|Nancy with the main temple gate in the background.|
|We were pretty sure that these were a whole bunch of mini-Buddhas|
|View across the valley|
|The we took the trail across the valley and looked at|
|View looking back at the temple. You can see the trestle in this one.|
You can also see the bazillions of people there.
|Nancy on the stairs up to one of the outbuildings.|
You may notice something about a lot of these pictures. Many of them have something in common: STAIRS. Holy crap were there a lot of stairs! So many stairs! If there's one thing that these Buddhist temples really like, it's their stairs. Every temple we went to had at least some, and some of them had bajillions! Anyway, after Kiyomizu-dera the guidebook had us ramble around through some neighborhoods that I found only moderately exciting and totally left out an interesting-looking temple on the route that we decided to pass anyway because it cost 600 yen each (and if you're wondering about how much a yen is, it's basically one yen=1 cent. So 100 yen is one dollar. It's almost exact. Anyway.) to get in. We went to a nice park, and then went and took a look at a shrine down below it. Also, did I mention that it was really hot? We were drinking water like crazy on this day, and I sweated a lot. I mean, that's kind of normal, but I really sweated a lot. Anyway, the shrine was pretty cool. I don't really remember the name of it, and I can't really be bothered to look it up right now, but I'll put in some pictures.
|This statue was in the park, not the shrine, but I thought it was cool.|
|One of the many mini-shrines in there. If you're worshiping at it you're supposed to use the rope to ring the bell.|
|This gate is called a torii. I'll have much more to say about those in my post on day 3.|
|Main shrine building. Lots of lanterns and lots of gold things. Pretty cool.|
After the shrine we headed a ways further north and went to a very big temple called Chion-in. This was probably my favorite part of this day. The main gate was HUGE and, of course, this temple had enormous amounts of stairs! The ones leading up from the main gate were even pretty big so they took extra effort to climb up. I kind of wonder if that's something to do with Buddhism, or if they just felt like making them like that. Nancy, I think, felt like they made them like that specifically to make her life more difficult. Anyway, the temple was pretty cool. It had some neat buildings, a really big bell, and we got to go inside of a lot of the buildings at this one and see the images and things they had in there. In the main hall there were a bunch of monks doing their Buddhist chants. I actually thought this was cool because I learned about this chanting in my Japanese history class at BYU, and I thought it was a really neat thing to see it/hear it in real life. They had signs up not to take pictures of that, but here are a few pictures of the temple.
|Main entrance. Notice how it is huge. Apparently the guy who built it was accused of mishandling funds or something, and so, true to feudal Japanese form, he committed ritual suicide. Also notice the stairs.|
|Neat building, and more stairs.|
|Really big bell! (Which, coincidentally, was at the top of, you guessed it, even more stairs!)|
|Another cool temple building.|
|Yeah, there were more stairs.|
|Coincidentally, I took this picture from the top of more stairs.|
After Chion-in we had lunch and then took a bus up to a place that I was really excited to see because the guidebook talked the crap out of it. It's another temple called Ginkaku-ji, and the guidebook had it listed as number 1 in its top ten sights of Kyoto. Well, we went there, we paid five dollars each to get in, and while it was a nice temple, I have to say we were a little disappointed. It definitely didn't measure up to some of the other stuff we'd seen that day. It's biggest talking point was a "silver pavilion," and we had thought, since there is a temple in Kyoto that has a gold pavilion, which is actually plated in gold (Nancy will post about that one) we kind of figured this one would be exciting. Not so much. In fact, we completely missed it the first time we walked by it and had to backtrack. It's the silver pavilion because they view the full moon in it. So, it's just a wooden temple building. However, there was a pretty nice hike, a few more stairs (of course) and a good view, and we took some pictures of the pavilion because we had to. Here are some pictures from underwhelming, I mean Ginkaku-ji.
|This sculpted sand was actually pretty cool.|
|Excellent view going up the stairs. :)|
|A lot of the gardens at the temples in Japan have moss instead of grass. Pretty cool.|
|Sweet view out over the temple complex and northern Kyoto.|
|Another thing of sculpted sand.|
|The Silver Pavilion.|
|This is Nancy's "I'm pretty underwhelmed, but whatever." face.|
After Ginkaku-ji we wandered around a little more and looked at a couple random temples. Kyoto has gobs of them. Then we finally found a subway station (Did I mention that I think the subway is cool? I think the subway is cool.) and headed back to our hotel. All-in-all it was a pretty good first day. With, like I've mentioned, a whole lot of stairs. I'll be back when I report on day 3. This is Captain Danger out.