Monday, April 28, 2014

Japan Day 3 continued: Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera

The only time I had wi-fi while I was in Japan was while we were at our hotel in Kyoto. Our first night there I turned on my phone for the first time and saw some pictures from an old BYU friend who was living in Okinawa while her husband works as a dentist for the military. I had thought previously about contacting her that we would be in Japan, but as I knew there was no way we would make it down there, I didn't bother. As chance would have it, she was in Kyoto at the same time on vacation. We were able to do some maneuvering and meet up with them for half a day while we were there, thanks in part to Abe's rented phone.

We bought bus passes after lunch and headed to one of the most famous temples in Japan, Kiyomizu-dera, the temple of pure water. It is a beautiful wooden building built off the side of a mountain by a waterfall.

Taryn, Erin, and Rowan...where are Grant and Abe?

starting to get some cherry blossom blooms

Since we already found each other we didn't attempt the walk but thought we could maybe rub off some good vibes.

The temple houses a "love rock" on its grounds. There are two stones placed apart form each other about 100 feet. If you are able to walk from one stone to the other with your eyes closed, you are supposed to be able to find your love. If someone helps you along the way, you will find someone but require a matchmaker. There was also a tree in the same area for women to leave curses for other women. Must be a powerful place...

The Japanese loved baby Rowan

You can use long cups to catch and then drink the water from the waterfall. It is supposed to bring you good luck and prosperity.

We thought we better give it a try! After all, we had come all that way. I was happy as the germ-a-phobe I am that they sterilize the cups with UV light in between use...

Feeling lucky after drinking the water

After leaving the temple, you walk down a steep hill lined by shops. We tried every kind of mochi you an imagine (crushed rice filled balls) and tried some cherry blossom flavored ice cream. I can't describe the flavor of cherry blossoms but I did like the ice cream. 

There was so much to see in Kyoto and we just scratched the surface...

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