Exploring Kyoto

A little rain today so it felt like home as we explored this city a little further. Our first stop was the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) that was a very picturesque park and set of small temples. The temple is covered with 300,000 sheets of gold leaf.
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Next, we went to Sanjusangendo (三十三間堂) which is famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy and was originally built in 1164. It is an amazing site to see, but they don’t let you take pictures.

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In the center of the building there is a huge statue of a 1000-armed Kannon (Senju Kannon) that is flanked on each side by 500 statues of human sized 1000-armed Kannon standing in ten rows.
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You do have to follow the instructions to use the bathrooms though.

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We stopped by Kyoto University where the Japanese pronounced war against the US and the UK in 1941 at this spot:

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and then had a fantastic lunch in a French restaurant inside of the main hall.

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Later in the afternoon, we went to Kiyomizu-dera which is the most popular national site in Japan.  It starts with a nice walk in the trails through the hills and trees…

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It is an amazing structure on the side of the mountain. It is hard to believe not a single nail is used in the structure.

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Great view of the city in the distance.

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Many people flock to the temple and surrounding area and rent kimonos to celebrate the experience.

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Many kilometers of shopping on the way out as you head to the famous pagoda at the exit.

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Then, to end the day, we finally went to a Wagu/Kobe beef steakhouse. Itoh – which was a Nobu subsidiary http://www.itoh-dining.co.jp/kyoto_shop/index.html.

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It was simply amazing…the steak melts in your mouth. It was like magic and worth every penny. What an amazing dinner in Japan and there was no sushi at all in the 5 course meal.

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And surprisingly, there was a Geisha walking down the street just after we finished dinner. Always something new to see while visiting this city…

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