My first morning in Kyoto started with Daitokuji, a complex of 24 temples and sub-temples, featuring quiet Zen gardens and paths to wander down and around. It was a quiet and contemplative way to start the day.
And then the rain began. It made the gardens quite atmospheric. The rain allowed me to see one of my favorite sights: beautifully dressed women with umbrellas.
On to Nishijin Textile Center. Kyoto’s Nishijin district was the heart of the town’s textile industry. Nishijin woven textiles are intricate and complex, with ornate styling. It is totally the opposite of the Japanese textiles I am drawn to. I knew I was close to the center when I spied all the middle-aged women with giant shopping bags and vaguely-handmade clothing. (Textile women are the same the world over, I swear.)
From there: Nijo-jo. The castle was built in 1603 and was the official Kyoto residence of the first Tokugawa shogun. I especially enjoying the “nightengale” floors–designed to creak and prevent treachery. By the time I got back to the capsule, my sandals offered the same effect.