Our university offered for international students to participate in a field trip with students from Shibuya (渋谷). The Junior High School students came to Kyoto for a weekend excursion and on Sunday international students joined their tour in order to improve their English communication skills.
Considering that Japan is currently in its rainy season the weather was very pleasant on Sunday. Usually it is raining daily at the moment, but a lot of sunshine let us enjoy Matcha ice cream (抹茶アイスクリーム).
I was assigned to a group of six students together with another Korean fellow student from my university. We visited rather many sites and listened to their explanations carefully. And most places were rather crowded, which is not unusual on Sundays. At 9 am we jumped into our taxi and started the tour. The taxi-driver was a very friendly man who also gave some additional explanations to the students in Japanese.
Our first destination was Ginkaku-ji Temple (銀閣寺). The “Silver Temple” is located at the eastern end of Kyoto and on the higher ground you can have an impressive view over Kyoto. You can also see a giant “大” on Mount Daimonji (大文字山), which is the Hidari Daimonji (左大文字).
The second stop was Koryu Temple (広隆寺) which is considered to be the oldest temple in Kyoto. It was built in 603 and is by Shingon (真言宗) Buddhists. The exhibition features several ancient Buddha statues which most of them are officially national treasure.
Directly after that we proceeded to Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺) – The Golden Temple. This is the most famous sight in Kyoto and consequently the most crowded one as well. Covered in 20kg of gold it is shining behind a pond.
Our final sight was Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), which is one of the most important Shinto Shrines in Kyoto. Due to lack of time, we could only stay there for a short while. We ended our tour with lunch at a restaurant, where I enjoyed hand-made soba (そば) with soy sauce and wasabi. After that the taxi-driver took us to Kyoto-Station and we said farewell to the students.
Within four hours we visited four sights and had lunch, which was rather intense but also a lot of fun. Unfortunately my camera battery was not fully charged and I could not take any photos.