Almost halfway through the trip in a flash. I must say it’s another tiring day due to the constant lack of sleep. Well anyway, today’s menu is Kyoto. To sum it all first, we visited SOME of the well-known attractions in Kyoto(there are too many of them already!!!) The first one was Nijo Castle, which was initially the residence castle of Tokugawa Ieyasu. In my opinion, the main catch of this castle is actually it’s “Nightingale Floor” in the Ninomaru building. The way they built the floor’s architecture was such that whenever you walk around, you will hear squeaking sounds as though there were nightingales. This was to prevent intruders. I tried to listen for the sounds caused by me but it was really hard to hear sqeaking sound caused by your own footsteps. Sadly, no photographs are allowed in the Ninomaru building itself. The tenshukaku was never rebuilt, so majority of what you will see are just gardens… Still, I’d recommend trying out the “Nightingale Floor” for yourself.
Secondly was the Heian Shrine. It was used to enshrine the 1st and last emperors of the Heian period. Well, the main reason I went there was because Nana held a concert “Sougetsu no Utage~” there last year. So I want to see for myself how it is like. Unlike usual shrines, this one has really big torii gate, plus a very big space right in front of the main building itself. As for the garden behind the main building, this season is not a good season to go into. All you see are green plants. I’d rather come here for the autumn foliage or the cherry blossom as it would be better worth for the 600yen spent. Still, I got to see a real-life crane up close(correct me if I’m wrong), which is in the following pictures, and it was a tranquil experience(though sometimes scary when you are literally alone in there).
Next, we went to Ginkakuji(Kinkakuji is much better but too far off from the places which I would visit later on). Same thing, see buildings, plus a walk in the garden. There was something interesting very far away when I was at the top of the trail(try to spot it in the following pictures). I wouldn’t strongly recommend this unless you really like to see old Japanese building structures(I felt it OK as I got to somewhat see how the interior of old Japanese houses look like).
On the way to Kiyomizudera temple, we too the Philosopher’s Path(tetsugaku-no-michi) down. It’s a famous passage, but again, we went at the wrong season. Probably there was a big crowd during the hanami season. Thus, for today, there was nothing much to see, let alone mention about it. I’ll not post any pictures on it here as I have limited storage space for my free account…
On the way up Higashiyama district, there were a lot of people, locals and tourists, going to and from the temple itself. Very famous is the temple. Within the grounds it give you a good vies of Kyoto itself. Behind the main hall of the temple is a small shrine called Jishu Shrine, which enshrines a deity for love matters(do you believe in luck when it comes to relationships?). If you believe in it(up to personal opinion and beliefs), you can try out the activity at the “Love-Seeking Rock” in the shrine itself. Lastly, there is this place where you can drink from 3 streams of water called Otowa-taki. Each stream gives you a different kind of luck(can’t remember what they are) but drinking from all 3 is being too greedy. The water there is really clear and refreshing. It’s a place worth visiting. What’s more the entrance fee is only 300yen, quite cheap considering the variety of things you can do there. If you just want to see-see, about 1 hour is enough to go through most of the things here. Add another hour if you wanna pray for love luck and try the Love-Seeking Rock at Jishu Shrine, chant prayers at the main hall, drink from the Otowa-taki and so on. Do drop by and shop a bit at Higashiyama District on your way to and from Kiyomizudera temple. The shops typically close at 5PM.
Last, but not least, we dropped by Gion and Pontocho, since they are somewhat well-known too(Kyoto has this unique festival called Gion Matsuri). Despite being a geisha district, I was unfortunate enough not being able to witness one(or maybe I can’t tell a geisha apart from ladies wearing kimono?). As for Pontocho, what I see there are only shops meant for people to drink beer and their food are super expensive. Can’t find cheap food(even by my definition of cheap) there, unlike what I had read about online(or is it that I don’t know where the cheap and good ones are?)
Although today’s post doesn’t seem like a lot, there was quite a bit of walking already. Even as I am writing now, I am on the verge of dozing off now: the result of sleeping late and waking up early to maximise sightseeing time… I shall not blabber any further for today Zzz…
P.S. the buses in Kyoto are really economical if you are planning to visit places that are very far apart from each other. Each trip costs 220yen, no matter how many stops you take