The first stop was at 'Nijo Castle', it was built in 1603 to serve as an official residence for visiting shoguns. Unlike many other temples/shrines we visited, this castle actualy preserved and retained in its original state. The castle was well designed, and each room had its own design for its intended purpose. All the paintings on the wall meant something.. for example, the visitors room/reception room had paintings of leopards, this indicated to the visitors the statues of the owner, indicating who was in control.. unfortunately no cameras were allowed in the residence.
The elaboratly decorated gate before the residence in the background
There were beautifully manicured garden surrounding the residence, all to match the grandure of the palance. The second castle internally was not open for visits, that one was a replica of the original. I think its probably all empty inside thats why.
There were many stores exiting the temple, and one of them sold warm plum tea with golden leaves. I expected nice fragrant sweet tea, but it was savory!! errk, wasnt very pleasant. But I did see a vending machine that I wish I could carry it back home with me.
Because Ken's parents had to leave by train to Kobe, our Kyoto visit ended there... We had a quick stop over at 'Nishiki-Koji Market' before we left for the train station, but I really didnt see enough there to blog about it.
We have probably covered only 1/3 of whats in Kyoto, it really has been a great cultral experience here. I must say, this beats Tokyo any day! I think we will come back since its pretty close by, and i'm yet to visit Osaka and Kobe. So there's definately more of Kyoto to come.. and I can't wait!