For today we had something special planned: we were meeting up with Joe (also see here, and here), our first friend meetup of our trip. Joe lives in Osaka as an English teacher, and it was great to catch up with him while getting shown around town.
We followed Joe around, exploring the Gion and Higashiyama-ku area and some temples that I had both already been to and never had heard of. It was mostly a good day to walk around town, albeit a few showers here and there.
We showed Travis Kiyomizu-dera and Jishu shrine, and even helped some Japanese kids practice their English by answering questions (such as, what our favourite Japanese food is and if we like hamsters).
Joe showed us a complex of temples on our way to his favourite zen rock garden temple, Tofuku-ji. It had a nice garden and was nearly deserted, and thus made for even better contemplation. The rock garden was also interestingly offset by a planted garden, in a sort of yin yang fashion. This temple is apparently very beautiful later in the fall, when all of the Japanese maples start to change colour.
Our last temple of the day was Nazen-ji temple and the surrounding park and its aqueduct.
We started our walk back to the hostel, trying to time it so that we could walk around the Geisha area in Gion and spot one or two going about their day. Unfortunately because of the rain, we didn’t see any.
Travis cooked dinner at our hostel and we shared a few beers over stories. After a while though Joe had to get back to Osaka, and so we parted way.
Thank you Joe for a lovely day and showing us your Kyoto!
PS. You can see some of Joe’s photos of today here.