This morning we set out for our first stop, the National Modern Art Museum of Kyoto. After the crowds of the previous days we enjoyed the quiet solitude of the galleries.
From there we continued on to the shrines nestled along the Higashiyama mountain range. After strolling through Nanzenji shrine, we continued on to my favorite, Eikando. Eikando draws huge crowds during the peak autumn foliage season, or momiji. The rest of the year it’s a fairly quiet place, which I love.
After pausing for some refreshment of matcha green tea and a red bean paste sweet cookie…
… We continued on to Ginkaku-ji, or the Silver Pavilion.
After lunch we headed for easily the most crowded spot of our trip so far: Kinkaku-ji, or the Golden Pavilion.
All day, everywhere, we saw sakura. Cherry blossom fatigue starts to set in with so many trees around, and so many people determined to capture the perfect shot. I know–poor us.
For our last dinner in Kyoto, we enjoyed the varied offerings of an izakaya. On our way to the restaurant, we blended in with the foreigner crowd on foot determined to find an excellent meal. But once we reached the restaurant, we saw nothing but Japanese customers surrounding us–always a good sign, especially in a heavily touristy area such as Gion. We ordered an assortment typical to an izakaya: grilled chicken skewers, assorted vegetables with miso sauce, a soft boiled egg nestled atop potato salad with anchovy, and steak cooked to perfection.
It capped off a lovely day with amazing sites, perfect weather, so much sakura, and the best company.
Tomorrow we board our final Shinkansen: back home to Yokohama.