Kyoto, Japan

Inside Kyotoís Imperial Palace, where the imperial family lived from 1331 until 1868

The Empressís Gate inside the Imperial Palace, built during the Heian Period

Many Japanese spend free hours playing pachenko trying to make money off the machine.

Young Japanese students practice their English with Paige inside Ryoan-ji.

Japanese schoolgirls

The rock garden at Ryoan-ji attracts more visitors than the temple. It is a kare sansui, a dry garden of just 15 rocks arranged in three groupings (you see only one in this shot). Only 14 of the rocks can be seen at one time no matter where you stand to view the garden. If you are able to see all 15, then you are enlightened.

Another shot of the Zen Buddhist rock garden within Ryoan-ji

Constructed in 1393 for the Shogun, Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) is a remarkable site covered on three floors with gold leaf. Following the Shinden style of the Heian period, the structure is positioned at the edge of the lake.

Inside the grounds of the Nijo-ji Castle in Kyoto

Inside the grounds of Nijo Castle, there are acres of gardens and several ponds.

Nijo-jo, castle to the Shogun, was completed in 1603.

22 June 1999 - Dinner in the Gion district of Kyoto, which claims to be the geisha district (although if we saw any geishas, we didnít realize it). We ate in a seafood grill restaurant, with a wooden bar and stools surrounding the food preparation area allowing us to see our meals come to life. I devoured a steamed crab (served with vinegar and lemon), grilled onion and shucked corn (corn sat directly on the grill for cooking). Jim ate grilled sardines and shrimp, rice balls and green peppers. We drank a couple of Kirin draft beers. Afterwards we walked for a while eyeing the exciting narrow streets of Gion.


  Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto
  Golden Pavilion (Paige)