Back From JAPAN! - Part 5 [Kyoto]

久しぶり!( ゚Д゚)
I got too busy and before I know it, it's already the second week of September! orz
At this rate, by the time I'm done blogging about my Japan trip for this year, it's time to pack for Japan again. I booked the flight for next year's April just yesterday! And this time, I'm going with dear Rai-chan. I'll be staying Osaka again. (´ ∇`)ノ

And now, day 6 of my trip: Kyoto!

The day started with a simple breakfast of onigiri from the combini, and the dorayaki I bought from Nara.

Got the Shinkansen ticket to Kyoto~ By Shinkansen it's only 15 minutes to reach, compared 45 minutes on a regular train.

Upon arrival, I went to get the one day pass at the ticket office. It helps a lot as most transport in Kyoto is by bus, and their train is not as frequent compared to Osaka. It covers all bus and subway rides, so it's worth getting if you're going to spend a day in Kyoto! ( ゚ω゚)σ

And this is the Kyoto Tower Sekiguchi-san told me about. It's right outside the station and it's very small compared to other towers as part of their efforts to preserve the old heritage there. Buildings in Kyoto are all pretty short. And so, I made my way to the Fushimi Inari Shrine~

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It's just a few minutes walk from outside the station, and there's already a lot of people praying at the Shrine!

One of the many fox statues around the Shrine.

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A Kannuushi performing a ritual, and there's a lot of Sake bottles lined up near the altar.

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While making my way to the famous Toori Gates at the Shrine, I passed these very cute Ema with snake drawings, because it's the year of the snake. There's even Toori Gate Ema and fox faced Ema!

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The famous long walk of Toori Gates at the Shrine. There are many engravings at the back of these Toori Gates, with the years indicating when these are built up. I walked up to the end of these big gates where the smaller gates are, passed through the smaller gates and walked back out.

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There's a street filled with souvenir shops and street snacks, so I got myself a Taiyaki Parfait. It's filled with strawberries and cornflakes!

I then made my way over to Tenshi no Sato, Volks' famous headquarters.

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While waiting for the train, I noticed there's a railroad crossing near the station. It's not something I get to see back home, so I was quite fascinated.

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Tenshi no Sato, Volks' famous headquarters.

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Inside the hall, there's this corner with these beautiful little angels greeting you.

A very big and beautiful garden for you to take photos of your dolls if you brought them along.

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All these furniture are also available for you to use when you want to take photos around Tenshi no Sato. However, no photography is allowed in the gallery area where all their LE dolls that they released are displayed, and the sales area where you can buy your dolls and accessories.

After that, I headed over to Nijojo, another historic site!

At the crossing near Nijojo, I spotted ladies in kimono. They are quite common in the Kansai area, and especially in Kyoto.

A pillar with the year Nijojo was built engraved on it near the entrance.

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When you enter, the first thing you'll see is the display of nobles at the side. I felt like I walked into a set of a period drama. wwwww

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The area around the castle. Compared with other castles, it's only ground level and spreading out in a wide area.

No photography allowed in the Castle area, but there are guides showing you and telling you the purpose of each room around the Castle. And the main point of this Castle is that the floor SQUEAKS as you walk. It was built that way originally, and preserved till this day. This is for the Shogun to know if anyone is coming, and also to prevent assassination by the Shinobi back in that period.

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The big garden within the Castle.

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Passing by one of the moats, and the view from one of the guard towers.

One of the trees in the garden on the way out had flowers in full bloom!

And next stop is Kiyomizu Temple! Up the mountain I go!

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The long street upwards to the Temple. It's STEEP, but it's a nice walk because you get to pass by all the stores selling traditional snacks and souvenirs.

Kiyomizu Temple!

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In I go, and the famous pagoda!

On the way into the temple area, there are 2 huge staffs for you to challenge yourself to lift them out. It's said to belong to the holy monks in the past, and they are VERY, VERY HEAVY. ( ゚Д゚)
These ladies tried their best (so did I) but are unable to lift them out.

Top down view from the temple area. Told you it's a steep way up the mountain! The sun was about to set soon, but I walked around the temple and prayed before catching the sunset.

The temple area where people pray and there's more people in kimono here.

This cute little guy is the God of wealth and luck, and plentiful food.

The way to pray to this Kannon is kind of special. You touch the statue and make a wish as you do so. I prayed, and so far my prayers seemed to be heard. Something I prayed for did come true. Although I also prayed for the same thing at all the Shrines I went to (HAHA!), but I felt that it was here that my prayers was heard. Don't ask me why, I just felt that way.

A Buddha statue inside the temple area, and there was a couple praying when I entered. And now to make my way over the long bridge connecting to the other side of the mountain to catch the sunset!

This is the view of the temple area from the other side of the mountain!

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Beautiful sunset over Kyoto.

And so, it's time to make my way down the mountain, and head over to Gion to see if I could see any Maiko or Geisha before heading back to Osaka.

There are a lot of rocks with aprons around the mountain. These are Jizou Buddhas and they protect children, travellers and women in childbirth.

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I grabbed some snacks as I went back down. First is a huge piece of prawn cake, and next is steamed manjuu. The manjuu is originally filled with beef, but there's also a tofu version which I bought.
Just a random note: I'm Buddhist, and I am a follower of the Goddess of Mercy (Kannon in Japanese), hence I don't eat beef.

Onwards to Gion!

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The place I alighted is lined up with traditionally designed lanterns. I wonder if it was like that back then, except with candle lanterns.

A very interesting wall art along the street.

A Kabuki theatre!

Too bad, there aren't any Maiko or Geisha around. I probably missed the timing that they're out. ┐(´ー`)┌
It's ok, I'm coming back here again next year, so I'll be sure to catch them! ( ゚ω゚)b
And so, it's back to the station to catch the Shinkansen back to Osaka.

A very interesting statue outside one of the food shops!

A shop selling a traditional pancake snack, similar to Okonomiyaki.

I bought Chirashizushi for dinner at the Isetan near the station while waiting for the Shinkansen back to Osaka.

On my way back to the hotel, I decided to take a picture of the Takoyaki van. I tried to be discreet, but I think he noticed me. (; ・´д・`)
He's there every night to sell Takoyaki, although I didn't buy from him. (Because I bought from another stall nearby. wwwww)

And that's the short one day in Kyoto!

The last few days are spent in Osaka but it was very eventful! それじゃ!(。☉౪ ⊙。)ノシ

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