Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Japan Golden Week - Kyoto 1/2

On our 5th day, we departed Shizuoka at 10pm, and during the 8-9 hours on the road  we slept (or pretended to sleep) throughout the trip, with regular toilet break every 2 hours. I would really commend our organizer Mochan, for a great sacrifice of driving us safely to Kyoto. Traveling to Kyoto from Shizuoka via mini bus has been the toughest road trip throughout our journey. 

Arriving at Kyoto the following morning, at around 7 am we reach Fushimi Inari Shrine.

Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha) is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto.  

The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds.

It is famous for its thousands of vermilion Torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings.  

Fushimi Inari is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. 

Eerie feeling while walking inside thousands of these Tori gates, specially when your alone.

Each gates are donated by companies or rich individuals :

Foxes are thought to be Inari's messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds. Fushimi Inari Shrine has ancient origins, predating the capital's move to Kyoto in 794. 

Next, we went to KinKan Kuji temple.

Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺), "Temple of the Golden Pavilion", officially named Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺), "Deer Garden Temple", is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto.

The garden complex is an excellent example of Muromachi period garden design. The Muromachi period is considered to be a classical age of Japanese garden design.

A minimalistic approach was brought to the garden design, by recreating larger landscapes in a smaller scale around a structure.

Since we all are super tired (due to lack of sleep), we were dropped at Gion district for lunch.  Gion area is compose of traditional Japanese houses restored into dining places, which is a lively hang-out place at night time.

Had lunch at this Okonomiyaki shop. Oishii!

Traditional houses along the river in Gion district.

At the end of the Gion main road there is this shrine which at that time mostly students go in to pray for their exam results.

Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社 Yasaka-jinja), once called Gion Shrine (祇園神社), is a Shinto shrine in the Gion District of Kyoto, Japan. 

In the afternoon after having lunch, we were sent to our respective hotels (because we didn't have CS host in Kyoto).  I booked a room in Khaosan Kyoto Guest House Hostel due to its good location just beside Shizo Street.

After a short nap, we explored on our own around the Teramachi shopping streets.

Branching off Shijo Street around the Kawaramachi intersection are the Teramachi and Shin Kyogoku Shopping Arcades. These two parallel running, covered pedestrian streets, are packed with shops and restaurants that sell day-to-day clothes and goods and draw a younger crowd than the more upscale stores along Shijo Street. 

For dinner, I had bits and pieces of the street foods: 

First, I had this Jumbo Takoyaki balls! 

Then, I had this fried chicken with Kyoto Style Green Tea salt ! Yummy!

Since my appetite was still not satisfied, I had a bowl of this pork noodle soup.  Burrp!

Then, I continue walking around Gion, to see the night scenes.  Along this narrow street, are lines of fine dining restaurants.

Gion is where Maiko and Geiko live, so you may come across a Geisha moving from one banquet to another by chance, along this narrow streets - Hanami-koji, the street in front of Gion Corner, would be good place to wait and see.

Indeed we saw one Geisha, but she walked very fast, and have body guards following them.  They were not really inclined for photo taking with tourists.  A that's how a real Geisha is!

More Kyoto exploration is planned for tomorrow, so read the next post. Oyasumi!

To navigate while on location, download this article from

No comments:

Top 3 Posts