Visiting Kyoto Day 1
Kyoto carries old face of Japan, and attract tourist from both in and out side of Japan.
For me it was for my middle school Shugaku Ryokou (A school trip for graduating seniors), when I visited Kyoto last time. I had a few temples in my mind that I wanted to re-visit and show SWMBO.
One of the highlights for this trip for me was to ride on Shinkansen, a Japanese bullet train that can run with the speed up to 170mph, yet so quiet, it’s more comfortable than airplane for sure!
It took us just about 2 hours from Odawara (where we get on to shinkansen) to Kyoto.
and at the station, we met with our taxi driver Mr. Matsumoto. My grandmother has talked to him over the phone prior to our visit about the general places we wanted to go, so I added the temples I wanted to go to his list. Then, we are off for the Kyoto Tour!
Note: If you are comfortable traveling, I’d recommend using public transportation and go around the city based on your schedule, it will be cheaper and more relaxed. However, we were with my mom and grandmother, and also wanted to visit as many temples as I could in very short time, we decided to hire a taxi for 3 days. it was about $300 a day + parkings (which could be very expensive when you add up…).
Mr. Matsumoto gave us not just a ride from temples to temples, but also he gave us a tour. explain the history of the temples, stories behind events, and some hidden gem type places to go see, shop, and eat.
First Stop: Fushimi-Inari
Second Stop: Tea shop
Kyoto is also famous for their tea.
so, we stopped at a small teashop and had some green tea ice-cream.
Third Stop: Yoshimura, Soba restaurant
Fourth Stop: Kyomizu Temple
This is one of the famous temple in Kyoto. they are known for the deck built on the side of a mountain.
According to Mr. Matsumoto, there are different forms of buddha, and one worshipped here is in charge of Living human’s wish, (others include ones who takes care of after death etc). Which means, if you are looking to make a wish for your current life (like, being healthy, become rich, etc,) Kiyomizu Temple is the place to go. ^^;
Fifth Stop: Ginkaku-Ji (Silver Temple)
This, often compared side by side with Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple), is a temple build to enjoy watching moon. (though it’s temple, many of them are build as a tea house as well).
Unlike Kinkakuji is actually covered in gold as its name shows, Ginkaku-ji is not covered in silver.
and to be honest, When I visited back in middle school, I wasn’t that impressed…
However, in this trip, this is one of my most favorite temple in Kyoto. It has something in its air that brings you a peace to your mind, and just feel relaxed.
Final Stop: Dinner at Man-Shige
The traditional meal (not a home meal, but somewhat formal meal at restaurants), comes as a course meal of a lot of small dishes. Usually you just pick the price and the restaurant will prepare based on the price and what ingredients are in season. I think the course we picked was about $100 / person, but don’t know much about the details though…
After dinner, we went straight to the hotel, and strait to the bed… after a lot of walk, the bed was like a heaven!