Kyoto Day 2October 15, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C
Another busy day of temple sight-seeing today! Out fairly early on the bus, where our first stop was Ryoan-ji temple. Arrived right at 7:30am on the dot, just as the doors opened - I think we were the first visitors! This is one of the World Heritage temples in Kyoto, mainly noted for its large Japanese rock garden. It was an interesting sight, since you can only view it from the verandah of a nearby pavilion, and it's arranged so that you basically can't see the whole thing at once - you have to take different positions. There's 15 large rocks arranged skilfully in a bed of small pebbles, and they're organised so that you likewise can't see all 15 from any particular vantage point. The idea is that to see all 15 rocks simultaneously, one must achieve enlightenment!
I'll settle for a drone. We hurried through here, enjoying the nice lake as well, before heading out and walking quickly up the hill to the next temple. This one is one of the most popular in all of Kyoto, and despite arriving at 8:50 in advance of a 9am opening, there was already a large queue! We waited and got in fairly quickly, where we were greeted with a beautiful golden pavilion on a lakeshore. Gorgeous environment. Was cool to see the different styles on each level of the pavilion, and to then wander around the gardens and enjoy different angles, though it was super busy and crowded here with tourists. Lots of group tours, unfortunately!
Done with the two main things we'd done to see, and it was only 11:30 - not bad going! We debated seeing a few more temples but they do honestly get a bit samey after a while, and they aren't real cheap either! In the end, we just headed back to the hotel and relaxed for most of the rest of the day, though Shandos went out for some shopping in the late afternoon.Read more