If Tokyo is the beating heart of Japan then Kyoto is the soul. It is lush green gardens, serene temples and shrines and a much slower paced life style. My two favorite places were Ryoangi zen garden and Sanjusangendo temple. Ryoangi is a world heritage site, a sand garden with 15 perfectly placed stones. It reminds me of the ocean with islands rising up from the depths. The groupings of stones suggest varied images unique to each viewer. The wall that surrounds the garden is an object of meditation in itself. The surface of oiled stucco projects ghost-like visions. Just sitting, this lovely garden washing over me, I felt the presence of another time and place — “Ma”.