Freedom was the definition of the day. Free to do whatever we wanted. Go to a bamboo forest? That was on the list. Want to shop all day? You can do that too. In my case I went to a place called Ginkakuji.
Ginkakkuji or the silver pavilion, is the sister site to Kinkakuji, the golden pavilion. The main shrine was supposed to be covered in silver, but was never finished. It's a small little area with an amazing garden. Everything is meticulously placed, from a stone bridge to every plant that resides there.
I'm most impressed with how the japanese strike this balance of man-made to nature in every area. For example, later in the day we found a shrine in the middle of downtown Kyoto while shopping. It gives areas that are busy in Japan a sense of peace and clarity.
After we looked at the beautiful garden of Ginkakuji, we found a person just a few moments away. This person was an artist and his business was taking english names and turning them into styilized Kanji. Every person that was in my group (Dowdle sensei, Kenna, Nicole, and kade) got something from him. The best part was how you payed him. The payment was what you thought he deserved, now you would think that you could get a quick gift out of him. The truth was he was so good that you wanted to pay him, I even felt bad about not giving him more than I did.
We then finished with the amazing artist and headed to downtown Kyoto to do some shopping. I went into a department store with a few shops. There was a record shop a music shop and a book-off. I got myself some video game music from Xenoblade chronicles and sheet music from the Legend of Zelda. Kenna probably bought the most out of all of us though. She went into the figure store and bought about 15 anime figures. She had so many of the plastic models that the bag was pretty heavy.
I ended the day by watching Princess Mononoke, one of the best amine movies ever created. It also ozzes japanese mythology with the gods of nature and how they need to be respected.
It was good to relax in Japan for a day, I hope we all remember the experiences gained by being in the land of the rising sun.