And what a day! First, we met Tamami-San, our tour guide for the morning in Kyoto. She showed us Nijo Castle, where the last Shogun gave his political power to the emperor in 1867, initiating the Meiji restoration and the modernization of Japan. No pictures were allowed inside, but here are Googled images:
We squeaked our way through the halls of the palace with their squeaking “nightingale floors,” gawking and being gawked at–the Brimmer gang met groups of Japanese students also taking the tour, which inspired shouts of “good morning” from brave Japanese and “ohayo” from brave Brimmerians and giggles and selfies galore.
Our next stop was a kimono fashion show in downtown Kyoto, the famous Japanese accommodation of the ancient and the modern. Here’s our fashion show:
The next stop on our busy day was the amazing Golden Pavilion, whose amazing grounds held many fascinations for our crew, primary among them trying to toss coins into a bucket. Oh, and this:
From there, it was lunch in a Japanese shopping mall (not too different from American shopping malls). Then, we enjoyed our afternoon visit to Fushima Inari, a Shinto shrine to the god of rice (and, Naiomi-San says, business too, now). Lots and lots of Shinto gates, because donating one to the shrine at the start of a new venture means good luck.
The messengers of the god of rice is the fox, so there are stone foxes (not the ’70s kind–sculptures of foxes) everywhere.
Then more shopping, this time in a street arcade that, at least for one of the chaperones, was total visual overload. Finally, sushi dinner and back to the hotel, where a few brace souls were enjoyed the complete pleasure of the public baths in the hotel, one of whom opined, “I don’t know why anyone takes a bath any other way. Civilized!”