Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blissed out in Kyoto

What can I say? We love Kyoto. We feel very at home here, at peace and happy. There is something about this place that is soothing, inspiring, magical yet familiar.

There are little places of beauty and wonder all around.

We visited this special temple and shrine in on the top of a mountain in Kurama, about 15 minutes outside of Kyoto by train.

In front of the temple there is a little triangle that is supposed to be the spot where the first human beings were beamed to earth, according to a friend of Brian's :) They also hold a huge fire festival up here every year that is quite lively!

This stone wall is ages and ages old. There are stone walls like this all around Kyoto, giving us a glimpse into an ancient past.

At the temple you can purchase a "fortune". If you do not like your fortune and do not want it to come true, you can tie it to this little tree here!

These are some OLD gorgeous trees!

I had the good fortune of going to the Onsen (hot spring bath) in Kurama as well with no one there. I took some pictures so I could show you what it looks like!

It is in a beautiful setting outdoors in the mountains.

Here is where you bathe and clean yourself before you enter the hot bath. It is rude not to scrub yourself religiously before entering, since all are sharing the same hot water. It is also rude to stand while showering, that's why there are little stools there to put your naked hiney.

The other day we also did some other good sightseeing. We visited the Kinkakuji Temple (see a video of us) as well as a very famous Ryoan-ji zen rock garden where you can only see 14 out of 15 rocks at any one time. Here is a video of us there as well...

We have so enjoyed riding bikes all around the city, eating amazing food, visiting with old friends of Brian's, and taking long walks and hikes around nearby parks, temples and mountains.

Tomorrow we are helping out with a festival at Brian's niece's international school. We are working the "American" tent and serving up chili dogs and homemade macaroni salad :) Brian and I are playing a few tunes too for part of the entertainment of the day. It should be fun!

I can't believe we will be in LA and back in the states in 4 days. We will have been gone for almost 6 months. What a thing...

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