Sticking it in Kyoto - Day 1

by Samm Bennett
Despite having stayed in Kyoto since the 16th, I had only seen the Gion district since I had been jumping to other areas (such as Nara and Himeji). Well, on the 19th I finally spent a full day in Kyoto. I stared the day off with some awesome Egg Toast (scrambled eggs with some sort of sauce on a very think piece of toast) before heading off to Ginkaku-ji temple - the “Golden Pavillion.” The temple is called as such because two of the three floors are covered in gold. Quite an impressive site.

After viewing the temple, I tried to find To-ji, a temple nearby. Unfortunately, I ended up wandering around for an hour or two before giving up and heading back to Kyoto station. Before moving on to the next destination, I had an awesome lunch of shrimp tempura over a soda noodle soup. Sides included some sort of rice and, of course, Japanese pickles.

Since I had seen the Golden Pavillion, while not move on to the silver one? Next stop was Kinkaku-ji temple. Unlike Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavillion was never covered in silver. As such, the site wasn't quite as fun, but the Zen gardens in the region more than made up for the temple's dissappointing appearance.

With a couple of hours to kill before nightfall, and thus my trip to Gion, I decided to walk “the Philosopher's Path” alongside a creek to ______ temple. The walk was a bit lengthier than I had thought it would be, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. The ______ temple was not particularly special, but nearby Nanzen-ji temple was majestic with it's size.

Now it was practically nightfall and I was scrambling to get to Gion. Kyoto, of course, has metro stops placed conveniently all over the place and plenty of trains scheduled to pass through them. So, despite taking the train in the wrong direction for a stop, I still made it to Gion in about 20 or 30 minutes. I wandered around Gion for a bit, taking my time and breathing easier since it was not nearly as crowded during my first visit (since the 16th was a weekday). I managed to spot two geisha, although they were in taxis, so no photo-ops.

By the time I had decided to grab dinner, most places had closed. However, this worked out quite well since I made it to a rather nice yakitori place by Kyoto station. I had some Kirin biiru along with edamame, rice, chicken yakitori, and roased squid. the squid was particularly delicious!