April 8th, 2015 - Kyoto, Japan - Day 238

Peter's POV 

Today was a work day. Everyone was still pretty tired from our walking tour yesterday so we spent most of the day inside working until about 1. At 1 my mom, dad, and I went out to see some gardens. It was sunny out and it was the first time since we got to Kyoto that I have put my sunglasses on. 

While we were walking to the gardens we saw a little sign that pointed towards another little garden, called Murin-an Gardens. We decided to go in and see what it was. The garden was very cool it was filled with little ponds and mossy garden beds that looked very cool. 

After the little garden we headed to our first garden, which we couldn't find, so we decided to go into a temple and see if the gardens were behind it. We walked through a lot of dry gardens scattered throughout the temple. Dry gardens have been around for centuries, and they are NOT to be walked on! You observe these Zen gardens  from the temple, and they're for meditative purposes. It was believed that this dry landscape would help quiet the mind and make meditating easier. The sand is the ocean, the strategically placed rocks are the mountains, and the raked patterns represent the ripples of the sea. The raking is considered a privilege, because it's not only expressive (you can make it stormy or calm), but it's mediative as well!  The straight lines in the photo below show a calm sea with circular lines around the rocks, which is the tide, gently hitting the rock islands. 

After the dry gardens, my mom went to check out another garden. My mom went in alone because it said that the temple was under construction and we didn't want to buy four passes if it wasn't good. The temples and gardens are so old that they were not designed for people over 5 foot 6. So at every temple I hit my head at least once if I am not paying attention. My mom got a picture of one of the signs. 

After our third garden we found one more garden. A different type of Japanese gardens feature large ponds and islands connected by arched bridges. This garden had a lot of cool water features and some really cool plants.  

After the last garden, it was 4:00 and we decided to walk home. When we got home, my parents went out for a walk while my sister and I stayed home and relaxed. After they got back we had dinner, played a game of Euchre and they went upstairs to watch a movie. Lea and I were going to watch a movie but it didn't download in time.  

  One last photo of our adventures today

One last photo of our adventures today

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