Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Japan Trip Day 9 - Final Day in Kyoto: The Philosopher's Walk

When we got back to our hotel at night, we received a voice mail / confirmation that our ride to the Kansai airport would be picking us up at 1:00 p.m. the following day. This gave us a nice opening on our 9th and final day in Japan to experience another section of Kyoto we always wanted to see, which was The Philosopher's Walk.

Here's a final view outside our hotel room, overlooking Nijo Castle:

Here's the start of the Philosopher's Walk (north end), near Ginkaku-Ji (the Silver Pavilion):

It's so hard to capture the beauty of what we saw in person with my limited camera skills (^_^; but suffice to say it was *so* beautiful in person. We were surrounded by Kyoto Sakura Trees the entire way through.

It had just rained the night before, and the locals said that after a heavy rain, that's when the Sakura petals will start falling (which is a beautiful phenomenon in itself!). It was truly like Flowery Snow:

The gorgeous Sakura along The Philosopher's Walk, accompanied by a river. Truly beautiful.

Here's the *only* Koi fish we saw in the entire stream! It was as if he was the "king" fish and chased away or ruled this entire river area. (^_^)

We arrived at the entrance to Ginkaku-Ji, but with only a few hours left, we decided to finish The Philosopher's Walk and save time to grab a farewell lunch in Kyoto before our flight home. Ginkaku-Ji will have to wait for next time.

Tottemo Kawaii! (^_^)/ Someone set up 2 bears going fishing along the riverbank of the walk.

Some close-ups of two kinds of Sakura flowers we saw along the path:

More Sakura:

This section of the path was bordering someone's house(!). Wow, talk about an ultimate location to have a house at (having endless beautiful Sakura with a quiet river in your front yard isn't a bad thing (^_~)):

A rare shot of a completely empty portion of the pathway:

Gorgeous, natural Sakura Tree growing sideways along the riverbank!

Cute Trashcan Mascot :) -

More beauty along The Philosopher's Walk:

Nice old-fashioned bridge that bisects the river:

Some really nice statues adorning one of the buildings along the path (this was on their roof!):

A stunningly beautiful deep Pink, almost Murasaki (Purple) Sakura Ki:

More Sakura petals fallen (and falling as we were walking the path (it was so beautiful, like snow!)):

A nice, old-fashioned traditional Japanese house along the riverbank area! I'd love to own one in this area (^_^):

A really cool section of the walk:

And then we ran into another 2 amazing houses along the river!

Some amazing moss and greenery:

Here's an old master / great Japanese pencil artist, who was quietly sketching imagery of The Philosopher's Walk. His work was really nice!

We finally reached the end of The Philosopher's Walk, whew! It was a beautiful, peaceful walk, with some amazing natural scenic imagery!

An amazing front yard area:

Really cute Cross Walking signage (^_^) -

Really beautiful Water / Stone Step architecture:

It looks like our final day in Kyoto coincided with graduation ceremonies at 2 local schools! They're lucky to have graduation just as the Sakura trees are in full bloom. :)

A kawaii Japanese couple, in full Kimono regalia on the way to one of the temples along The Philosopher's Walk:

The final stop at the very end of The Philosopher's Walk, Nanzen-Ji:

Impressive metalwork on the roof sections:

A parting picture of Nanzen-Ji with the impressively giant, centuries-old Wood Pillars at their gate:

By this time, we had a little less than 2 hours left, and quickly grabbed a taxi to get some lunch before our flight back.

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