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!