Cruise Excursion from Kyoto port for cruise and land clients
10am. Meet your guide at the pier in the morning for full day sightseeing of Kyoto with vegetarian lunch included.
Visit Nijo Castle, built by Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, in 1603, is a World Heritage Site and its Ninomaru Palace is designated a National Treasure on account of its splendid architecture and magnificent interior decoration. Ieyasu built the castle as his Kyoto residence, but its greater significance was as a symbol of Tokugawa power in the Kansai region.
The palace is an example of "shoin-zukuri" style, its four building groups staggered so that as many rooms as possible could front a garden or court. The interior is decorated with wall paintings by the Kano school. The floorboards of corridors creak underfoot. Called "bush warbler boards," they warned of the approach of an assassin. Visit Kinkakuji, or the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, is a famous structure dating from the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) and was listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1994.
It is the popular name of Rokuon-ji (Deer Park Temple), a temple dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408), the third of the Ashikaga Shoguns, built a retirement estate there in 1398. After his death in 1419, the grounds were turned into a Buddhist temple for the Rinzai sect.
The only building to remain standing of Yoshimitsu's estate was the Golden Pavilion. The upper stories are covered in gold leaf and the roof is topped by a bronze phoenix. The reflection of the temple shimmers majestically in the waters of a rock-studded pond.
Visit Kiyomizu Temple, noted for its cliff top Main Hall with a broad wooden veranda affording a panoramic view of Kyoto and environs. The veranda is supported on a towering scaffold of wood. Situated on a wooded hillside, the veranda seems to hang in midair. The depth of the valley below is such that the Japanese expression "To jump from the veranda of Kiyomizu Temple" means to do something daring.
The veranda was built on the temple's south side so that it would face the sacred Otowa Falls. The present temple structures were built in 1633 at the behest of Iemitsu, the third of the Tokugawa shoguns. The Main Hall has been designated a National Treasure. Stroll Gion - the famous entertainment and geisha district on the eastern bank of the Kamogawa River.
Hanami-Koji St is a street running north to south which bisects Shijo-dori St. The southern section is lined with 17th century, traditional restaurants and teahouses many of which are exclusive establishments for geisha entertainment. If you wander around here in the late afternoon or early evening (around 7 o'clock or a little bit earlier) you can often glimpse geisha or maiko (apprentice geisha) on their way to or from appointments.
At the bottom of this street you reach Gion Corner and the adjoining Gion Kôbu Kaburenjô Theatre.
You might want to visit pro-Israel group is the Japanese Christian Friends of Israel, with perhaps 10,000 members. Its headquarters, Beit Shalom (House of Peace), is located in Kyoto. The group is also well known for its choir, the Shinome (Dawn) Chorus, which sings Israeli and Japanese songs and has traveled to Israel, Europe, and the United States.
The group's main ideology centers on support for Israel and includes prayers for the coming of the Messiah. Rather than encourage conversion to Christianity, the group emphasizes peace between peoples.
6pm return to the ship.