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Monday, January 28, 2013

Japan - Kyoto 11.09

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  • Kinkakuji Temple 金閣寺 (Golden Pavilion)
  • Ryoanji Temple 龍安寺
  • Ginkakuji Temple 銀閣寺 (Silver Pavilion)
  • Path of Philosophy哲學之道
  • Honen-in Temple 法然院
  • Nanzenji Temple 南禪寺
  • Kyoto Station 京都車站 

At 8 AM, we heard a gentle knock on our door.  It was breakfast time!  Tomako brought trays of food to our room: miso soup, tofu stew, grilled fish, tamakoyaki (Japanese omelette), tsukemono (various types of pickled vegetable and plums), nori (dried seaweed), and steamed rice.  We were still full from last night's dinner and could barely finish one third of the food in front of us. 

As I was eating the traditional Japanese breakfast and looking at the plates and trays used in the Japanese cuisine, I thought to myself, it must be hard being a Japanese housewife! Forget about the varieties of food needed to be prepared in one meal, to wash all the dishes along would take a very long time!   

After breakfast and a bath, sadly, it was time to check out.  Although a splurge, we really enjoyed our short stay at Shiraume. 

We took the Kyoto bus to the opposite side of the town and arrived at Kinkakuji 金閣寺.   The temple was packed with tourists, understandably since it was an iconic and visually stunning temple in Kyoto.  The setting made me better understand and appreciate the classical Japanese literature I read in high school.  

Another quick bus ride later, we escaped the mobs of crowd and came to the peaceful Ryoanji Temple 龍安寺. The temple was famous for its rock garden.   Speaking of garden, we really loved all the temple gardens we visited so far, whatever styles they might be.  H kept saying that he would get a Japanese garden just like the Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison, has  if he had the money. 

The next temple on our agenda wasGinkakuji Temple.  From Ginkakuji, we walked down the Philosopher's Path, a scenic stone path by a canal.  Along the path, we stopped by two more temples,  Honen-in Temple 法然院 and Nanzenji Temple 南禪寺.  As New Yorkers, we  were used to walk everywhere.  However, after 5 days of walking,  our legs were hurting! 

After visiting all the temples, it was time to head back to Osaka.  But before we said good-bye to Kyoto, we spent sometime inside the ultra-modern Kyoto Station,  and had ramen noodles again on the 10th floor Ramen Koji 拉麵小路.

It was down to our last night in Japan.  Maybe we were too greedy about our itinerary  or maybe there was just too much to see and too much to do in Kansai region, this trip had been exhausting! But there was still so much we want to do;  I barely had anytime to shop,  H wanted to go back to  Dotombori 道頓堀 again, and we did not eat enough Japanese food!  

After getting back to Osaka,  we stayed in Umeda shopping district and did some last minute shopping before the  department stores closed at 8 PM.   As much as we wanted to go to Dotombori for our last night's meal, H & I eventually caved into our exhaustion.  We bought a hello kitty chocolate mouse cake from the food court (it looked good and tasted even better!), some special winter beers, and snacks from the convenient store  on the way back to the Sheraton.  Once we checked into, we never made it out of our room again until the next day when we flew back to New York.  



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