This morning, we traveled from Kanazawa to Kyoto via the Thunderbird train. It’s not the bullet train most folks think of when they think of Japan (that’s the Shinkansen), but it was still fast and comfortable. It got us to Kyoto around lunchtime, where our tour guide had a special meal planned for us.
Lunch took place at a Ryokan near Mt. Yoshida. This house, the second residence of the uncle of the Emperor, was elegant and understated. Our tour group had a lovely meal of upscale Japanese fare. The staff of the Ryokan were exceedingly polite and profusely thanked us for visiting.
After lunch, we visited the Kinkakuji Temple gardens. Better known in English as the “Golden Pavilion,” Kinkakuji was arguably one of the most crowded places we visited on our tour. It was hard to get a good shot of anything with my camera without getting a huge crowd in the photo. Nevertheless, the pavilion is a sight to behold–I wasn’t very impressed when I saw trinkets covered in gold leaf in Kanazawa, but to see an entire building covered with it was certainly interesting.