Exploring Kyoto's temples

Trip Start Jan 19, 2013
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Trip End Apr 12, 2013


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Flag of Japan  , Kyoto Prefecture,
Saturday, March 23, 2013

We visited Fushimi-Inari today which is a really impressive temple just outside of Kyoto. Some of the scenes from Memoirs of a Geisha were filmed here and as soon as you get out of the station, you can see why. It's so picturesque. There are over 10,000 orange tori gates that's lead you up through the hills to many different shrines and a lookout points with views of Kyoto. We looked around the main temple first and then made our way uphill. It was such a long way up to the main lookout area but worth it when we got there. The tori gates are so close together at times going up that they form a perfect tunnel for as you climb up countless stairs.

We got some lunch from the local supermarket on our way back down. We then headed off in search of Sekiho-Ji, a little known about bamboo garden hidden away in the streets on Inari. We took a wrong turn but luckily bumped into a very helpful Japanese lady who pointed us in the right direction. When we got to the garden, we got a lot of enjoyment from seeing the stone statues of Buddha and his disciplines, each craved with comical faces. This is supposed to calm the souls of the dead whilst relieving the grief of those left behind. There were about 500 of them scattered around the garden.

On our way to Uji on the train, Rikki tried to teach me some more Japanese phrases. I can now say "My name is Jennie", I know how to ask where something is and I know the Japanese numbers. All very useful things to know. At Uji, we took a short walk through the town in search of Byodo-Inn which is shrine. We thought we'd found it and so spent some time there taking photos. However, we later found out that we weren't at Byodo-Inn as its currently undergoing renovation work. We have know idea what shrine we actually found but it was very pretty with the setting sun and cherry blossom.

Back in Kyoto, we planned to have dinner in a little Okonomiyaki restaurant just down the road from us. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake type dish and you can have your choice of meat cooked with it. Unfortunately though when we got there, it was full and we were too hungry to wait. So, instead we went to a restaurant called Nacau which also did some really delicious food.
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