Friday, August 10, 2007

Kyoto again!

Well today was a very, very busy day. Since I’d already been around Kyoto the day prior, I had a better idea as to what I was doing, so I could move more efficiently. And I managed to do just that.

First off was Kiyomizu Temple, and this place was just amazing. When I got to the bus stop for the temple, I noticed another pagoda I’d seen the other day off in the distance was close by, so I decided to go check that out as well. So I kind of took a slightly off trail route to the mail temple, which made the shops on the way less tacky, and I got my hands on some pretty cool souveneirs.

When I finally made it to the temple though, wow. I’m really glad I came to Kyoto, cause temples and shrines were all starting to look the same to me. Now I’ve finally seen some really cool stuff, and my passion for them has been relit so to say. Very amazing architecture, and a beautiful panoramic view of the city up there, wow. You pay to go inside to the main temple grounds, and its more than worth it. Although I think I liked it in particular because I’d seen it in anime and such before, so it was something that I could relate to. The overhanging balcony is my favorite. Very, very cool. Very, very beautiful.

After Kiyomizu I headed over to the silver version of Kinkakuji, aptly named, Ginkankuji. Gin means silver, where as Kin means gold by the way. So with the very famous golden shrine being gold, and rightly so since its name is just that, you would think its counterpart would be silver. You would think wrong. It was… well quite honestly, the golden one wouldn’t be all that cool if it weren’t gold either. That’s alright of course, since the heritage and history behind it makes it cool by default, but even still, not as spectacular a structure as everyone seems to make it appear.

The garden and other such grounds around Ginkakuji however, were very beautiful. Seems the converted temple is tucked away into a bamboo forest, and theres lots of vegetation and such. Very pretty place.

By this time, I’m about dying of heat and going through water like… air? Drinking lots and lots. Actually interestingly enough, my volume of bought bottled water seems to be increasing each day. And I’m not just talking how much, I mean how big of a bottle. I started out with buying 5 or so 500 ml bottles on the first day in Nagoya, and when I got to Kyoto I discovered portable liter bottles. Today, I bought a 2 liter, and drank the whole thing from the bottle. Yes, it was VERY hot today. Take a look at my irremovable white T-shirt on flickr.

From Ginkakuji I moved on to the castle here in Kyoto, Nijo Castle. Not quite as cool as Nagoya’s, but impressive none the less. By this time I was dying of the heat tho, and this place was fairly wide open. So most of my experience there was getting a good shot of something, and then quickly scurrying back into the shadows. I was having quite a battle with wanting to sight see, and wanting to get inside immediately.

You were able to, however, go inside the castle and see all the beautiful (restored/reproduced) paintings and such, which was very cool, but pictures were very very strictly prohibited. They even had people standing watch on almost every turn in the place, crazy. So since it was unbelievably hot out, I walked through there very slowly, taking my time.

After that I shot down to Touji, which is the tallest wooden structure in all of Japan. Didn’t feel like going onto the grounds for some reason. All I really wanted was a good shot of the pagoda, which I was able to get descent enough of from outside. It was just cool to get fairly close to it.

However it was just prior to this, still at the castle that my plans for where I would be sleeping tonight hit a bit of a… wall. My plans to stay in Osaka fell through, but I was luckily able to stay at the Youth Hostel here again for 1 more night. I was kind of surprised they still had a room, but I’m really glad everything worked out.

For dinner I ate at a really cheap, lots of food, delicious ramen place underneath Kyoto station. Ramen, Gyoza (pot-stickers), and Chahan (fried rice) all for 820 yen! Plus all you can eat kimchi! I really stuffed myself. But it was probably the best meal I’ve had all trip as far as volume is combined. Kana says I’ve lost weight, which apparently I already had before I even came on this trip!

Anyways, I’m having a good time over here. I might check up a few more things in Kyoto tomorrow before I head on to Osaka


Anonymous Jamie said...

Did you get me a souvenir??? :D

8/15/2007 9:47 PM  

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