Thursday 14 March 2019

Last day in Kyoto

It's our last day in Kyoto, so we are just fitting in two more famous temples.
After a slight map reading error we eventually arrive at the first one, the Ryoanji Temple.
The main sight here is the Zen rock garden.

It is inside the temple grounds  and surrounded by a wall made, surprisingly, of clay boiled in oil. The are no plants in the garden, just 15 rocks and white gravel. It was created in about the year 1,500 by a highly respected Zen monk and some people think it represents a tiger leading her cubs. You are encouraged to sit and contemplate the perfection of it, and you can see from the photo that a few people are doing just that, however, the ones nearer my camera are just reading their phones.
We didn't really understand the garden, and definitely couldn't find the tigers. Maybe if we had been the only people there so that we could have been at one with nature, but I doubt it.
Behind the garden inside the temple were some excellent screens and there was a nice water feature on the way out.

Final, final temple and garden of our holiday is the Kinkaku. This one is really, really busy and they have crowd control down to a tee.
We followed the people through a gate and were immediately directed left by a large uniformed guard. This was to queue to take photos of the golden pavilion and surrounding lake.

It was very attractive, but no better than some of the temples and gardens that we saw around the country, lots of which were almost deserted.
It had a good garden and a great tree that appears to have been crafted into the shape of a boat, but I can't read Japanese so that is only my guess.

Onwards, following the route and other tourists until suddenly we were at the gift shop and caf├ęs, so our journey was at an end.

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