Dinner at Yamabuki Temple Preceded by a Visit to Todai-Ji Temple and Ninja Museum of Igaryu

Our second to the last day in Kyoto was busy and full of adventure. It began at the great Todai-ji Temple, a national treasure first constructed in 710 -794 AD, which is known for its chief object of worship — a magnificent Vairocana Buddha (Buddha that shines throughout the world like the sun). The Buddha is 49’ tall, resting on a Lotus petal that stands 10’ tall. The Temple serves both as a place of peace and affluence on earth, as well as a center for Buddhist doctrinal research, which has produced many famous scholar priests. The statue of Vairocana Buddha is made from cast bronze and plated with gold. It has been damaged and repaired numerous times and the current rendition is 33% smaller than the original structure, yet still ranks as the largest wooden structure in the world. Seeing this Buddha was awe-inspiring to say the least.

Entering and leaving the Temple park, we were greeted by deer who only had eyes for John…

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Only have eyes for John….

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Mei (right) and our tour guide Tomoko (left)

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Todai-Ji Temple

IMG_4964 IMG_4963 IMG_4959The afternoon was spent engaging in quite a different experience at the Ninja Museum. At first it was hard to imagine why this visit was included on our tour, until we heard the history of these nationally celebrated secret agents. Little did I know that our modern day Ninja is based on such an important cultural phenomenon. I’ll let the photos tell a thousand words about this adventure. For me the best part was seeing the Ninja house with secret doors and rooms and compartments where Ninjas could hide from the enemy and escape. IMG_4969 IMG_4970 IMG_4983 IMG_4984 IMG_4986Dinner was a traditional meal at Yamabuki Temple. Very elegant, subdued and offered a wonderful opportunity for us to recap our visit and gratitude in preparation for our last day in Kyoto.

Who are these celebrities?

Who are these celebrities?

IMG_4993IMG_4996IMG_4994 The Japanese are masters with presentation…IMG_4995 IMG_4997 IMG_4998 IMG_5011