Back on the road today at 9:00am with a full day ahead. Best part was that Therese won "Bus Lotto" and drew the first choice of seats. We took the front seat behind the driver and for the first time I didn't spend the whole day looking at the back of the seat in front of me.
First stop today was the Kinkauji (Golden Pavilion) Temple. This building has the two upper floors coated with gold leaf, hence the name. The building dates back to around 1397 however the current building dates from 1955 as the original was destroyed by fire in 1950. The current building was last recoated with gold-leaf in 1987. The Pavilion sits beside a lovely pond containing 10 islands. Near the Pavilion is a 600 year old Bonsai Tree under which the original builder is supposedly buried.
Next stop was another shrine, the Heian Jingu Shrine and Gardens. Very complex and well thought out garden with significant variety and interesting places. A very relaxing place to spend time walking through, contemplating the world and just generally relaxing. Once again there was the use of water to add sound and reflections of trees and buildings. Supposedly considered the best gardens in Kyoto.
After our time at the shrine, we headed for the Nishiki Market for a look around and lunch. This is a long alley lined with vendors, mainly food sellers as usual. You would not believe the variety of food available. Anything you could not possibly think of was available there for your choice,
One hour's drive later and we were at the Nara Deer Park. These deer are quite tame and used to humans, in fact you cannot get rid of them if they learn you have bought the biscuits for them. Things can turn quite serious as they are likely to start biting clothing to either get to food or get your attention. The claim is that the deer are taught to bow for the food. It certainly sometimes appears that they actually do bob their heads but whether that is training or just a natural action could be debated. Either way, the end result is a very strong and not so pleasant smell of the animals where they gather at the entrance to the park.
Located beside the Deer Park is a massive wooden building, claimed to be the largest wooded building in the world, which houses the tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan. The building is 57 metres wide, 50m metres deep and 49 metres high. Certainly impressive. The Buddha inside is 15 metres high and has two other deities beside him and two of his four guards behind him. Another hour's drive and we were back in Kyoto. The building has been destroyed twice and this rebuilding is actually 33% smaller than the original.
Looks like the batteries in the SPOT died again as there were no recordings for the return journey. New spare ones in tonight but they probably won't see tomorrow out as they were all I could find at the time. Never again will I go without a spare set of Lithium batteries onboard.
Tomorrow we head for three nights in Osaka with the typhoon becoming a much stronger possibility.