South Korea & Japan: Temples, Shrines & Seaside Treasures

Day 14 – Monday, October 24, 2022 - Tenryuji Garden; Visit Arashiyama Bamboo Grove; Nijo-jo Castle

There was a little rain during the night; cleaning an already spotless city. The skies were overcast and it was cooler this morning. We departed the hotel at 8:30am for the 30-minute drive to the Arashiyama district.

On the way, Ken told us about the life of the business community in Japan. Ken worked for 40 years as a financial executive in a major Japanese corporation. Traditionally, finance is a man’s world; the Japanese work very hard, long hours.

We began our excursions today with the beautiful Tenryuji Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ken explained how the monks groomed the garden incorporating the elements of the earth. There is a peaceful Zen atmosphere with the tiny white pebbles resembling waves, large boulders arranged around a reflective pond, and magnificent views of Mt. Arashiyama and Mt. Kameyama.

We continued through the garden and then we walked through the dense Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. There are several bamboo groves in Japan, but this one is especially beautiful as the sunlight filtered through the green leaves.

Our next stop was the Nijo-jo Castle, covering 70 acres and home to many palaces and gardens. We were allowed to go into the Ninomaru Palace, where the samurai ruled the country before giving over power to the emperor in 1868.

From the castle we walked in a light rain to a very tiny traditional restaurant. We all spoke about how lucky we have been with the good weather during our stay. Today we had fried fish and a very nice salad. Our meals have all been organized by OAT and because of the covid protocols, there have been few buffets.

The bus driver took us back to the hotel at 2:30 and we had plenty of time to start packing and complete the journal for this last day in Japan. At 5:30 we met Ken for instructions for tomorrow as we part ways and return to the United States. Five of the group will go on the Post-Trip with Ken to Hiroshima for another three days.

Our Farewell Dinner was at 6:30. We took taxis to the restaurant and had a very lively last dinner together. This has been one of the most congenial OAT groups we have experienced. We thanked Ken for his tremendous leadership and thoughtfulness and for sharing his wonderful country with us.

Tomorrow we will take a van to Osaka to fly to Tokyo, and from there we have an overnight flight to Los Angeles. We don’t arrive in Denver until after 10:30 at night. It will be a long trip home, but when we decompress, we will write our last day’s wrap up for South Korea and Japan: Temples, Shrines, and Seaside Treasures.

Accommodations: Dormy Inn Premium Kyoto Ekimae Hotel -- Meals included: B, L, & D

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Welcome home from a great trip!

Paul W   October 26, 2022 - 7:32am

We got our first snow last night with a bit of rain preceding it. I loved seeing the garden photos!

Susan Phillips   October 24, 2022 - 9:15am

This trip has seemed quick to me! Thank you for sharing it and providing great photos. I enjoyed walking through the bamboo groves, too. You travel day will be difficult, but I hope very safe and as comfortable as possible!

Carol Larson   October 24, 2022 - 7:49am
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Tenryuji Sogen Pond

Tenryuji Sogen Pond

Zen Pebble Garden

Zen Pebble Garden

Moso Bamboo Grove

Moso Bamboo Grove

Nijo-jo Castle

Nijo-jo Castle

Rickshaw Ride

Rickshaw Ride

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Day 15: South Korea & Japan: Temples, Shrines & Seaside Treasures

Day 15 – Tuesday, October 25, 2022 – Return Flights to the USA

Our bags are unpacked, the laundry is done, and we are trying to get back on Colorado body clock time. Our trip home was long but basically uneventful, always a good thing!...

Continue Reading Day 15