After visiting the impressive Ninna-Ji, I climbed a hill through some local streets towards my next destination: Ryoan-Ji.
|The Entrance to Ryoan-Ji|
There was the way that most people were going, but I took the load less traveled by.
|And that has made all the difference.|
The later it got, the more tourists there were wandering around in clearings like this. I hate tourists. Glad I never was one.
|Some of the more huge, spectacular looking places|
were always barred off at these big temples.
The time had come to see the most famous part of Ryoan-Ji, the huge rock garden. There was what looked like another ticket gate, but they were just checking for the tickets bought at the entrance.
I slipped off my shoes and headed on in.
Across from the shop, which contained little trinkets at not-so-little prices, there was a miniature version of the rock garden. Just down the hall, there was the actual rock garden.
As you can probably guess just from the name of the thing, the rock garden wasn't all that interesting. I guess it was cool to see this thing which represents Japan and is shown in many pictures, but in the end, it was just a bunch of rocks.
More interesting than the garden itself, in my opinion, was the area behind it. A huge tatami room, with huge sliding paper doors. It reminded me of Summer Wars a little.
There was a set of old fire extinguishers in the back. It is weird to think of a place this majestic and famous burning down.
|The tourists were multiplying.|
Having had enough of the rock garden, I explored the rest of the temple.
Just down the stairs from the rock garden was what appeared to be a real garden.
There was even a path to the island in the middle of the huge lily pond.
On that island, there was a small shrine, and near that, a set of tiny statues. If I had to guess, I'd say the protect the island from ruin, or something like that.
That was just about all there was left of to see in Ryoan-Ji, so I went out the way most people were coming in.
I stopped by a nearby vending machine and got myself a nice, refreshing bottle of Pocari Sweat. Mmm. I wonder why this drink isn't more popular in America?