Day 9 – A day for new beginnings and golden reflection

Did I say we were slowing down in Kyoto? Well never mind. We have all sorts of things to do and places to see. Our first stop today was a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in which we learned proper tea drinking and serving etiquette, the formal way.


Our host giggled at us pretty much the entire time since we were so terrible at it. There is an art to making good tea and we were probably in the crayon stage.


Luckily we were able to sit at the table and not on the floor since it took us a lot longer than it should have.


Here’s Ian whisking the tea, trying to mix the water and tea without creating bubbles.

After you drink the tea, you’re supposed to look at the bowl for a few moments out of respect to the host and reflect on the quality of it’s craftsmanship. This is very common across


And here’s one of the most famous sites in all of Japan, the Golden Palace. The original one was actually burned down but it was rebuilt and in 1987 was recovered in gold leaf. It’s actually extremely impressive in person. I can’t wait to edit the images at home. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this but all of the images so far have been straight out of camera or edited slightly on the iPad 2.


These koi fish were actually pretty funny. They kept on jumping out of the water trying to eat the leaves on the shore.


For lunch we had sushi that is served on a great big carrousel. It was interesting to see how they actually know what food you’re grabbing from the line. Apparently, most everything about the system is automated, including the rice portions.


Here’s a shot of the carousel.


This is the most well known zen garden in Japan.


The best part of the zen garden was this little guy. He had this funny little scowl the entire time I was sitting next to him.


Can you see the turtles?


You’re in for a treat tomorrow. We’re going to visit the original Imperial Palace, former capital of Japan!

- Tony Llerena Photography

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