It is Day 9 of this 42-day series on Six Weeks to Summer: A Traveler’s Fitness Plan.
Rain, rain, go away …
While we had a rainy day in Kyoto, it didn’t dampen the beautiful sites we saw in this historic city. And my pedometer was happy with the walking we did throughout the day.
Too late to help with today’s rain, we learned of a Japanese custom of hanging Teru Teru Bozus on the household eaves at night to ward off rain for the following day.
We visited the Golden Pavilion – a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. A walking trail meandering behind the Pavilion took us through beautiful areas of streams, trees (including a 600-year old bonsai tree and springtime Azaleas.
Lunch couldn’t come soon enough! I experimented with a different breakfast: fruit (pineapple and watermelon) and a bowl of oatmeal and found myself very hungry by late morning. The protein breakfasts I’ve typically been having keep me full much longer. It’s good to experiment to see what works though this test was a fail for me.
A group lunch was pre-arranged for us at the Westin Kyoto. Because of my morning failed experiment, I actually ate one of the two rolls put in front of me. I hadn’t eaten any bread in almost two months and my hunger got the best of me. Lessons learned … stay away from high-carb breakfast and eat a healthy snack to keep the hunger monsters away. The rest of lunch was tasty, though not the healthiest. Cream of corn soup, Teriyaki chicken thigh, sushi and a small salad. I left the French fries and other roll on my plate.
Lots more walking after lunch hopefully worked off the meal.
The Heian Shrine is where our journey next took us. The shrine was built on the occasion of the 1100th anniversary of the capital’s foundation in Kyoto and is dedicated to the spirits of the first and last emperors who reigned from the city. Throughout the grounds are trees made of papers holding the wishes and invocations add by thousands of optimistic folks. If it wasn’t so rainy, I would have added my own! The Japanese gardens behind the shrine were peaceful and beautiful, even in the rain. We saw the last of the Cherry Blossoms though sadly more petals were on the ground than in the trees.
Back to the cruise ship for a healthy dinner (cold seafood salad, minestrone soup broth, and hot spicy shrimp) with one bite of my husband’s chocolate dessert – and a half glass of red wine.
Later in the evening, we said ōkeni (goodbye) from Kyoto and Osaka while the ferris wheel faded from site.