Footsteps - Jotaro's Travels
Japan (Osaka & Kyoto) May 5th to 11th 2012
Day 3 - Kyoto (7th May 2012)
After a good night's and really sound sleep, we were ready for another day's adventure. Woohoo! But today we will be going for a 5-hr guided off-the-beaten-track walking tour of Kyoto downtown district. More walking! (Sigh...)
We grab a cab & proceeded to the Kyoto Staion, just opposite the Kyoto Tower landmark. Being early we had a quick breakfast in an Italian restaurant at the Station, and also bought some sandwiches (the tour did not provide for lunch).
Having filled our tummies, we waited at the designated place to start the Johnny Walker's Tour. It is a 5-hr 3-km walking tour. No reservations required, just wait at the designated spot, the tour starts at 10:15am. No worries the Japanese are punctual to the dot! And cheap! - at USD20 per head.
|Johnny Walker's Tour Map|
Johnny Walker's Walking Tour
|Higashi Hongan-ji Temple|
We went through an underground pedestrian tunnel and came up to - Viola! The Higashi Hongan-Ji is a Buddhist temple with beautiful roofs and an ornate timber structure. It sits on a large temple ground in central Kyoto.
In Japan, most temples are either Buddhist or Shinto. The Shinto temples are easily identified by their distinctive Torii (Shinto arch gates).
Interlude - Japanese Bowing
At one of the assembly area in the Temple, Amie-san brief us on a couple of Japanese customs. Why do most Japanese show the V-sign when having their photos taken? Apparently one of the famous base-ball stars showed it and it has been a craze since then.
But more interesting was her brief on Japanese etiquette on bowing. A 5-10 degree tilt for ordinary "Hello". 30-45 for respectful greeting of elders. A 90-degree bow means "I am sincerely very, very sorry" (No hara-kiri nowadays after this one).
More than 90? Well, that person is exercising! Haha! Got you there! (Just as Amie-san got us).
|Workers At Fan Factory|
Next, we stopped at a renown fan-shop, Kyosendo, with workers making these sensu (holding fans) in the back-rooms. We found visits to these cottage industry more interesting than the temples. It was a peek into Japanese culture. Unfortunately, most of the workers were elderly. Seems like this cottage industry, like many in other parts of the world is a dying trade.
|Brass Tea Canisters|
|Ayako Temangu Shrine|
|Aerial View of Kyoto embossed on floor tiles|
This was an interesting stop - the renowned Kyoto Japnese Mochi. We sampled these with ocha (Japanese Green Tea) to wash down the sweetness. A note to those who want to purchase these - buy those with shorter expiry dates (7-10days) as they do not contain preservatives.
After the long march, this temple with its lush, serene greenery was a welcomed finale. Although called a shrine Fushimi Inari is a large temple dedicated to another sect of Shinto, this one with distinct orange toriis.
|Kiyomizu Temple viewed from annex building.|
|The gang at Kiyomizu's entrance|
|Landscaped Grounds at Kiyomizu|
|Fountain Shrine at Kiyomizu|
|Going through Shinto Ritual of drinking water|
After this long day, we made our way back to Kawaramachi and had dinner at our favorite ramen shop (the one with the runny yolk which Marina liked).
Me and Cheong went back to the hotel to conk off. The girls, being girls - got a second wind of strength - went shopping!
Related Blogs :
|Japan : Kyoto/Osaka - Day 1 & 2|
|Japan : Kyoto/Osaka - Day 4|
|Japan : Kyoto/Osaka - Day 5|
|Japan : Kyoto/Osaka - Day 6|
|Japan : Kyoto/Osaka - Day 7|
You may also be interested in :
|China-Yunnan Day 1|
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