Our first day in Kyoto, Japan, consisted of trains, subways, buses, oh, and what seemed like a few hundred men and women dressed in traditional Kimonos and this lone Geisha, who really caught our eye. It was amazing to see so many dressed in traditional costume walking up to the temples and shrines. It really warmed one's heart.
This day in Kyoto featured some of the most beautiful buildings we had seen yet (every day seems to be like that!). The first place we went to after arriving by rail from Nara, was Kiyomizudera Temple (pictured above). It is one of the most celebrated Temples in Japan. It means "Pure Water Temple", and was founded in 780.There were special water features where anyone could cleanse their hands. People were also writing prayers, lighting candles, and saying prayers.
One of the most dramatic things we did at the Temple was done entirely in the dark! Thank goodness Michelle did her research, or we would have missed a really unique, and thoughtful experience. Just to the left of the main hall is a building named Tainai-meguri. For $1 CDN, you take your shoes off, then descend down a wooden staircase, holding on to a banister made of large (orange sized) wooden beads. It was as dark as a grave down below, and absolutely silent. As you walked, you were encouraged to meditate and just be at peace. The only time you come across any light, is when you encounter a stone with the Sanskrit letter that symbolizes Zuigu Bosatsu.You are told to make a wish on the stone, and if you have faith, your wish will come true. Not bad for a buck! Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately) no pictures are allowed.
Keeping fashionably cool on the city bus!
The final sight on our first day in Kyoto is one that will bed hard to be topped. It is the Kinkakuji. It is also known as the Golden Pavillion, and is a Zen Temple.The top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf, and as you can see in the pictures, it just sparkles in the sunshine. I won't waste any more words trying to describe it, as I don't have the vocabulary to do it justice. We hope you enjoy the pictures.