Avoiding the heavy rain, under the roof of the bus stop, we were waiting for the bus for Nijo castle( because we can see inside of the building, which means we can walk inside without getting wet)
However, the rain was getting harder and harder. At that time, suddenly, a woman of our group took her shoes off. It was surprising to me. That was because she hate to have her shoes gotten wet.
Anyway we,including a woman with no shoes on, looked around inside the Palace.
It was the first time to see all the wooden shutter of the palace closed. It was a shame that it was too dark inside to recognize the design of wood carving above the sliding doors. Happily, it stopped raining while we are visiting the castle, so we went to Golden Pavillion.
However, unluckily, we failed to visit Ryoanji rock garden due to delay of the bus we were going to take. Instead we headed for Arashiyama to see Bamboo forest. To go to Arashiyama, we used Randen line.
It is a very small train consisting of only one coach. When she saw the train coming, she said " How cute!" It seemed to be beyond her expectation.
The next day, our member, Saki showed them around in Nara and Fushimi.
the first day ( a half day)
Yasaka shrine, Nishiki Food market, Nijo castle, Golden Pavillion, Bamboo forest.
the second day ( a full day)
Kasuga shrine, Todaiji temple, Fushimi Inari shrine.
In the station, it has some useful services. One of them is so-called Carry-service. All you have to do is to carry and leave your luggage there, and you can get it at your accomdation in the evening! So, you can enjoy sightseeing without heavy luggage just after your arrival.
We left our luggage there, and headed for Nara.
Around Todaiji temple, wild deer are hanging around. They know sightseers are very interested in feeding them. They also know where we get deer crackers. As soon as we stand in front of the shop, they are coming to get some crackers. Sometimes they poking us, pulling us and picking something like a map out of our pockets. In spite of such cute attacks against us, we fully enjoyed playing with these deer before entering the temple.
Of course, we were impressed by the huge buddha image.
In the hall, one of the pillars has a hole. It is said that the hole is as large as the nostril of Daibutsu( a big buddha). We say that, if you pass through this hole ( hight 30cm -width 37cm -length 120cm), you will make your wish come true, or you can get a good luck! Why don't you try it? me? mmmmm, I will try it after loosing my weight....
We were on a hasty trip. We hurried back to Nara station. On the bus, a man of our tour asked me what the driver was saying. It sounded something like shawa shawa shawa shawa shawa.... I listened to him, Yes! exactly, he was saying shawa,shawa,shawa. For me, a native Japanese, it was hardly understandable. ^^;
We went Fushimi Inari shrine on the way back to Kyoto, had lunch and went to Kiyomizu temple. In the precinct of Yasaka Shrine, we saw a big circle made of plants. It is Chinowa. At the end of Jun, after passing a half of the year, we walk through the circle in order to cleanse a sin we committed without being aware of it. We walk through the circle and turn left and come back to the front and walk through again, turn right, and then, again we walk through the circle and turn left. Now we are purified, probably....
After visiting Nishiki Food market, I sent them to Westin Miyako Hotel and said good bye to them.
the tour : Nara Todaiji temple, Fushimi Inari shrine, Kiyomizu temple, Sanneizaka Nineizaka, yasaka shrine, Nishiki Food Market.
I guided a family from USA for two 1/2 days. On the first 1/2day, I showed them around to the historic places. We went Golden Pavillion, Nijo castle and the last stop,Nishiki Food Market.
In the Ninomaru Palace(in Nijo castle), they listened to me with much interest. Samurai used to have two swords with them, a long one and a short one. A long one is for fighting, and the other is for cimmitting suicide, so-called Harakiri. In those days, samurai was to commit Harakiri suicide to show their loyalty to the lord or the person in an upper position that he worked for. Kids carefully listened to my explanation, but looked tough to understand why.
I thought it was difficult to fully understand why they killed themselves because of such a reason. In this mordern society, we hardly imagine it.
Later we went Nishiki Food Market, and yes! we enjoyed soy-milk doughnuts. Yummy! The photo is a kind of fish called HAMO. In summer, people in Kyoto love to eat Hamo. Of course they tried one, and said " Good"
For the next day, we planned to go to Monkey Park in Arashiyama. Unfortunately, it was raining in that morning. We gave up the plan and, instead, we challenged candy making.
I found the sweets shop which gives us a class for candy making. In addition, they take today's reservation. It is very helpful. In that morning, I called them and made a reservation.
We had a candy making class with Japanese school kids who were on the school trip. Such interactive class was very interesting to the people I guided.
Well, yes! They made something like Sweets. Later, we were served Japanese tea for tea ceremony and the original sweets of this shop.
Of course, we can take the candy we made. They ate them in Shinkansen during the trip back to Tokyo.
Course : Golden Pavillion, Nijo castle and Nishiki food market ( the first 1/2 day)
Kyoto tower, Candy making, Higashi honganji temple and Seisho en garden( the second 1/2 day)