on another bright and sunny morning, we walked south from the station the few blocks to began with the Toji temple, which dates from the eighth century, but what strikes the visitor immediately is the pagoda, the tallest in Japan, and one that has been cunningly built to survive earthquakes. The current structure is over three hundred years old, and is built to last.
We walked north of the station to seek out the Hongan-ji Temples. These massive complexes date back in parts to the sixteenth century, and remain very important sites for Japanese Buddhism. The first, Nishi Hongan-ji, has all sorts of treasures, including what's thought to be the oldest Noh stage in Japan. The scale of the buildings was impressive, as was the air of quiet dedication about the place. All was calm and serene as we strolled around the grounds, and glimpsed inside the halls where some people were at prayer.
Kiyomizu temple and then a stroll around the packed streets. The temple area was thronged with people, and we made the decision not to join the crowds, but to head for the little streets. It was the season for school trips, and everywhere we saw very well-organised groups of kids, all sporting distinctive caps to mark them out. Here's a group joining the masses at the Kiyomizu temple:
Kodai-ji Temple, next to which was, rather incongruously, the main coach park for the district. There is an impressive bell:
It was getting towards dusk by now, so we went out by the startlingly colourful Yasaka shrine and on to the bustling streets of fashionable Gion, where fashionistas and politicians mix.