Temples of KyotoMay 6, 2017 in Japan
Temple day today... and what a day it was. Starting again with the small and intimate, Gioji Temple in Arishiyama was the first stop. Famous for its moss gardens, peace and tranquility, it did not disappoint. Hardly any people there either which was an added bonus. As you will see from the photos the moss garden is backed by large stands of bamboo which add a great contrast of greeny blue to the deep green shades of the moss. I could have stayed there all day just contemplating.
But as I'm travelling this is all about movement, so on to the next temple a pleasant 30 minute walk away through what are obviously very upmarket residential areas but also typically Japanese. Daikaku-ji Temple is a much more elaborate place in the Shingen Buddhist style. It was formerly an Imperial Villa and it shows. Situated next to a lively large lake it is a large and sprawling complex with stunning buildings and formal gardens. It was a wonderful place and was made even better by the rain that brought a refreshing coolness on what was a hot but overcast day.
Nenbutsuji Temple is another amazing place with a stunningly beautiful bamboo pathway and lots of clearly ancient statues and temples some of which you are not allowed to photograph.
Then off to lunch at a famous Soba Noodle restaurant overlooking the river at Arashiyama... Delicious!
Rounded out the day with a visit to the Phoenix Hall at Byodoin on the other side of Kyoto. Now this is grandeur! It has an attached museum were all the original statues and artifacts are kept. All dating back to the 11th century!!! Superb craftsmanship in wood and bronze. Just amazing. Also some great ground's and hanging wisteria to photograph.
Then off to the extreme of the 7 story Yodabashi Camera store in central Kyoto... 7 massive floors of every high tech thing you can imagine. I was very pleased with myself that I did not buy anything... All so tempting :-)
Dinner was Okinimiyaki which is like a Japanese style omelet thing with cabbage and noodles cooked in front of you on a hot plate built into the table... double delicious!
Just as well that today involved lots and lots of walking as I probably put it all back on with the great food.
Warning! If you come to Japan plan lots of walks and exercise... because the food is really delicious :-)Read more