points in the guidebook department and let's face it, even though I was being a trooper and venturing out in the rain, this trooper has her limits.
The first stop, Higashi-Honganji Temple, was quite impressive. The largest wooden structure in the world, it is (obviously) quite massive and impressive. More impressive still was the (rather unusual, at least I've come to think) ornate and detailed interior. Most temples I've visited are rather sparce on the inside. When I say sparse I'm not referring to statues or anything of this sort, which most temples have. I'm referring to the actual structure of the building, the lighting, the physical details of the walls, the ceiling, the support beams, etc. I was pretty impressed with Higashi-Honganji, even if the guard did scold me twice: once for taking pictures inside (which I hadn't), and once for lounging on the tatami mats (I was only following the lead of everyone else I saw! I suppose you're only allowed to if you're a true worshiper and not a conspicuous tourist).
The second (and final) stop of the day was several blocks further down the road at Nishi-Honganji Temple. Nishi-Honganji was quite lovely and impressive itself, and I probably would have been more awed had I not visited the world's largest wooden structure first. The good news is that the guards were far more laid back, and there was no scolding to be had.
Pops, I hope you're keeping score. That's extra bonus points in the trooper department. "We don't have any lazy wimps in this house!"
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