Throwing it back to Japan today! Can’t believe this was way back in September. On our second day in Kyoto, we spent all day touring various temples in the area. And even then, we only made it to a handful. We took the bus in the morning to our first stop, and from there, it was all by foot. I kid you not, by the end of the day, we had walked at least 8 miles. Can’t really complain, though. The weather that day was absolutely gorgeous! It was supposed to be raining the whole time we were there, but we were greeted with clear blue skies instead. But do wear comfortable shoes if you’re thinking about doing this route by foot. And I do actually recommend doing this route by foot!
So I was looking back at my initial plan…and I realized we literally only made it to the first stop. Everything after that was spontaneous. And unfortunately, I didn’t write down the names of all the temples we ended up visiting. Except two. So we started off our day at Ryoan-ji temple. This temple is known for their zen rock garden—it’s super pretty! After that, we strolled down Philosopher’s Path and stopped by various temples along the way. So that one other temple I remember the name of? Eikando. We almost skipped it along the way, actually. The gates outside don’t look particularly inviting, but I’m happy my dad convinced us to give it a chance. As soon as we walked in…magic! This is the temple that looks like it’s straight out of a painting, by the way. The one with the bridges and the beautifully colored leaves 🙂
The gardens at the temples truly bring everything to life! Even though we didn’t get to experience the enchantment of cherry blossoms (which is why I’m definitely going back someday during the Spring), we got to see the magic of Autumn. Did you see all the colors in the trees?! So pretty! Unlike in California, you can actually see the difference between seasons in Japan. In other words, it’s always a good time to go. Sushi, ramen, and gorgeous temples await!
If you go during the summer like I did, don’t underestimate the power of a green-tea soft-serve or shave ice. The weather gets incredibly hot and humid, so take advantage of those small shops along the street! You have a lot of walking to do anyway so you’ll burn it off. Most cafes have free WiFi as well, so that’s always a plus. And don’t feel like you have to see EVERYTHING. There’s a lot to see in Kyoto. There are a lot of temples, but I think it’s better to take it slow and enjoy 2 or 3 than to rush through and skim over 5-6. I’m pretty sure we only made it to 3…despite all that walking. You have to stay at the temple long enough in order to experience its calm, serene ambience, yo. And if you don’t get that experience, why you even there, breh? Just kidding. But you know what I mean.
Also, for those of you who are wondering why all my pictures are of the outdoor scenery, it’s cause the temples don’t allow photography of/inside the buildings. But I hope you all get the chance to visit and step inside these temples yourselves 🙂 Pictures can’t capture the experience, anyway. For those of you who have been, what are some of your favorite temples in Kyoto?