This is the kind of day I was looking for

Despite the rain, this was the kind of day I was hoping for by traveling alone.
It did not start well because the Katsura Imperial Villa I first went to see was closed… plenty of other options, I consoled myself.
On the bus to the Kinkakuji Temple this very cute Asian girl stood next to me… we exchanged some glances and then I realized that she was also a tourist when I saw her with an English map.
Turns out she is also traveling alone and she is from the Netherlands. She became my tourism buddy for the day.
The Kinkakuji temple is covered in gold. We had some seaweed tea – very interesting and tasty and also had some tea inside a traditional tea ceremony house.

From there we went to see a Zen rock garden – Ryoanji Temple. Pity it was raining… the pictures would’ve been much colorful.
All of these temple are surrounded by beautiful vegetation and carefully tended gardens.

We then went all the way across town to the Kyoto Station to eat some lunch and get the bus to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Amazing place… My friend left because she had a previous appointment and I went ahead and did the entire trail.
I wish I had a guide to tell me all the meaning behind of these temples. The travel web sites give you only a very superficial explanation of each of these temples.

As I left the trail through an “alternative” route through the woods this lady stopped her car next to me and offered me a ride! She spoke enough English so that we could say what we did and so on. Turned out she was going to Kyoto Station to pick up her daughter who works exactly in front of my hotel! After she dropped me off, I was waiting to cross the street and she comes running towards me with an umbrella and gives it to me as a present!!
So… the kind of day I was looking for… meeting interesting people, interacting with the local people, and having some random things happen out of the blue 🙂
Going to push my luck tonight and see if I fair a little bit better at night – want to see what the local hang out scene is like 🙂 Last night I went to Gion and wondered around aimlessly extremely confused as to what door was what. Many Geishas walking around, many small restaurants, and many “strip” joints… but I could not tell what was what – nothing written in English – very frustrating. Came back home with dinner in my belly and not much else 🙂