John and I loved Kyoto so much that we decided to take a later bullet train to Tokyo than we originally anticipated so we could spend more time in the more serene, temple-filled city of Kyoto.
Along the path to Ginkaku-ji we found a shop that only carried bunny merchandise, and I was in love. Bunnies were My Thing as a kid, and since having a kid of my own I've fallen back in love with them.
Ginkaku-ji is called the "Silver Pavilion" because it was built by the grandson of the builder of the Golden Pavilion and was intended to be covered in silver. Funds for the project dried up, so a much less ostentatious pavilion remains.
The villa is surrounded by beautiful Zen gardens that John and I really enjoyed.
Pictures really can't do justice to this type of garden where each tree and shrub is mindfully placed and pruned to create a particular aesthetic. Around every corner you find a new view to stun you.
At the top of these particular gardens you could see down to the temple as well of the city of Kyoto, and it was beautiful.
To continue our "Kathy and John eat food" photos, here is John eating a Potatornado. Yum.
We hopped in a cab and headed over to Kiyomizu-dera.
The mountainside temple was founded in 780 and the current buildings date from 1633. Drinking from the three streams (that come from a waterfall) are said to help with health, longevity, and academic success. We couldn't be bothered to wait in the line, though.
For our last temple visit in Kyoto (and possibly Japan), it was a great finish.
The place was filled with Japanese kids on field trips, all in uniform. Part of one school's assignment was to approach English-speaking tourists at the temple, such as myself, and ask them questions and get them to write down answers. I diligently wrote down what I thought of world peace while they giggled away. They were hilarious.
After Kiyomizu-dera, we said goodbye to Kyoto hopped on a bullet train back to Tokyo to spend our last few days in Japan.