Andrea and David's trip to Japan, July 2011

Day 16: 1-8-11 Kyoto - (Days 15 Day 17 - birdlist - bird gallery

Breakfast at the B&B's main department, with a impressive garden then off to explore historical Kyoto. We took the bus to the start of the walking tour suggested by the Lonely Planet, as the best introduction. It took ages to pass the bewildering diverse ceramic shops just to get to the first temple, Kiyomizu-dera. The main Unesco-listed building is built out of the hillside on an impressive stilt construction. Very much worth the visit - many fine details, quite amazing! Details include different types of stone tiles, stones and gravel, the bushes, stone lanterns, decorated roof beams,  roof tiles ... Ornate doors and so on


From Kiyomizu-dera we walked through streets of traditional houses to the next temple, Kodai-ji. This was built by a Shogun and became an abbey on his death. This was a complex of several institutions including a memorial for the dead of WWII. The latter dominated by a huge stone Buddha. The memorable features here were the landscaped gardens and paths, including a gravel garden and many fine details including pruned trees. The admission also covered entry to the lower temple Entoko-In, which was a nunnery ... complex story.

By the time we had found a drink and rested in the hot and humid weather, the nest temple, with its huge bell was closed for the day. We made our way to RukoRuko, and found a small ethnic restaurant.