Day 11

Today we went to the Heian Shrine, wich was under construction, but had a beautiful, gigantic garden that was untouched. It had multiple Lotus Flower ponds, banzai trees, and flowers of all sorts.

image

image

image

image

There were even stepping stones leading over the pond, of course, not without a warning sign. This pathway would not be for individuals tending to be clumsy.

image

I saw a massive turtle (It was much bigger than the picture depicts) that looked like a statue, until it finally moved.

image

image

In the ponds, there were massive Carp (Also known as Koi fish) that are in all the stereotypical Japanese Koi ponds. For 100 Yen there was food available to give them, which I happily paid for.

image

After the gardens, we went to the Kyoto crafts museum which showed how many traditional Japanese things were made 100’s of years ago. (No pictures allowed here)

After the museum, we set off to Nijo Castle, which is famous for it’s specially made floors that creak with the slightest movement to warn inhabitants at night if someone unwanted was approaching to attack. The floors still work as they were intended 100’s of years ago and make plenty of creaking and squeaking.

The beautiful gilded entrance to the castle.

image

The castle was huge, and housed samurai long ago. There are paintings on the walls and many rooms all lain with tatami mat.

We then ate lunch at Mosburger, a slightly-nicer-than-McDonalds burger restaurant, with a weird Japanese twist to the menu (for example, shrimp burger).

image

It was actually quite good. I got a regular cheeseburger with sauteed onions.

I also walked around the outer wall of the current Emperors second castle (He needs multiple castles, of course). It was a very long walk, as the complex is massive.

image

For dinner, we ate at a Japanese doctor’s house, where his family proceeded to prepare an 8 course meal. It was delicious.

image

I also played a Japanese card game with their two daughters. It was a very fun night of a very fun (and tiring) day.

-Loren