Our day in Kyoto began with a bus tour to three different locations. The first of these was Nijo Castle. Built in 1603 this castle was the Shogun's official Kyoto residence. Photographs were not allowed in the Palace, but we took some of the grounds.
|The main gate to Ninomaru Palace|
|The exterior of Ninomaru Palace|
|close-up of a carved wood panel|
|Brian and I in the garden|
The second stop on our tour was The Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku)--a Buddhist hall containing relics of Buddha. The top two stories are gold-leafed with a Phoenix at its apex.
I must be the daughter of two master gardeners because what I found most interesting here was a 600 year old Bonsai tree. It was amazing.
The last stop of our tour was Kyoto Imperial Palace. Originally built in 794 AD it has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. The present buildings are 160 years old.
The Shishinden (through these red gates) is the most important ceremonial building within the Palace grounds and was used for coronation ceremonies.
Our tour guide insisted that we visit Gion (Kyoto's geisha district) before we left the city, so Brian and I headed that direction on foot. We passed this small Shinto Shrine on our way.
Sadly, it was too early in the afternoon for us to run into any geisha, but we enjoyed wandering through the narrow streets passing tea houses and such.
I gasped with delight when we passed this shop.
It is always a treat to cross paths with beautiful Japanese women in traditional Kimonos.
We ended our day of adventure with bento box dinners in our hotel room.