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Kyoto day 11 - Daitoku-ji & Gion

Written on: Monday February 15th, 2010

A journal entry from: Japan 2010

After a late start, we head to Daitoku-ji (a collection of Zen temples) in central Kyoto. There were a lot of temples here, but rather than get "templed out", we visited two. First, Daisen-in, which was a little temple (the size of a house), with the chance to have tea with a monk. He was cool. Second, Koto-in, for the bamboo-filled gardens. Daitoku-ji was very quiet and didn't have heaps of visitors, but I prefer Tofuku-ji as the prettiest Zen temple.

We tried to see the Imperial Palace, but the time clashed with the most important event for today: tea party with a geisha. Japan Tourism was running some promotion where for a few dollars we could have tea with a geisha on certain afternoons. Jack was a bit hesitant, but I was all for it. We had to hang around the old entertainment district, Gion, while waiting for our timeslot. When it was time, we were ushered in to the room, and soon the three gesiha arrived (actually, 2 apprentices and a geiko). The first year apprentice maiko was actually dressed the best/most pretty I thought, but she seemed a bit shy or sullen. Whereas the geiko was less showy, but had a more welcoming or polished personality. When we were allowed to take photos at the end, she seemed to manage to smile in all of the pictures, whereas the other two didn't at times!