Spent the last few days in Kyoto again. We got to see Kiyomizu-Dera, a Buddhist temple founded by Enchin in the 8th year of Hoki (778 C.E.). It’s got a beautiful view from the mountain balcony – sakura in bloom. It is interesting that not a single nail was used in any part of the construction. Oddly, the place seems to be sponsored by Google with all of these “Japanese” rice paper tall lamps emblazoned with the logo. This time E and I stayed in a nice little ryokan with all the requisite kaiseki meals and such. I finally got to get into the palace which is a must see. We went to the golden temple and saw a bunch of raked sand and strategically placed rocks. My favorite thing there is the large zen temple and the grounds surrounding it. Nara has some mangy deer all over the place.
Spent a few days down in Kyoto with Isaac who’s visiting from Singapore. We had a great time eating and seeing the sites. We were saddened that the palace was not available as it was booked until the next day (at which time we had to be on a train). We stayed right near the main station so travel was quite convenient. I should have brought a jacket. On the way I got to meet Isaacs’ relatives who were really great – a truly incredible family. Have a stop by the Ramen “Museum” if you’re around Yokohama. Like all museums having anything to do with food in Japan it’s a stylized building of small restaurants so don’t expect a museum museum. Still, if there is a kind of ramen you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it here.