Sunday, September 02, 2007


Ah, Kyoto, my other favorite city in Japan. A thousand years of history in one glorious jumble. It's a shame we had only a day to tour the city--it's like trying to tour Rome in a day. I would much rather have had two weeks and a small library of Japanese history books to properly appreciate the city.

Only an hour to visit Nijo Castle! They don't allow photos (or sketching) inside, but I could get pictures of parts of the outside of the castle.

And of the surrounding garden:

The castle features the famous "nightingale floors," floors purposely made to chirp as you walk over them to deter assassins and spies. For the mechanically inclined, here's a close-up of the mechanism that does the chirping when there's pressure on the floorboard above:

Then it was off to the shrine and temple grab bag. Kitano Tenmangu:

Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion:

(Yes, that's gold leaf.)


and the garden around it:

Sanjusangen-do, filled with a thousand and one golden statues of the Buddhist deity Juichimen-senjusengen Kanzeon:

too bad they don't allow pictures inside.

And finally Kiyomizudera Temple:

where we stopped for a much-needed shaved ice.

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