Day 1 in Kyoto

Kyoto Vlog!

Zen rock garden!


Panorama of said rock garden:


A fountain shaped like ancient Japanese coins. I heard a couple different translations from our guide and another guide nearby, but essentially I think the writing means “I am content with what I am”


The temple frames by trees:


Starting to change colors!

The weaving pattern under these umbrellas, which are pretty commonly found, is amazing:


The entrance to the Golden Pavilion, complete with beautiful women in kimonos!


The gargoyle on top of a temple building:


More leaves changing. So pretty!

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:


Delicious lunch!


The entrance to Nijo castle:


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 shogun lake:


Shogun moat! Those stones are original from 400 years ago. 


Cedar trees. They cut them down, and multiple new trunks spring up. They use the little trunks in construction of temples and such.  


Pagoda trees at Nijo Castle:


A random weird building in downtown Kyoto:


Getting ready for the tea ceremony:


Little Japanese sweet before the tea:


Part of the tea ceremony:

The nicest smoking area I’ve ever seen. 


Weird graffiti near Gion. 


A beautiful sunset in Kyoto:


Gion District:


The venue for the arts show:

The craziness of Kyoto Station:


Escalators going up forever!


Stairs and escalator going down forever!


Wtf is this? Why is there a Christmas tree up before Halloween? Calm down, Kyoto.


Fin!

One more day tomorrow, and then I’ll be looking forward to finally coming home!

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