Kinjkaku-Ji is probably the most photographed location in all of Japan. The Golden Pavillion is considered the most famous natural landmark in the country, so we expected it to be busy. Noty sure what went wrong, but the crowds, while present, were lighter than expected. The pavillion is stunning. It’s the only word I can think of for it. As soon as you enter the grounds, it is there on your left in all it’s shining glory. Walking on round from there the gardens are nice and relaxing. Certainly a place to see. I know David wasn’t bothered about the visit as the guides seem to part poo-poo it, however I know he was glad.

On the way out I grabbed a quick photo of one of the fire signs on a near by hill. There are a number of these around Kyoto, which during the fire festival, are lit up at night. Apparently you are able to see at least one letter from where ever you are in Kyoto once on fire.

The next stop was Ryoan-Ji, site of the world’s best Zen rock garden. While there is a bus between them, it was crowded so we decided to walk. Seems to be a common thread here – walking – my poor legs. Anyhow it was a nice days and some 15-20 minutes later we arrived to find the numbers of people picking up. The rock garden, what can I say. Not a lot. I always thought I’d like this sort of thing, but it did absolutely nothing for me. Perhaps it was the large crowd on the viewing platform that did it, I’m not sure. All you could here was the electronic sound of mobile phone’s taking pictures and receiving SMS/MMS messages. There is a moss garden just round the garden, in the same building, and this I found to be far more relaxing, even with Dave laughing over a typical American being typically yank – coming out with the comment of “Now I want to see a moss garden” as he walked past us and a rather nice moss garden. An American (with English hubby) we talked to at lunch thought this was rather amusing.

Still, after these, even with walking back to the Kinkaku-Ji to get the bus back, we still had time left before the evening so we hit the famous Nishiki-Koji (Nishiki Market). This is a long, narrow, covered market where the local restaurants get their produce from in the early hours. it was interesting, but after several blocks of it (it goes on for 4 or 5), you start to get fed up with it. Still it was another thing ticked off our list.