Yesterday was a bit of a mess with a couple of less-exciting destinations and poor transport choices, so we reached the end of the day completely worn out and not much in the mood for happy snaps! Went to Heian shrine where I had for some reason believed there were many turtles in the garden ponds – instead we saw the shrine itself followed by a rather expensive entrance (more than Kenroku-en) to a fairly average garden, with exactly three turtles in the ponds. Would have been OK except that there were beautiful sections with stone bridges and paths through trees, maybe 1/3 of the garden, simply marked "No Entry". It was odd.
Decided unwisely to walk to see some of the other shrines and temples nearby – first one was a winner, a Shinto shrine to rabbits which was charming and included a girl bringing her actual rabbit there to pray. Followed by a long, confused walk to a beautiful Buddhist temple and then a walk through a large area including an enormous cemetery and several other temples – got ourselves quite thoroughly lost for a bit (thanks Google Maps and Apple Maps). Escaped the maze and made our way back to the stop for the "Raku" sightseeing bus route, which on the way out had been merely crowded, but which on the way pack was like a Guinness record attempt for the number of people in a bus shaped space. At least the girls got a seat for the latter half of the long trip. We were all pretty dead (I’d had 4 hours’ sleep) and it was very slow, stopping several times for people to wedge themselves in and fight their way off. Also had to stop for a Shinto procession carrying a shrine so perhaps it was a significant day. Fell off at the other end, regrouped with another late lunch and after a rest decided to go to the local toy shop which was a bit unexciting, and a pet store which included kittens up to $3500 and a puppy which was about $5800 – unbelievable, perhaps there is expensive registration included in the price, but it’s not a casual undertaking it seems. Dinner was an unimaginative revisit to the teppanyaki place to short-circuit a lengthy decision.
Today, Arashiyama and the moss garden of Saiho-ji – wish us luck, and reasonable weather!
I should say that all our updates are a mix of photos taken by the whole family, in case I gave the impression they were all mine! Edie has really taken to her camera in particular. We’ve shot 1600 pictures to far, so it may be best to avoid dinner invitations for a month or so after we return.