We arrived at the Kansai International Airport around 8pm and then drove to the Miyako Hotel in Osaka for the night. Most hotels in Japan provide a kimono to wear in your room which Helen is modeling here.
The typical Japanese hotel room contains a copy of both the Bible and "The Teaching of Buddha" in the nightstand.
The next day was set aside for sightseeing in Kyoto. Driving through the city, we saw the Toji Temple and its pagoda, seen here, which is the tallest wooden structure in Japan.
The entrance to the Kiyomizu Temple, one of the oldest and largest temples in Kyoto.
Helen's parents at Kiyomizu Temple.
Taking the stairs up to the temple.
The Kiyomizu Temple is built on a hill so that the entire city of Kyoto is visible from it. Here, we look back on the city beside the main temple gate.
Helen poses with a lucky rock. You make a wish at this rock, close your eyes, and attempt to walk to another similar rock about 20 feet away. If you succeed, your wish will come true.
Two girls make an offering at a shrine that promises luck in finding love.
These stairs lead down from the temple to a "pure water spring" below from which it is supposed to be very cleansing to drink.
Frank fills his cup at the spring as Jody waits.
George is cleansed after drinking.
These Buddhist statues are all wearing bibs, a common feature of Japanese Buddhism.
Kiyomizu Temple in front of Kyoto.
A path near Kiyomizu Temple.
Me, eating green tea ice cream outside the shops near Kiyomizu Temple.
We had a traditional Japanese lunch that day in the Arashiyama District of Kyoto.
Togetsu-kyo, the "moon crossing" bridge, is the most famous landmark in Arashiyama.
Arashiyama has traditional rickshaws for tourists to ride.
A traditional rooftop well-balanced with the tree next to it.
An old Japanese house in Arashiyama.
Tanuki, a racoon dog, is a common Japanese fertility symbol.
The scenery of Arashiyama as seen from Togetsu-kyo, the "moon crossing" bridge.
A bird-feeder gets lots of attention from these birds near Togetsu-kyo.
Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion, which sits in a Japanese stroll garden. A stroll garden is an art form that symbolizes harmony with the surrounding nature by juxtaposing miniature landscapes.
Helen and her Grandma in front of the Golden Pavilion.
The Golden Pavilion is literally plated with gold leaf, and is topped with a bronze phoenix.
Outside Higashi Hongan-ji near the Kyoto train station.
Helen feeds the pigeons in front of the gate to Higashi Hongan-ji.
The exterior of the Kyoto train station.
The interior of the Kyoto train station is a vast atrium of escalators, shops, and bustling activity.
After riding the escalators to the top of the train station, you are treated to a great view of the city.
The Shinkansen (bullet train) pulls into the station.
A walkway traverses the rooftop of Kyoto station.