Thursday, July 7, 2016

Japan: 72 hours in Kyoto

It has been more than 2 months since I have got back from my trip to Japan and I still can't get my head around how picturesque and serene most of the places we visited were. This blog post is a compilation of our three days in Kyoto, in snippets that hopefully, I have successfully captured the moment's essence.

We spent some time visiting Arashiyama, popularly known for its bamboo groves. Please do not be overly engrossed with visiting the bamboo groves - I think the surrounding scenery deserves as much attention as it is truly breathtaking and zen to the senses.

We got back to Kyoto from Arashiyama pretty late and wandered around Yasaka shrine where numerous different types of processions are carried out here annually - might be worthwhile to keep note of when ceremonies happen :)

And so, we ducked out to the Kiyomizudera area in the evening and as you can see, there's hardly anybody wandering the streets. Sure there are flocks of tourists still harboring the gift shops and a few dining at the restaurants in this area but hey, can't complain about not having to wrestle for a picture spot with a few thousand other people:)

Day 2 begun with an early morning visit to the Golden Pavillion aka Kinkakuji. Whilst it is truly golden in appearance, I do question myself if it was worth the excursion here - 400yen admission fee just for a quick 10 minute round around the establishment. Not to mention the hoards of people pooling in the area. Did not even get a glimpse of what's inside the pavillion too:(

On our way from the JR train station to our hotel, we hopped into a taxi for convenience and struck an interesting conversation with the taxi driver. He was keen for us to visit his favourite place in Kyoto - Silver pavillion/ Ginkakuji. He shrugged at the idea of the Golden Pavillion and after visiting his recommended spot, I can understand why.

Not as popular as it's golden version, there are fewer tourists here which is excellent. Plus points for being able to walk around the pavillion and taking time to explore what it has to offer.

Lastly, we visited Nijo castle, former residence of the Tokugawa clan. Parts of the castle was undergoing renovation to preserve it during our visit and I am thankful for the fact that the government is looking after these historical monuments well:)

We concluded our last day in Kyoto with a visit to Kiyomizudera temple clad in our rented kimonos. The rented kimono bit deserves a blog post on its on so I'll have to keep you guys in suspense.

I was amazed at how well constructed the temple was - imagine the amount of weight it carries on a daily basis. Plus points for an amazing panoramic view of Kyoto that may possibly look even better with the shade of autumn leaves.

A fleeting moment for now so stay tuned for more Japan updates!

No comments: