Zen rock garden!
The weaving pattern under these umbrellas, which are pretty commonly found, is amazing:
Rather than inundate you with all my Golden Pavilion photos, here’s my best one:
A red pine tree that is growing in two separate directions. The Japanese feel it looks like a boat.
Our guide bought us all incense sticks to light and offer in front of a smal temple. Exposure to the smoke is supposed to heal. In particular, this incense brazier is supposed to heal ailments from the neck up.
On our way to lunch, we walked by a shrine for pregnant women, so I had to have a picture:
A close-up underneath the entrance archway. You can see two cranes; one has its mouth open, representing the beginning, and one has its mouth closed, representing the end. Generally open-mouthed statues and engravings are considered male while the closed-mouth ones are female. Balance is particularly important to Japanese culture. There’s also a dragon and a tiger; the tiger is the guardian of the west, and the dragon is the guardian of the east (and my totally badass zodiac sign).
The entrance to Nijo castle:
The nicest smoking area I’ve ever seen.
The craziness of Kyoto Station:
One more day tomorrow, and then I’ll be looking forward to finally coming home!