This morning, our group seemed a bit sluggish overall, but we kicked into gear anyway. First we visited the iconic Kinkakuji temple (the golden one with the phoenix on top for anyone who doesn't know). It was beautiful. We were taking pictures and admiring the grounds when a class of Japanese students approached. They wanted to talk with us! It was a little bit scary but too good an opportunity to pass up; speaking to Japanese people isn't something you get to do everyday. We ended up taking a group photo all together, Japanese and Americans.
As we continued our adventure in Kinkakuji, we ran into some buddha statues with offering bowls lining the trail. People were congregated around the sides of the path, trying to throw coins into the bowls. That looked like fun; we joined in. It turned out to be a real challenge, to my knowledge only Kenna succeeded.
The next stop on our list was Nijo-jo castle. Unfortunately, we got a bit lost and separated on our way. While we were sitting by the way and trying to figure out what to do, a man on a bicycle came up to us. He spoke quickly and to the whole group, so it was hard for anyone to answer him. To our relief, Dowdle sensei stepped up. As it turns out, he realized we were lost, and was trying to help us. He gave us a map and we got back on track.
Everything was playing out according to plan, no one was expecting anything. We went for admission, but in a bizarre twist the main building of Nijo-jo castle was closed. We explored the outside and discovered that the grounds were worth it to see. Moral of the story: you won't always get what you want, but you may get something else just as good.