Day 39 of 111. Osaka, Japan
We arrived in Osaka at 8:00 a.m. The sea was very calm (a welcome change) but the air was cold (35 F). In my down coat I was comfortable, but my ears were cold. I went shopping later for a knit cap. (2,000 yen)
We visited the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. It was a nice walk and beautiful sites. It actually snowed a little while we were there and there were patches of snow on the ground. Our guide, Miwa-San, is very good. She told us that the pavilion was the retirement residence of a Shogun who turned into a Buddhist priest. The pavilion is the centerpiece of a nice complex. The three floors of the pavilion are significant. The lower level was for visitors. The second floor was the living area. The top floor was the meditation area and had beautiful lacquered floors which mirrored the room. The actual pavilion was burned in 1950 by a visiting Buddhist priest. This is a reproduction.
The next stop was the Nijo Castle. The five buildings, the artwork, and the information about the Shogun made this visit memorable. The floors make little noises as you walk and are called the Nightingale floors. The sounds are small gentle squeaks that sound like tiny bird calls. They are caused by iron nail moving against the wood. The sounds are supposed to alert the residents against marauding ninjas.
On our bus trip to Kyoto, we had a rest stop. The bathroom had a map of the facilities. I thought this was very clever, very organized, and worth a picture.