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Trip to Japan – Day 3

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I woke up again around 6:30am. We ate breakfast at our place. I love our Airbnb. It is a three story house, with a bedroom and large bathroom on the first level, living space and kitchen on the second, and two bedrooms on the top floor. First thing in the morning, we went to Kiyomizu Dera, also known as the Temple on Stilts. It is famous for drinking from the Otowa Waterfall. The whole temple was beautifully tucked into the side of the hill surrounded by trees.

Our next stop was a visit to the Yamakazi distillery for tour and tasting. We almost didn’t get to go on the tour because it was scheduled for 10 and we thought it was for 10:30. But they were amazing and we got on the 11 am tour. While whiskey isn’t my thing, the tour ended with a tasting…and it wasn’t terrible! We had lunch nearby at a tempura restaurant, again in a private room. It was one little old lady, and everything was super delicious. We took a train back to city and then bus to Silver Pavilion, Ginkaku-ji. All the temples are so different. This one had really pretty dry and wet gardens surrounding the buildings.

From there we walked the Philosopher’s Path back towards the middle of the city. On the way there were various smaller temples, an artist selling water colors, and loads of cats! We walked all the way to the Heian shrine, and down the middle of the city past the museums. At one point we saw a parade of sorts. Men were dressed up, and carrying an old fashioned carriage, jumping up and down and chanting. They stopped traffic all around for it!

We continued onto the Yasaka Shrine just as the lanterns were turning on. We wandered through Gion and onto Pontocho street. It was Leslie’s birthday so we had to stop in a few of the tiny bars overlooking the river for a champagne! We ate dinner at an amazing gyoza restaurant. It was tiny, and people started lining up at 7:30 – precisely when we arrived. As this is the area for going out, that is considered early. The gyoza was so delicious, and all so cheap! We walked back down Pontocho to Hello Dolly Whiskey Bar. Another tiny place, for a drink called the Pink Lady. From there we walked to bus and headed home to fall fast asleep.

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