There were a couple of old buildings along the way to Ryoanji Temple, including a small shop.
Looking back at the entrance to the main area.
This is the rock garden, which was said to be created at the end of the 15th century. In the spring, its background consists of beautiful cherry blossoms. ♥
Right next to the rock garden.
Tsukubai, the stone-wash basin for the tea room. It has an inscription that reads "I learn only to be contented."
On the way back, there was a lady giving out samples of hot tea. It was life-saving! (*´д`*) It was also delicious, so Take-chan bought a pack for me. ♥
Next stop was Rokuonji Temple. Its main attraction is Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavilion.
The 2nd and 3rd floors of Kinkakuji are covered with gold-leaf on Japanese lacquer. Absolutely breathtaking.
Thought this looked pretty cool. ^__^
I think this waterfall is called "Ryuumon Taki."
On the way back to the bus, we found a little shop that had all these vending machines next to it. This is normal to see anywhere else in Japan, but I was surprised to find them at a temple.
At the little shop, Take-chan got us these. I forgot what it was called, but it was delicious and warm! :3 It's basically mochi with the usual sweet red beans.
Our last stop before lunch break was Kyoto Imperial Palace. This is just one of the many gates surrounding the entire property.
Here's a view of Shishinden, the most important building on the palace grounds. It was used for important ceremonies of state, such as enthronement ceremonies.
The orange accents found on the walls surrounding Shishinden were so pretty.
This is Oikeniwa Garden, which is also located within the palace grounds. It looked so beautiful, even in the winter. ^__^
After Kyoto Imperial Palace, it was time for lunch. We had quite a bit of time to kill until the next half of the tour, so we checked out some shops. Look at these adorable wine decorations! ... Or costumes, more like. xD
And that's pretty much it for the morning portion of the tour! I'll be posting the second half in a few days. (´▽`) I also got an award from Elisa. Thank you very much! ♥