oh hello again. ready for a few more pictures from japan?

note to self. when traveling in japan, always find this:

IMG_1718_western stlye

much better than the alternative. ha. i just wanted to let you know that.

anyway, now we are in kyoto. i wanted to show you our little hotel room with my silly sister:

IMG_1515_kyoto hotel room

ok, it wasn’t that little. i’ve heard that there are some really tiny hotel rooms in Japan! we, thankfully, didn’t stay in any of those.  but check out the toilet. i thought it was so genius to use the rear-toilet water as a sink before it went into the tank! seriously! how genius is that? IMG_1511_kyoto toilet

and also note the fancy controller on the side… heated toilet seats, anyone? or fancy bidet buttons? {those got us into trouble… not going to lie…hee hee}

ok. this whole post is not about toilets. i promise.

it’s about pretty architecture and little details that i saw in Kyoto! it seems like every other photo that i took was of roof lines… so, there ya go… Japan has cool roofs. you’re inspired now, right?IMG_1670_rooflines

anyway, our first day in Kyoto we went to The Golden Pavillion. Can you believe it’s right in the middle of the city? it has a large preserved area around it, which is really beautiful.

{our tour guide went a little crazy this day trying to get a lot of family photos…lol}IMG_1533_golden pavilion family

but isn’t it pretty… oooo sparkly…

and it’s ALL GOLD LEAF. IMG_1537_golden pavillion nice

wow, right?! how crazy is that? and this isn’t the original temple! apparently in the 50s a monk {that wasn’t all there, if you know what i mean} thought that it would look really magnificent on fire… so he set the 500 year old wood structure on fire. our tour guide said it burned down in like 7 minutes, so that monk was the only one who got to see “the beauty of it”. ha! so…not only did they cover a building with gold leaf, back in the day for some emperor… but they had to do it again after the crazy monk burnt it down! HA! well, i think they have to reclad it with gold leaf every twenty years or so… cause it doesn’t really hold up to the elements the best. {i’m actually impressed it lasts 20 years!}

IMG_1543_golden pavillion

that is a phoenix on top of the temple. the legend is that when Japan has a perfect government, a real phoenix will appear. HA! when do you think that’s going to happen for any country, i ask you?!

another rule of japanese architecture is that apparently it is bad luck to have a “perfect” building. so they added this fishing hut on the back to keep it from being perfectly square. how funny is that? very different from european architecture which worked for “perfection”. IMG_1557_golden pavillion

after a long morning walking around all the shiny-sparkly-gold building we headed to a favorite restaurant of the tour guides’ for Udon and Tempora. yum!

IMG_1587_noodles +tempura

after lunch we went to another temple. this temple had a million cherry trees in bloom so it was a really gorgeous walk.IMG_1599_flowers

and aren’t my parents’ just the cutest?! IMG_1608_mom and dad2 and i love this girl to death :)IMG_1619_becca

so this shrine was for a rock garden. uhh… a rock garden. there were 15 rocks in about 30’x70′ space- you could only stand on one side because there was a tall wall around all the 3 other sides…and  if you stood in one place, maybe you could see all 15 at once… and you’d get good luck…

IMG_1627_rock garden

whoop-de-doo.

lol

i was a little more distracted by some of the other details around the temple grounds:
IMG_1637_wd work details

really really old wood work that is just gorgeous!IMG_1642_wdwork details

it’s just so perfect, without nails, or any of our fancy fasteners from today.IMG_1644_wd deatls

and this pretty window!IMG_1582_woodwork

and the cypress trees were even beautiful

IMG_1649_cypress tree

group shot in front of the cherry tree again:IMG_1655_family and flowers

then we stopped by the Kyoto Castle. this castle is a lot different than the other castles we’ve seen because it was built in a time of peace. the emperor just wanted a “summer” home or something in Kyoto.IMG_1680_kyoto castle

we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside but inside were the original “nightengale floors” were to protect the inhabitents from ninjas! the floors were designed to squeek when you walked on it. there was no way to walk across it without making it squeek! cool! :) made me wish my silly-totally-into-that-kind-of-thing Husbuddy was there with me to see it. :) this is how a nightengale floor is designed:

*thanks for the nerd-moment there*

a couple more detail shots from around the castle:

IMG_1656_rain gutter

pretty wood carvings were throughout the whole castle:IMG_1686_kyoto castle detail

a pretty bridge post:

IMG_1701_kyoto castle gateafter all the site seeing at castles and shrines, we were pretty worn out. the tour guide took us to a really fascinating food market… but that will have to wait for another day!

to be continued…

xo-kimberly renee

if you missed any of the previous japan posts click here:

part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 

 

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