Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Japan Day 3

We packed in a lot of stuff today since this was our last official Kyoto day.
We started off at the temple of the golden pavilion.  It was an amazing sight.  The temple was covered in gold leaf and surrounded by a pond with miniature islands in it.  It also had a nice walking trail complete with streams.
Next we travelled to the opposite end of Kyoto and visited the temple of the silver pavilion.  Although this wasn't silver, it was still very nice, and it was right near a mountain so we were able to get a spectacular view of Kyoto from up there.
From there we did a Frommer's walking tour which took us through the philosopher's stroll.  It's a narrow pathway the runs along side a canal.  There are a bunch of old style houses and shrines along the path.  There were long stretches where we didn't see any cars, and it was almost hard to tell what year we were in.
Next we went to Nanzenji temple which looked like the openning scene of Rashomon.  A lot of these older temples have such a huge epic feel, and they're so highly detailed that you can appreciate them from hundreds of feet away, or inches away.
After that we went back to Pontocho for some shopping and a small dinner which was made up of various chicken parts, and was a little weird for me.  To finish of the evening we took a walk through the Gion district where we saw Maiko (Geisha in training) running around.  We even got a peek at an actual Geisha entertaining a group of Japanese business men.  We saw a short presentation of traditional Japanese arts at a theater in Gion, then we got Tea ceremony lessons.  The Japanese green tea is intense.  The color is so vivid and it tastes great.
Tomorrow we'll be taking a side trip,  I don't have any details yet, but it should be interesting.

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