Our third day in Kyoto was another very busy day, but this time on our own. Although, per my Google Fit app, we didn't walk as many steps as on our first day in Kyoto, when we had 27,179 steps, we did end up with a fairly credible total of 22,191 steps. In addition the walk through the Thousand Gates area (see the picture below) had some pretty steep uphill walks. Luckily, that's where we started our day, while we were still fresh and the day hadn't yet gotten hot.
After the Thousand Gates visit we used our JR Passes to take the train to Nara which is famous for the bowing deer. The deer here will bow to you in the expectation that you'll give them some food. Local vendors sell packets of the thin wafer food which the deer like. They won't eat just any food though. If the food has fallen on the ground they somehow know and will refuse to bow for that food. The area was packed with both people and deer, as shown in the pictures. There is a video of a bowing deer in the photo album
On the way back from Nara to Kyoto we stopped in Uji to try to see the Byōdō-in temple. However, the line was very very long and it was getting late so we gave up knowing we could visit it early the next day when we were fresher and the crowds were thinner.
We ended the day with a trip to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Entrance is strictly limited with only a certain number of people allowed on the grounds at one time. When entering you have to show identification such as a passport, your name and address are noted and you are given a small placard with a unique number on it. The areas you're allowed in are very limited and the entire grounds are closely monitored by security personel. As you leave the palace grounds you return the placard. And of course if you don't return the placard, they know who you are since you showed your ID to gain entrance.