April 12th, 2015 - Kyoto, Japan - Day 241

Peter's POV

Today was like most of our days in Kyoto, work in the morning and go and see some gardens in the afternoon. Today we left around one, we walked to Kyoto station and got on a train to our first garden. When we got to the first garden we discovered that the so called "temple" was a big complex of what seemed like 15 temples. We walked to what seemed like the main area and asked the person working at the ticket booth for the gardens. She grabbed a map and drew to us where we needed to go. When we made it to the first (of four) gardens we discovered that it was closed.

Monks gardening  - they are tending to the moss - incredible attention to detail

We moved on and started to walk to the next one. While we were walking there it felt like we were walking through an ancient neighborhood.

Always something new to discover

When we got to the second garden we found it deserted, we walked through the garden in silence which is very rare for a garden in Kyoto this time of year. 

We decided to get our Zen on at the empty garden and meditate a bit

After the second garden we made our way to the third garden. This garden was the polar opposite of the second garden, it was packed. It had a lot more cherry blossoms and was very well done.  However, after the serenity of the first garden this one was not nearly as relaxing.  One thing we have had to deal with is everyone wanting a picture with a cherry blossom in the background or in their hair or completely surrounding them.  It makes walking around difficult, but it has become pretty funny.  

Two dry gardens are on opposite sides of the entry - one with white stones

The other with black.  Those are cherry flowers that look like snow in the cracks of the stone

This water feature was stunning

Catching a quick break from museum walking

After the we left the packed garden we walked to our final garden in our first stop. The entrance fee of this garden was 700 yen (6.50$) per person included tea. We decided that my mom would go in and see the garden while me and my dad waited outside. When she got out of the garden she told us that we didn't miss anything too special. 

But she did get this nice picture

After we got out of the temple complex we made our way to the "second" garden. Which is one of the best gardens dry gardens in Kyoto.

On the way to the second garden my mom noticed this evergreen trained over the entrance - pretty cool.

As you can probably imagine, it was crowded. This dry garden is constructed so that from any angle one rock is hidden.

After the dry garden we walked around the stroll garden which had a ton of cherries in full bloom.  My dad and I decided to have some fun and take pictures like the rest of the tourists.

It was a really pretty garden

After we left the second garden we looked at the time and discovered that we didn't have time to see the "third" garden. It was 4:45 and we still had to walk back to the train station, take the train and get to dinner by 6:30. When we got to dinner we were right on time.  We decided to have Indian food tonight and were happy with the result, although it was not the best we have had on the trip. When we got home we were all tired from our long day out in Kyoto.