Date: 23rd March, 2015
After returning from
Fushimi Inari-tasiha, I took the train to Kiatoji station and from there I inquired how to get to Kinaku-ji temple. Fortunately there is a tourism help desk with an English-speaking staff to assist, and I was instructed to take bus 204.
The bus bays are like this. Each door is reserved for specific buses, and it only opens when the bus has arrived at the door.
I had to wait around 10 minutes for the 204
The bus fare was ¥230 (₹120/$1.8/€1.7)
From the bus stop, you have to walk for at least 10 minutes to get to the ticket counter
The entry fee to Kinaku-ji costs ¥400 (₹215/$3.26/€3)
As you enter the main grounds, you can see the Kinaku-ji temple in the distance
I swapped lenses and took a close up shot of the Golden pavilion
The Kinaku-ji is one of the most famous Zen Buddhism shrines in all of Japan. Iconic due to its golden exterior and its location in a pond.
That said, there were other structures inside the compound. These were the living quarters of the priests. It’s off limits for tourists.
I couldn’t stop myself from photographing the Golden temple of Kyoto
I walked around the pond to get a closer look
Japan has a lot of these trees, especially at spiritual places. Any idea what they are called?
They’re all around
From the back. I guess tourists are not allowed inside the pavilion.
I don’t know what this golden rooster is meant to symbolize
Very serene surroundings
Ahh, the usual ‘toss a coin at the right spot for good luck’ game
Hello Kitty Kinaku-ji merchandise
Tourists were trying to ring the bell by swinging this heavy rope
That was it. I left the compound after spending half an hour inside.
I walked back to the bus station and since I only knew where bus 204 would take me, I boarded the same to head back.
But as the bus rode along, I was realized it was taking a full circle and would take a long time to return to Kitaoji station
So I got down at a bus stop… honestly, I don’t know where. I walked to the nearest train station after opening up Google Maps on my phone and figured out how to get to Kawaramachi station from there.
I don’t even remember the name of this station
By the time I was out of Kawaramachi station, it was nearing 4:30 PM. Fearing I would be late to enter Kiyomizu Dera, I decided to take a taxi there.
Taxis are quite expensive but I didn’t want to waste time trying to figure out how to get to Kiyomizu Dera
It was a short ride, at the most 10 minutes, but it still cost me ¥940 (₹500/$7.6/€7.1).
I walked my way up through the many street-lined shops leading up to Kiyomizu Dera
I was in Higashiyama district and a few sakura trees were beginning to bloom here
There was still some walking to do from where I was dropped off
This is the entrance to Kiyomizu dera
More steps. There is an entry fee of ¥300.
Many women in kimonos, although not all of them are Japanese. I also saw a few Chinese and Korean tourists dressed up in kimonos too.
There seemed to be renovation work going on at Kiyomizu Dera
Kiyomizu Dera is Kyoto’s most famous and one of the oldest Buddhist temples
Like many old temples in Japan, it too is made entirely of wood
This is the main prayer hall
A panorama from the main prayer hall
Kiyomizu Dera is also home to other smaller shrines, like this one honouring Okuninushi, the god of love
That’s a statue of Okuninushi-no Mikoto
So this spot is popular among younger folk who try many things like lift a heavy stone in hopes of earning good luck in finding love and good fortune in life
I decided to head there
A lot of tourists were catching the sunset from here
This angle would have been far more beautiful had the tree fully bloomed
I walked further
From this viewpoint you can see the whole of Kiyomizu Dera
A panorama of the entire complex
I had seen enough and decided leave the other way that leads out to the same entrance/exit
The entire temple structure stands on a network of wooden pillars, which now has metal support to strengthen it
I was back on the shop-lined street
I saw this pastry being filled with green tea cream. So I bought one to taste. It was alright.
Passed by a small park where people were capturing whichever flowers had bloomed
This sakura tree was a darker shade of pink
Pulled rickshaws are for hire to tourists in this part of Kyoto
Lovely isn’t it?
I found myself back near Toji Temple… and just like yesterday, it was closed by the time I got near it. Ugh.
I walked all the way back and found myself at Yasaka shrine
The shrine was at the end of Shijo street
Inside the shrine grounds was this vendor selling crab sticks. It was cold, this was hot. So I knew what I had to do.
It was pretty pricey (¥500) for what it actually turned out to be. He advertised it as crab leg meat. What it actually tasted like was your usual mock crab meat that is made using surimi.
I was pretty tired from all the sightseeing, but while walking through Shijo Street, I thought I’d just check out Gion at night. I found myself at Gion Corner and went in just to see if tickets were still available for the cultural show. They were, and although I was on two minds over it, I decided to just go for it and sat down for the cultural show. But all that in the next post.
Next post in the series:
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen
Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show
Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride
Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom
Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more
Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog
Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck
Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and Kabukicho
Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River
Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall
Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen
Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park
Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street
Japan 2015 – Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?
Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park
Japan 2015: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree
Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise
Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza
Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo
Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport — and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time
Previous posts in this series:
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion
Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto
Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza
Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba
Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time