After an enjoyable breakfast, we took the ferry off Miyajima and made our way on the train to Kyoto. We visited the famous Sanjūsangen-dō first. Pictures were not allowed here, but I suggest you visit and link and see for yourself. Sanjūsangen-dō is a buddhist temple with one thousand Kannon statues, and some other buddhist statues as well. The statues are collectively a clear statement of devotion, and individually stand for compassion. It also houses practicing monks, as do all of the buddhist temples we've visited.
As night fell, we visited Kyomizu Temple. We had to wait in line for a little while as the daytime crowd cleared before we were allowed in. The recent weekend was considered the end of foliage season, so here in Kyoto, even on a Monday night, there were many people out.
|Steps up to the temple|
Kyomizu is a Buddhist temple built on an impressive stage of wood. At night, spotlights are pointed towards the temple and surrounding trees, giving them a striking contrast, and an almost surreal feel.
Afterwards, we walked through Kyoto, including the famous neighborhood Gion where Geisha and Geisha-in-training (Maiko) live and work. Tourists, especially foreign tourists, were out in abundance here. We saw a Maiko walking with polite light steps through a cobblestone street; I did not get a good picture, but I think Hiro might have.
|Typical Gion Lantern|
Given we were going to another onsen the following night, we initially discussed getting a light dinner, but it turned into a tasty Nabe dinner at a popular neighborhood restaurant. We had gyoza and a tasty cucumber pickle too for good measure. In Japan, traditional cuisine contains many types of pickles and seafood dishes. Of course, with our dinner, we had plenty of beer and sake.
Bars and most restaurants in Japan also allow smoking. I don't smoke, but everyone else on the trip took the opportunity to enjoy a few cigarettes before we left for our hotel.