Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Koya-San to Kyoto

We work up at 5:40 this morning to attend 6am services with the monks. The service lasted for about an hour and a half, and was full of chanting, incense and candles. We were invited to partake in the service as well. It was FREEZING at that time of the morning! We were then served breakfast in our room - again, some strange but interesting food I couldn't identify, except for the rice, and checked out. It was about eight degrees when we checked out, so I don't even want to think of how cold it had been when we got up at 5:40am!

After checking out we took a walk around town and visited the main temple, which had once been the centre for Buddhism in this area. It also had the largest rock garden in Japan, and we watched the rock-rakists in action. What an amazingly time-consuming job, but it looked fabulous when they were done.

We then walked back to the temple to collect our luggage, played with the temple dog, who was wearing a very stylish hoodie, and caught a few trains to get to our nest stop - Kyoto.

By the time we got to Kyoto we were exhausted. One cable car, three trains and one bus. Enough! We rested up for a bit, then head on out again to check out the Kyoto International Manga Museum.

It was pretty interesting to see original manga artwork from the 1940s, but it wasn't as large as we had hoped for. Never mind! We found a place to eat called Mr Young Men, had some miso ramen and edamame - delicious!

I'm excited about tomorrow - we're going to look around the old park of town. I'm hoping to see a geisha and more cherry blossoms.

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