Japan Day 3: Walking walking~

So for Day 3, we more or less ran all over Kyoto. :D

The famed Japanese public transport system is as efficient as they say. In Kyoto, for 500 yen a day (about RM18.75), the city buses will take you anywhere you want to go. Depending on where you stay, this usually means that your stop is a bus ride away.

The thing about Japan’s bus ride though is that it likes to troll people. For 2 days in a row, we turned the corner to the bus stop only to see the bus leave the stop. Then when we didn’t need that particular bus (202 I am looking at you) the bus proceeds to pass us at the same bus stop in 10 minute intervals. WTF.

Day 3 meant visiting temples and cultural experience! So we went to Heian Jingū (protip: Anything ending with -ji usually means a temple, while anything ending with jingū/jinja is a shrine).

There was a bit of a walk once we got off the bus. Thankfully, the scenery was pleasant.

Bridge we passed as we walked towards the Shrine

No blooming cherry blossom trees yet. Apparently we were a few days early blergh.

Even more bald cherry blossom trees

While we walked towards the shrine, we stopped to check out the maps. Yes. Japan is more or less obsessed with maps, which is awesome for tourists like us cause then it’s harder to get lost!

Map to places around us!

So we walked and stopped to take pictures.

Priest grabbing pics!

So we finally reached Heian Shrine and took some photos! First, here’s something awesome about Japanese traffic. They’ll actually stop and wait patiently for you to cross before proceeding! Even with a green light! I AM SQUEE! (As you can tell, Malaysian drivers are less likely to be so courteous).

Taxi snapped!

This early in the morning, Heian was rather quiet. In fact, it was quite tranquil compared to the other places we were soon to visit.

Outside Heian Shrine

Inside, it was humongous, at least to me. I’ve never been in such a large place before. Click to see a slightly larger panoramic view.

From Japan Days 1-8

We walked inside, took some pictures, and then it was time to rush to Ginkakuji! The bus dropped us off at the base of Higashiyama and we passed a really delicious sounding tofu place… Only to discover that it was closed for the day. Next to it was a place that served curry and other foods; we decided to try it on the way back.

There is only one phrase to describe Ginkakuji; Tourist Trap. It’s gorgeous, it’s inspiring, but there are so many things you can buy! So I did. I got almost all of my yukata shopping done (for those who ordered, I hope you’re happy with the patterns! And yes will bill you all later too >D).

Inside Ginkakuji was a zen garden. It was gorgeous but the afternoon sun sucks for pictures.

View of the zen garden through the tree

Despite that, I did enjoy walking through the place. Wind and I tend to turn into paths that aren’t that crowded, so it led us to this shrine that apparently houses a God for artists and creative types.

Tiny shrine is adorable!

We climbed all the way to the top where we were greeted with this really lovely view of Kyoto. Well, you know what that means!

From Japan Days 1-8

Yes, photos! Well, only one here. If you want to see more click on the link. :P After we walked down and damaged my wallet at the souvenir shop, I snapped this pic of people coming up to Ginkakuji:

View of street coming up to Ginkakuji

Yes, there were a lot of people. So when we went back to the place we wanted to have lunch, we discovered that it was closed. They had taken the day off but didn’t put their sign when we first visited. This turned out to be a good thing, because we then found a hidden little nook that had absolutely yummy food.

Traditional place, delicious food!

The food was prepared by this old guy and the waitress was his wife. They were a very cute couple and their place was quiet and homey. :D

The front of the store

By the time we were done, it was time to visit the infamous Kiyomizudera. On the bus I started to have a migraine, which I suspected was caused by dehydration. This tends to happen if I substitute green tea for water. We fixed this easily by me buying a bottle of isotonic-looking drink from the next vending machine that had it. :P We got distracted by this pagoda.

Yasaka Pagoda

And then we found the first blooming cherry blossom! It was at Kiyomizudera and of course I had to get a pic!

Bwuh making a tourist pointing at a tree

Then we went in. There were numerous cherry blossoms lining up the entire place, but because we were too early, they hadn’t bloomed yet. So here, have a neon!

Neon posing, staring off into space

Later that evening, we caught the bus to Gion Corner and viewed a cultural performance that spoke about the different heritages of Japan; the tea ceremony, the geisha, flower arrangements, court music, traditional comedy and puppet play. It was quite awesome, only I was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open. :S

Maiko performing the butterfly

As the show ended, Wind lost her camera’s lens cover. It dropped right as the curtain fell and the audience stood up. We spent nearly half an hour searching for it (helped by the lovely people of Gion corner) but in the end we gave it up. We suspect that someone must have swiped it, cause we searched the entire floor and didn’t find it.

Or in Wind’s words: The lens cover monster got it.

After this, we bought some food and headed back to the Hostel. Have I mentioned I love the Japanese kombini?

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