Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bargain Kyoto Botanical Gardens

The Kyoto Botanical Gardens are beautiful and a bargain.

I visited with my friend Diana, who flew in from San Diego specifically for cherry blossom season. You can't see her up close, but she was also my partner in crime in the geisha undercover adventure.

Here she is- getting the perfect shot... that group of Japanese women in the background are aghast (Look at that funny foreigner sprawled out on the ground!!!)
I don't remember when I started enjoying gardens so much, but I've come to realize they are an inexpensive way to spend your time on a trip. They are especially handy diversions at the end of your travels when you've already spent all your money. Price of admission was only about $2, and for that meager amount, we were entertained for a couple of hours.

I fell in love with this very romantic sculpture in the park.
and then there were the bright red tulips and a cooling bamboo forest like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and so many other colorful flowers.
An aspiring photographer, Diana taught me how to adjust the camera settings to take shots of running water. Below is my favorite attempt. Warning: you will probably see lots of pointless running water shots from this point on as I have a new camera trick.
Of course in Japanese botanical gardens, creatively dressed fashion forward children are part of the scenery too...
She has not only cheetah print, but stripes! And that little boy's car helmet is about the cutest thing ever, except I don't really understand why he's wearing a helmet to walk around the gardens.

But most importantly, where can I get that monkey backpack?

How do you spend remaining time on a trip when all the money's gone? Share your budget tips here!


Rambles with Reese said...

Loving your photos as usual, Mary. I really like the one where you're standing in front of the bamboo trees...very cool!

Travel tip...hmmmm....basically, I love wandering around and discovering new streets and shops. But I'm not a great budget traveller, since I love food so much. Most of my money gets spent on food. I do try and research through books and Internet which places have low entrance fees or are free on certain days. I noticed that while I was in Copenhagen, certain Museums didn't charge an entrance fee during one day of the week. Also, London has a lot of free Museums, which is great for the budget.

Wishing you a great week!

Becca Runs Sometimes said...

Wow! You are quite the photographer. I love botanical gardens as well. They are a neat testament to something that most all people value and find romantic, flowers!

bingata744 said...

Great photos. Beautiful colors. How did you enjoy your Kyoto visit (I don't know if you've been before)-- it's probably my favorite place in Japan (not including Okinawa in that mix). We were there for the fall leaves last year and they were spectacular!

Ekua said...

Gorgeous pictures. I especially love the one of the red flower! I actually went to the SF Botanical Garden for the first time on Sunday. There are some cool plants there, but nothing as beautiful as these flowers.

Fly Girl said...

I love botanical gardens too, as you can see from my post last week. Those cherry blossoms are spectacular. And the kids are just too cute, i want a monkey backpack too. When all the money is gone, my favorite thing to do is to hang out in cafes and small restaurants where the locals go. You can learn so much about a place like that.

Mary and Sean said...

Fly girl,
I agree that coffee shops are a great and cheap way to soak in culture! I love just people-watching too.


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