week 3

Our third week was once again packed with morning and afternoon activities in Kyoto. We visited multiple temples which were both beautiful and elegant. Here are some of my top highlights from the week.

On Thursday, our group visited Hikone Castle before arriving in Kyoto. The castle is one of twelve remaining original Japanese castles and is fairly high up for defensive purposes. We later visited the castle’s garden, which was very beautiful even though it was pouring rain. In the background, you can see the castle high up on the mountain.

Our group also had the chance to go to an onsen, which was by far a top highlight for me on the trip. From the water you could look at the mountains, which I found to be very peaceful and relaxing.

On Saturday, we visited Kinkaku-ji temple, a place I had been looking forward to going to since the beginning of the trip. The temple is covered in gold leaf and sits on the edge of a beautiful lake. Though it was fairly crowded and hot, I found myself genuinely appreciating the temple’s luxuriousness which is why it has been my favorite temple we have visited so far.
Later in the day, our group was lucky enough to attend a Geiko performance, a truly once in a lifetime opportunity. I was fascinated by her elegant and subtle dance movements and am truly appreciative for the experience.

I also took note of the difference in food between Nagoya and Kyoto. Personally, I have found the food in Nagoya to be more fried, whereas in Kyoto it was more grilled. I have also noticed how the food in Kyoto was not as overloaded with flavor and sauce when compared to Nagoya.

As the third week comes to and end, I am in a little bit of a denial that the program is almost over. Though our last week here in Nagoya is shorter, I am determined to make the most of it and take it all in while I am here.

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