Day 7: Kyoto 4th May 2017

When one hears the expression “You couldn’t make it up” it often concerns a happening that is quite routine. If anyone had told us what would happen today I certainly would not have believed it. 

We had planned a day of temple and garden visiting. All the literature said bus was the way to get around Kyoto. So we, with a bit of unusual fore planning, had purchased two bus day passes in the subway station yesterday. With these came the entire Kyoto bus routes (on a single sheet). Good eyesight is an essential here in Japan as everything is written in miniscule characters. The plan, which at first glance, seemed impossible to decipher, became quite logical and clear once we had located ourselves on it. The information with the pass was very comprehensive. You enter the bus from the rear door. You press the stop button just after the bus leaves your penultimate stop. Then if   you are using your pass for the first time you run it through the machine by the driver’s door. All trips thereafter only require you to show the driver the date stamp on your pass.

The trip was quite long, about ten stops. Once we left the bus we just followed the hordes to find the temple. The gardens were magnificent. On entering there was a pyramid of sand. Barry wanted to wait for a rain shower to see if the whole thing would collapse. Throughout the gardens there were several sand gardens with beautiful simple patterns onthem.

WARNING: I will be removing the Silver Strand up to Kilmoon on my return to Sherkin to create my very own Zen garden…

There was a winding path that led up to a wonderful view over Kyoto. I had seen that there was another temple in the immediate area. So like all the young travellers we switched on Google maps to locate it. But as usual if we had opened our eyes we would have seen the lovely carved wooden sign. We followed it and came upon a haven of tranquility. This was a Buddhist temple and for some reason it does not seem to be so popular.

And here comes the unbelievable occurrence. As we wandered past a temple a lovely man indicated to us that there was about to be a concert within. We needed to rest our feet so thought “why not”. He said the singer was a soprano. She arrived with her accompanist on a lute. She started to sing the “Sally Gardens” in a glorious voice. We almost fell off our chairs. I have rarely heard it sung so beautifully. The concert proceeded with Scarborough Fair and Greensleeves. Talk about being surreal…

The sun shone all day. It was such a wonderful experience.

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I am a photographer dividing my time between ireland and France. I am interested in all aspects of photography including portraits, nature both real and fantasy and travel