Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Odd-ends of Kyoto

Odd shots left over from the Kyoto trip.... An ogre who boarded our train in Arashiyama! He almost carried away Caitlin in a sack!

A big pink rabbit with soft fuzzy paws--I think it was handing out tissue packets.

An elderly monkey at the monkey park hanging out with one of the more serious photographers.

Ogres that were turned into stone...gargoyles from Tenryji temple.

Kyoto Day 1: Gion

On Saturday morning we arrived in Kyoto--hungry after a pleasant two-hour trip on a "slow-train" from Nagoya (on bullet train the same trip takes only 29 minutes). After a meal of yuba (the cream that floats to the top when tofu is being made) and rice we set out for Gion--the site of "Memoirs of a Geisha" and the most famous traditional "pleasure" district in all of Japan.

Here's a photo of the yuba meal--everything was exquisitely well-prepared. So-called Kyoto-ryori (Kyoto cuisine) is famous throughout Japan.

Caitlin on the streets of Gion. Entire sections of the district have been named historic sites and are preserved as they were hundreds of years ago.

A river runs through Gion and smaller canals run around and sometimes under smaller streets and houses throughout the area.

A few examples of the beautiful landscaping on the sides of houses and store-fronts...

An old kura (storage building) in an older neighbourhood on the north side of town.

The image of a tiny Shinto gate (a holy symbol) on the side of a wall--put there so that old men will think twice about peeing in the corner!

On Sunday morning we also hit a really amazing antique fair--here is a picture of some netsuke (which were authentic antiques and REALLY expensive).

Kyoto Day 2: Tenryuji

The following pictures are of Tenryuji--a Rinzai Zen temple in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto--very famous for its gardens and picturesque views up into the surrounding mountains.

Caitlin in front one of the famous rock-arrangements in front of the main building.

A big and well-known lotus pond on the Tenryuji grounds...

The temple's shoin--a complex of tatami-floor rooms divided by sliding doors and opening out on all sides to the surrounding gardens...

A Zen-style raked gravel garden.

The river that runs past the temple.

Kyoto Day 2 cont.: Tenryuji and Arashiyama

At the famous pond at Tenryuji--designed by Muso Soseki, the "father" of the Japanese rock garden.

Arashyama's famous "moon-crossing" bridge--many Japanese samurai movies have scenes filmed here...

Caitlin cavorting with the monkeys with Kyoto in the background... (At a monkey park in Arashiyama where wild monkeys are regularly fed so that they have become somewhat tame...)

Since it was spring-time there were a handful of adorable babies, often misbehaving and getting put in their places by their mothers...

After leaving the Monkey Park we took a small-gauge scenic train through the mountains--most of the the photos blurred but this one shows the river below.

Rice fields north of the Arashiyama area...

The very modern architecture of Kyoto Station. (Taken right before our return trip to Nagoya.)