Kyoto is 475 km from Tokyo on the Nozomi Shinkansen. Our travel time was about 2 hours and 20 minutes. It was a great way to travel!
|Nozomi Shinkansen arriving at Kyoto Station|
|A closer view of the train|
Once arriving in Kyoto, we dropped our bags at the New Miyako Hotel and turned around to catch a train to Nara. It was a wet day, but it wasn't a down pour all day, but by the end, I knew I was ready for a dry, warm place.
First place was the Kofukuji.
|Five story Pagoda|
|Notice they are de-horned|
|Trying to see if I have something to eat.|
|Many gathered under the tree to get out of the rain.|
|These are larger lanterns and do not have a paper with family names.|
|Here you see many of the lanterns, some papers are ripped, which may be due to the weather, not a failure to pay tithes.|
That was the end of our Nara walking tour. We took the train back to Kyoto and had a few hours of free time. By 7 p.m. we had taken a bus to the Gion Corner. It has a neat theater that presented some of the traditional Japanese Cultural activities, a tea ceremony, listened to a Koto (a large harp type instrument), Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), Gagaku (Ancient Imperial Court music and dance), Kyogen (traditional Japanese comic theater), and Kyomai (traditional Kyoto Japanese style dance).
That evening the whole grade 8 class and chaperones went ten pin bowling. It's been a while since I've gone ten pin bowling. It was fun.
Friday's weather was very unpredictable. One moment it would be sunny, the next it would be raining and we even had a few snow squalls. That did mean I took my umbrella, just in case.
It was a bus riding day and we stayed in the Kyoto area. The bus took us to the different places, but we still walked around on the grounds. We also had a tour guide who traveled with us on the bus. She would tell us about various historical buildings as we were traveling from place to place, but she only spoke in Japanese. I did not grasp too much of what she was saying, but some of the chaperones would give a brief synopsis once we were off the bus.
First stop was Kinkakuji. Here was a Zen temple. It looks like one could achieve a sense of calmness if you stayed here long enough.
|This is the small scale model of the garden.|
|One end of the real life garden.|
|The other end of the real life garden.|
Next stop was Kinoshima Jinja. This was quite interesting because it has a three sided torii,. There is some speculation that this was a place for water baptism for Christians. Shintoism would refute that because having something like this on a Shinto shrine property, would desecrate the property.
|Notice the three sides? Some say it represents the Trinity, the three Gods.|
|Picture of Kyoto in the distance from the veranda.|
|This was taken below the veranda which is at the top, where I took the previous picture.|
|Street with shops that have good ideas for omiyage.|
The trip was a great learning experience for me. Some of the students mentioned that having learned about these in class and seeing them helped them to remember the history as well. I did feel very privileged to be able to go as a chaperone. The students behaved quite well and I had many good conversations.
In case you think that I remembered all this information as we traveled from place to place, that would be incorrect. Ms. Fischer had a terrific journal that the students also had and were required to write in during various times of the day. That is where much of my information came from. I'm glad I had a copy, to help me remember.
There were a couple of unrelated things which I thought were interesting...
|Gardeners manicuring the moss!|
|Close up buds!|
|Using a crane to trim trees.|
|Sign for women's toilet. It's a women's kimono. I think there is a men's kimono for the men's toilet.|
Thank you all for your support in various ways! I hope you are able to get a little taste of the world I live in her in Japan, as well as the great ministry CAJ has here in Japan.