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Closer view of Kinkakujin, you can see the golden phoenix crowing on top of the temple.

An example of some lovely tree art. note the bamboo supporting structure, keeping every branching level just so

Another group shot, the lady in the white is not some Japanese we plucked out of the crowd and asked to be in the picture, she is Lauren's host mother and kindly guided us to both Kinkakujin and the Ryoanji Zen Rock Garden (pics later)

Peaceful scene, note the small canoe used to tend the gardens in the pond.

Bloated and content carp of many colors swim in the Kinkakujin pond, fed well by passersby.

It's hard to describe the beauty of the temple grounds. Hopefully these pictures give you some idea. ^.^

See the white bird in the center? That's an ibis!

I know I have at least three pictures of various spots that look just like this, but I'm very fond of picturesque stone stairways. @.@

Something for everyone, even a waterfall...

This stone is for people/children who are orphaned, and landing a silver coin in the stone bowl will make the orphaned person's problems go away. Don't ask me how, I don't make up the legends.

Me, Lauren. I think this was in October? ^.^

I just couldn't get enough pictures of the amazing fall colors!

This is one of the oldest building in all of Japan, and the oldest one in Kyoto (at least, that's what Lauren's host mom said). The thatched roof is a throwback to really old traditional Japanese houses. REALLY old.

Closeup of the thatchwork. Isn't that astounding? I really like the look of it.

This type of tree, now very rare, gave the wood for the thatched roof. This species of tree is nearing extinction, apparently.

This is the Buddhist temple on the Kinkakujin grounds. Note the large roofed green stand in front? That is filled with burning incense, and you are supposed to waft the incense smoke toward yourself, and rub it into your skin... it's supposed to be "good for the body and mind."

They do interesting things with the end of rafters.. this one is carved to look like an elephant, but roughly carved, as if it grew that way. ^.^

View of northern Kyoto. Kyoto is a very pretty, very peaceful traditional city, for much of it.

The entrance to Ryoanji Rock Garden, with an oni carved into the rafter.

Personally, I was much more impressed by the peaceful lake covered in carefully manicured lily pads than with the actual rock garden itself.

October group shot. Stairs leading to Ryoanji. Light's doing funny things here, since my shirt was green, not brown.

Rock garden, complete with a landing to sit and contemplate the zen-ness of it all.

Another view. The walls are very interesting, they are clay baked in oil, and through the hundreds of years, rain has forced the oil out to create unique designs on the walls' surfaces.

Big drum. More interesting than the drum though, are the shoji doors. On each is painted a scene from an epic Japanese poem, and the doors throughout the temple tell the full story.

This fountain is considered a treasure. Inscribed upon it is: "I seek knowledge only to be contented."

Better shot of all the shoji doors and the tatami mats.

A carved oni-looking gargoyle stares down at you as you exit the building.

Instead of grass, the temple grounds are covered in a lush, soft mossy covering. It's quite beautiful and very soft.

Garden through a gate.

Persimmon tree, bare except for the fruits which hang ripe from every branch.

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MORE TO COME!!!

Birthday photos!!
(Infamous) Trip to Galveston
Moving Jimmy and Stephanie to Wisconsin
The last few pre-departure pics!
First set of pictures from Japan!
First week in Japan, pictures from the dorms
Osaka Castle pics^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Osaka Castle pics Page2
October PicturesPage 1. . . .Page 2. . . .Page 3. . . . Page 4

CHECK OUT THESE OTHER PAGES!!! (Some have pics of me, and many of the ppl my journal talks about!!"):

Josh and Meredith's Page
Mike's Page, check out Matt's Bday pics at Hakkenden.

Home, sweet home pics