Wednesday Wanderlust: Kyoto
Kyoto was, I can quiet safely say, my favourite part I visited whilst in Japan. So many diverse things to do & see & in this post I’ll show you what I got up to in 2/3 days here.
After spending four years in Asia, & visiting quite a few countries, I have been to a huge number of temples & some of them are stunningly beautiful & memorable, but at the same time there are quite a lot that are just the same, so towards the end of my Asian Tour, I kind of started to skip them as they seemed to look more like “same same but different”. However, Japanese temples & shrines were distinctively different & fresh to my eyes & Kyoto is a place to be to see them.
After checking in at my hotel which was located on one of the main shopping streets, thus it being convenient to get to most places on foot, bus & metro. I wandered around the quaint little alley ways & streets filled with restaurants, bars & shops. Some of them were properly hidden away & had to find them. I was heading towards the Kamogawa river to find the famous Ponto Cho alley stretching from Shijo-dori to Sanjo-dori. There are hundreds of restaurants there, ranging from not too expensive to super expensive so there’s plenty of choice for you to choose from. You've got to try sashimi, sake & whiskey. Japanese whiskey is probably one of the best whiskeys I have ever tried, & sashimi, I mean come on, I was in the country where it's at! In summer months, the restaurants have outside seating on stilts called kawayuka by the river where you can enjoy the views of the river, the mountains & you can people watch on the path along the river. The scenery is gorgeous by day & night.
Next morning, in the most confusing metro system I’ve ever used, I found my way to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forrest. There are a few different ways to get there, you can ask your hotel/hostel for info & maps. After wandering around the forrest, the paths will lead you to a station where you can take a tram which will take you to many other temples in the area. Pick & choose which ones you want to see & get off at the right station. There are seriously so many that there was no way I was going to see them in one day.
Kinkaku-ji Temple & its surrounding grounds (below)
This is my favourite temple of all - Sanjusangen-do Temple. I only have images of the outside as there was no photography allowed inside & I respected that. There are 1000 armed Kannon life-size statues, 28 statues of guardian deities, Raijin & Fujin statues.
& finally I made it to the Fushimi Inari Taisha. The plan was to get there early in the morning before the crowds but didn't make it. Unfortunately it was a rainy day but it all added to the mood & the whole place was surreal. A must go!
As the gorgeous orange coloured shrines were my last stop, I was on the train & on the go again to Osaka, with a few-hour stop at Nara to see the deer.