Kyoto – Kiyomizudera and Higashiyama
From my previous visits to Kyoto (2) it has always been my favourite city to visit in Japan. Not that sure about how fun it would be to live there though, as it has a “small town” feeling to it. I would probably die of boredem. Although, it would probably be a slow and happy death as long as I knew where to eat. In any case, I digress. With the arrival of my parents and brother, we decided to hop over to Kyoto for 3 days to try and catch the Sakura season.
First stop was Kiyomizudera (清水寺) the Pure Water Temple. This is the approach from the back.
Best known for its wooden platform with sweeping vistas of Kyoto and its lucky water.
Along the way, there were a couple of Kimono tourists ahead. Good for photos!
This would also be the first time I was here in spring. Previously I arrived in the depths of summer.
Spring is definitely a much more pleasant time to visit. You get the massive bonus of not sticking to anything you touch.
Nearby the temple, I also had to stop by to check on Mr. Bunny. Still there, faithfully.
He guards the Jishu shrine which is on the way to Kiyomizurdera where there are two stones set about 10 meters apart. If you can walk between the two stones blindfolded, you are supposed to be able to find your true love. But there is a catch, if you miss the second stone, you get to fall down a long long flight of stairs. Guess there has to be some type of risk and reward to make things more interesting. My brother and I did wait to see if anyone was curious (read desperate enough) to try this out. No luck this time. Sad panda :(.
And this is the famous Kiyomizudera. Unfortunately, the sakura was only at about 70%, but still a rather spectacular view! Especially compared to our previous visit which was alot more green.
And here is another view from further away. I think it actually might look better in autumn. Unfortunately I won’t be around in autumn this year to drop by though… So you will have to take that indisputable correct resource (the internet) at its word.
Next it was off to Higashiyama. One of the best preserved traditional streets in Japan. Lots of stores selling food (you can feel full just from the smell of things here) and little souvenir shops and restaurants. Would be a perfect experience this year with the Sakura season. Last time I was here, it was flooding on account of too much rain…
Except, the people got in the way.
We also happened along side a little street pond. Fishies! I’m surprised that the fish aren’t dead or missing yet on account of cats and/or curious children. I guess Japanese kids are too well behaved to try eating them. Or they are more used to better quality raw fish.
Which reminds me, munchy time.
Tenzaru soba. The outside of the restaurant looked nice. The setting looked good. The food was kind of crap.
Then again, maybe its because I’m used to my corner soba restaurant near the office which serves some of the best stuff ever.
I dread the time when I leave Japan with the Japanese Curse. I.e. not being able to eat anything Japanese outside of Japan for fear of its crapiness.
After lunch things had calmed down a bit more outside, so we were able to make better time strolling around.
Exploring some nice side streets and small parks.
Down Sakura lined paths.
With Geisha (I suspect that this is a tourist dressed up actually).
And slightly less crowded streets.
But the people did help in some ways. Such as adding colour to my photos!
More to come.