Our first day in Kyoto we enjoyed the luxury of rain. (Wishing we could send some back home.) We started with a walk through some of the old streets of Gion.
We found Yasaka Pagoda up the hill in Higashiyama.
New Year is a big holiday here, so there are masses of people everywhere, especially at the temples sprinkled throughout the city. I loved seeing many women and couples in Japanese traditional garb for their visits to the temples. We popped into Yasaka Koshindo temple to see the worshippers writing their new year wishes on colourful balls called ‘kukurizaru’. The cloth balls represent the good faith monkeys, and the three wise monkeys sit in the temple ready to grant wishes if the worshippers are willing to give up one of their greeds. It was beautiful!
We found the famous Kiyomizu-dera temple at the top of the hill overlooking eastern Kyoto. It’s over a thousand years old. The main temple is under renovation and had scaffolding around it, but the complex is expansive, with a view over Kyoto.
We headed back down through the throng of people and souvenir shops. Look at that crowd!
We found Sannen-zaka and Ninenzaka, stone-paved alleyways dating back to 808 (the paving), lined with traditional buildings with shops and food stalls.
While Steve and Phoebe went back to our apartment for some R&R, Blake and I went for a wander through Maruyama Park, famous for cherry blossoms in the right season. We liked the mossy trees and stone shrines.
We took a walk through the grounds of the Chion-in temple, which is the head temple of the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism.
Blake bought Phoebe some flowers. Too cute!
A lot of steps today!