Kyoto – Ryukoku University

Ryukoku University

While exploring the area around our hotel, we stumbled on Ryukoku University [龍谷大学]. The university sits next to Nishi Hongan-ji Temple [西本願寺], which was disappointingly undergoing renovations when we visited.
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Qixing Mountain Trail

Qixing Mountain path

I was off to an early start today on account of a work crew doing repairs outside my apartment at 7:30 in the morning. Qixing Mountain [七星山] is Yangmingshan National Park’s [陽明山國家公園] highest peak at 1,120 meters.
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Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji [The Golden Pavilion]

The Golden Pavilion - Rokuon-ji Temple

We left for Kinkaku-ji [金閣寺] by bus on a rainy Monday morning. Even in the rain the Golden Pavilion is a very impressive site. Kinkaku-ji is the informal name for the main building for Rokuon-ji [鹿苑寺 (Deer Garden Temple)]. In the 1220s it was the villa of Kintsune Saionji, a central figure in the imperial court.
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Kyoto – Exploring Arashiyama – Tenryu-ji Temple

Sogen Pond Panorama II

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Tenryu-ji [天龍寺] is part of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. This temple was founded in 1339 by Shogun Ashikaga Takauji in memory of emperor Go-Daigo [1288-1339], whom he sided with during the civil war which brought an end to the Kamakura Shogunate [1185-1333].
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Kyoto – Exploring Arashiyama – Hogonin Temple

Oi River

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Our first full day in Kyoto was spent in Arashiyama [嵐山], a scenic district in Western Kyoto. The Panorama above shows the Katsura River [桂川], to the far left of the panorama is the Togetsukyo Bridge [渡月橋].
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Kyoto/Osaka – Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

Kansai Airport

Our flight left out of Taoyuan International Airport an hour early to avoid Typhoon Krosa which was already hammering Taiwan with heavy wind and rain early Saturday morning. We barely made it to the terminal on time on account of a traffic accident preventing Cathy (who was coming from Nantou) to make it to the airport early.
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Hiking in the Dakeng Scenic Area

Dakeng Scenic Area

The weekend was one of those rare 2-day weekends because my students were busy at their regular school making up the day they missed on account of the holiday. It feels great to say, “Have a nice weekend” to my boss on Friday evening instead of on Saturday morning. We woke up early on Sunday morning to avoid the midday heat and headed towards the Dakeng Scenic Area [大坑風景區] in Taichung [台中].
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Sitou Barbeque and Critters


A portion of the extended holiday was spent barbecuing and exploring part of Taiwan’s quieter-side. A friend rented a cabin in Sitou [溪頭], Lugu Township [鹿谷鄉]. It was a great weekend featuring food, KTV, and bugs.

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