Golden Temple

Kinkakuji, Kyoto’s golden temple, is not just painted gold, but is actually covered in a thin layer of gold leaf. It’s located in the middle of a beautiful traditional Japanese garden and spending time here was one of the most peaceful experiences I had in Japan.

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Visiting a Shinto Shrine: Ema

These wooden plaques, or ema, are found at all shinto shrines in Japan. For a few hundred yen you can buy a plaque and write your wish on it in the hope that the shrine deities will grant it.

These ema were at a love shrine in Kyoto, so these messages are wishing for luck in love. At this shrine you can also try to gain luck in love by walking between two stones with your eyes closed. Unfortunately, when I tried it, I veered far off course and into an elderly Japanese man. Whoops.

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Kyoto in the Fall

I love this photo of leaves on a fence in Arashiyama, a town near Kyoto famous for it’s bamboo forests. We went in December and the fall colours were still out. So beautiful.

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