Beautiful sunshine and cool; just the way I like it. I still haven’t made a real plan for Kyoto, and maybe never will. Just doing whatever comes to mind. So I decided to go to Rengeji, a temple that’s almost into the mountains north of Kyoto. I took two buses and a train, then started walking. This was another one of these ‘on faith’ trips. A sign at the train station said it was 350 meters across the bridge. It never said which fork in the road. I asked five people about the temple before I found someone who knew it. Not a good sign.
I was going there because my artist friend, Jacqueline, told me about it and sent me a wonderful video with pictures of the garden. Frommer’s said it was small, but elegant. It was small and maybe I don’t understand what elegant means. I have to look at the video again. Maybe I was in the wrong place, or maybe pictures do lie.
Going to the train station I noticed a large temple with interesting trees showing above the walls. I decided to walk back that way when I returned. As I was walking I passed the Falafel Garden, a genuine Israeli restaurant here in Kyoto. Lunch was a wonderful, vegan experience. Then on to the temple, but I never found an entrance. However, they are supposed to have a crafts market next week. I’ll try again.
Back on the bus this time to Shokoku-ji. Visitors could go to their museum and three of their other buildings, but the garden with the wall around it was closed. Thoroughly disappointed I walked back to the Imperial Palace and sat and watched other people picnicing under the cherry blossoms. Then I arranged for a tour of the Sento Palace garden (next post).
After a nice rest back at the hotel I went foraging for dinner: inari sushi again and some salad.