Wednesday was our first (and only) full day in Kyoto, and we wanted to make it count. We planned to do a tour of a number of the temples and shrines in Southern Higashiyama, the area just south of our hotel. We had a quick breakfast at the hotel and then started walking.
Our first stop was at Shoren-in. It was built in 1895, and though it was smaller than some of the other temples we saw, I thought it was one of the most peaceful.
Our next stop was Chion-in, which is a huge temple built in the 17th century. The temple gate is the largest in Japan.
It also had a picturesque stone bridge crossing a lake filled with lilypads.
We took a brief walk through Marayama-koen, a pretty park.
That brought us to Yasaka-jinja, a big and colorful shrine.
From there, we headed away from the temples for a walk through Gion - a district where geisha traditionally reside. There were lots of shops and cute streets in the area.
We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant, and had noodles and okonomiyaki.
Our temple touring continued at Kodai-ji, a temple founded in 1605 with very pretty gardens.
The last temple of the day was Kiyomizu Dera, a large temple high in the hills.
As my mom and I explored the grounds further up the hill, Mamie used the time to shop on teapot alley, a nearby street famous for its handicrafts and souveniers.
Exhausted from a full day of walking, we took a cab back to the hotel to regroup. Mamie spent the evening relaxing in the room while my mom and I went to a nearby yaki-tori restaurant.