Kyoto was the capital of Japan from the late 700s until mid 1800s. Unlike many of the major cities in Japan, Kyoto escaped complete destruction during WWII. A a result, the city features a mix of old and new and a high concentration of historic sites. Suffice to say, we are suffering from a bit of "temple fatigue."
Ryne made his way down from Hikone, dropped his bags at our hotel (more on the hotel later) and went off with some Japan Center buddies until meeting us for dinner Thursday evening.
Vonn was scheduled to leave for Tokyo and his return home on Saturday, so we packed a lot in on Friday. And it was hot. We headed first for the Bamboo Forest, in Arashimaya.
From there we walked to, and through, Ryoan-ji, a Zen temple that is home to one of the best examples of kare-sansui, the raked gravel landscaping. It's hard to capture with the iPhone camera:
Kinkakuji, or Golden Pavilion was next on the list, and it really is gold (as opposed to the Silver Pavilion, which is not silver). The top two floors are covered in gold leaf, and the structure was originally a retirement villa for a shogun, and converted to a temple in the early 1400s.
This loop entailed a LOT of walking - we really should have had a fitness tracker on, we were probably at about 30,000 steps....so, we recovered with a trip to a yakatori izakaya in the Pontchoro district (across the river from Gion).