Day two in Kyoto (March 25th): our first stop was Ryoanji, a Zen Buddhist temple famed for its dry garden. There are 15 stones in the garden, but it is said that only a perfect person can see all 15 at once (while seated on the viewing platform, as you can see all 15 if you stand back in the right spot, but I’m pretty sure this is cheating). We followed the guide book’s directions and arrived close to opening time. It seems to have been good advice, as the small viewing area became more and more crowded with chattering crowds and tour groups as the morning wore on.
At Ryoanji we saw one sakura (cherry) tree with a few blossoms just beginning to open. We also saw several ume (plum) trees still in bloom, including this double-flowered one.