30 December 2013

Kyoto day 10

Sunday 24th November

The words of the day were "sugoi!" (amazing) and "kirei!" (beautiful). The autumn colours were at their most spectacular.

I took a bus to the northern end of the Philosopher's Path, and first I headed to Ginkakuji Temple. There was actually a lot more to it than just the cone of gravel and the pavilion which I knew about. There was also a walk up the hill with great views over the city, and a lovely garden. The place looked exactly like on the postcards that were on sale, with the autumn leaves at their best.

I continued to stroll along the canal, with its cherry trees in their autumn colours, leaves tumbling down. I had a look at Honen-in Temple, which was small and peaceful. It had gravel mounds with designs on the top of them, and a lovely water basin with a camellia blossom positioned where the water was flowing out.

Before long I reached the tiny Otoyo Shrine with its rat statues, and a cute little torii gate that was only just big enough for me to walk under.

I then made my way to Eikando Temple. I could see why it is so famous for its autumn colours. It was a beautifully sunny Sunday, and the leaves were at their peak, so the place was very busy. Here and Jojakkoji Temple in Arashiyama were probably the best places for autumn leaves that I visited.

Next I went ot the Nanzenji Temple complex, which was also very crowded. First I looked at the aqueduct, then I went on to one of the sub-temples, Saisho-in, which was a lot more peaceful. I also looked round the garden at Nanzen-in.

I began to feel I'd had enough of busy temples, so I headed for a bus stop, passing the Lake Biwa Aqueduct Museum and caught a bus near the Museum of Art.

Later I walked to Gion, where I was hanging about looking for geishas when someone told me they don't work on a Sunday! So instead I had a look at one of the shops that sell kanzashi and combs, and bought a lovely kanzashi (hair ornament).

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