Japan 2015 Day 35: a zen rock garden – and shopping

Weather: beautiful 14°C, high 28°C

Accommodation: Sakara Kyoto.

We started the day at our local french cafe. Eskil discovered the joys of pain au chocolate!
Pain au chocolate

We took our dear bus 12 to the far end then walked the rest of the way to Ryoanji, Japan’s most famous rock garden. Um. . .yeah. We were very underwhelmed, however it did have great bizarre souvenirs (and in Japan there is A LOT of competition for bizarre souvenirs). We bought a rock and raked sand paper weight and a well cover beer opener. We politely looked at the rock garden, then wandered around the site – which had a lovely pond and gardens.

Ryoanji rock garden
鏡容池 - Ryoanji Temple gardens in autumn
Taking the bus back to the CBD, we had coffee at Starbucks then did some shopping as it was our last full day in Japan. We went to the toy department of a large department store. Eskil played while Scott chose something for his grandson, Teddy. There was an excellent thing that you dropped marbles down and they were diverted to different parts of the structure; we played with that with another boy for a while. Then Eskil did some cooking.

Oh good - dinner sorted

Throughout Japan Eskil LOVED being able to ride the Eskillators – preferably as the leader.

Where he does a victory dance

I hunted down some fabric stores but SHOCK didn’t buy anything. We had seen a lot of shrines on an antique map of the area a day or two before, so we looked out while in the shopping arcades and laneways and found some of them. It was rather surreal: looking in one direction was a temple. . .

After seeing the old map, I knew shrines would be found dotted around the city

. . .and looking in the other direction was commerce.
Modern shopping beyond

Here’s a cat cafe opposite another shrine. Modern Japan!

Cat cafe and shrine

In another shop, there was a whole display of Curious George merchandise. Eskil was a bit in love.

Hugging all the Monkeys

We had our final shop at Muji, then enjoyed our final sunset coffees along the banks of the Kamogawa. We walked back ‘home’ to drop off our purchases, then went to the craft beer bar opposite for our final dinner. We had a lovely evening – and some delicious food and beverages!

More photos can be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/cragg-ohlsson/archives/date-taken/2015/10/19/.