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Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday, March 11. The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.

Today we got to sleep in a little bit! We began our day at around 9:30 this morning. We hoped on a local bus to the Kamigamo jinja shrine. Before we entered the shrine we were surrounded by a group of adorable preschoolers. We all took tons of pictures and waved to the children. It was definitely a memorable part of the day. We continued on too the actual shrine, it was beautiful and very orange. I think we all thought that we would see one large shrine but instead we saw a lot of separate shrines. Each shrine was unique and still beautiful at the same time.

After the Kamigamo jinja Shrine we walked to the Shimo gamo jinja shrine. This shrine was similar to the first. After this we walked toward a restaurant called Mos Burger. It was a long walk but it made us all really hungry. We all ordered different things to eat. Most of us had rice burgers with beef or chicken. They weren’t the typical American burger but they were very tasty. -Lyndsey

After lunch we caught a bus to “Ginkaku ji temple” also known as the Silver Pavilion. It was so pretty and everything looked polished and neat, and to me it seemed as if everything was perfectly in its place. It was by far my favorite of all the Zen temples we have been to so far. Then after the temple we went on a long, but very soothing walk on a philosophers’ path. Along the path there were many shops full of various goods that we explored. Also, during our walk on the philosophers’ path we stopped in a café and Mami treated us to cherry blossom, green tea, and vanilla ice cream with cereal flakes. It was so good!! -Kayla

Finally, we visited Heian Jingu Shrine, in Kyoto. Here, we saw the largest torii (shrine gate) in Japan, reaching a massive 24.2 meters high. It was a beautiful sight to see even before you entered the expansive courtyard surrounded by buildings that were once again, neatly painted a spectacular “orangey orange” as Devon described it. Once we all had our few pictures taken, we were… well… I was, mesmerized by a group of young children running around playing tag. What is it about the children in Japan that makes us all stop dead in our tracks?

For dinner, we returned to Kyoto station level B2. We were all told to buy what ever we wanted to eat for dinner in 30 minutes with 1,000 yen. Upon arriving at the hostel, we found that everyone made out exceptionally with both dinner as well as dessert. There was an assortment ranging from bento boxes to bread and cheese, and even strawberry daifku for dessert. YUM…

Tomorrow is our first free day, WISH US LUCK! -Abby

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