Japan-2019-Kioto 2

Sunday was sunny and we decided there is so much to see in Kyoto- to start from a temple within walking distance form our guest house – the Toji temple. The walk was through a not so fancy park. but still it was not bad: The Toji temple itself was not our point of interest. The antique market on its premises was:So many Japanese precious beautiful things in one place, wow! Of course, I could not sustain from buying… We ended up with two kimonos and some sake cups. Lower is a decorated car  -people were admiring it from all ends, to me it looked crazy. Tastes differ.That was a rare moment to catch some of their clergy in their garb: From Toji it was already not so far to the train station where we caught a bus that belongs to JR and we could use our pass to take a ride to the Ryoan-ji temple. That name sounded in my ears for many years. It is where the famous stone garden is for dzen meditation. And this is the only temple were we felt some sacredness, even with crowds visiting it: The fantastic moss and maple leaves on it-  it is the epiphany of beauty to me! Stairs to the temple: The path were only monks walk: This burial place reminded us of stupas in Thailand, the first one we saw in Japan: Evidently, when some trees mature and their park design requires some straight lines-  they cut the tops in a whole area: This is a vegan restaurant on the temple grounds:   Some old trees get special attention and care!: It is the second time we saw this flower -like dahlia but the stem is like bamboo: Here we accidentally entered a closed temple for the day – the gate was opened and we went in. While wandering in its gardens we found cemetery and part of it was definitely devoted to sumo wrestlers. My guess – the whole temple was, too: Then we walked through an area full of temples, they all are in behind the walls-  so there were a lot of walls. I am wondering- why so many walls, were enemies attacking those temples? Or is it  for us tourists not to see their immaculate gardens without paying a ticket? (tickets are from $5 to $9):We reached Hanazono train station on foot and took a train to  Arashiyama:A nice path leads  from train station to the Bamboo forest. It is a rest area for urban people and boy they use it! We never saw so many people, such crowds as we saw there, but also a lot of beauty: Prices go sharply up where tourists walk: It was getting towards the evening and especially the bamboo forest was already too dark for taking good pictures. But still, to get the  idea: A very rare find  – cats! it is the second time we saw them, so I have to share! When I think back – it was a rare view to see their beautiful flag of The Rising Sun! Once you get from the bamboo forest you find yourself on a slope down or on a slop up. There are temples and views if you go up, but as it was getting late we went towards the river down: There is a monkey park on the other side, but the sun was setting… In the middle of the town we saw some jewels. First – a long hill full of sculptures-  mostly smiling  saints or Buddhas, some of them resembling Catholic saints. One can have hours and hours of fun in that town… Behind a corner-  here it was, another stone garden, just on the street side of  a temple garden for everybody to enjoy!Kissing rocks: You want to enter a temple –  first  enter a ticket office: And that is that. We have to visit Kyoto again, so not enough what we saw here, so much to be seen. But one has to have a lot of energy in one’s legs to see it all! We spent the last day in Osaka. Rain was predicted in Kyoto,. not so much in Osaka and also – we figured out that Osaka has a ring of train tracks almost in the center of the city – so we could hop on and off giving some rest to our legs. So next blog – Osaka!