The Great Kyoto Adventure, Part II

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
Ryoan-Ji wasn't very far from the temple I had just visited, and since it was now later in the day, there were actually some people visiting this one. I paid the 500 yen entrance fee, and made my way into the huge courtyard of the temple.

There was the way that most people were going, but I took the load less traveled by.

And that has made all the difference.

In the center of the complex, there was a huge pond, with large circles of lily pads. I think this may have been the first time I actually saw a lily pad, now that I think about it.

The later it got, the more tourists there were wandering around in clearings like this. I hate tourists. Glad I never was one.

There were some awesome sights to see on these small paths branching out from the main path.

Some of the more huge, spectacular looking places
were always barred off at these big temples.
The Rock Garden

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.

The inside of the building appeared to be an old, traditional Japanese house, which is probably precisely what it served as long ago.

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?

The next stop was a little farther away, and probably the most famous and magnificent temple of them all. I was going to The Golden Pavilion Temple, Kinkaku-Ji!

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