Day 36 京都

Temple run today! Wanted to visit Kinkaku-ji today but decided to stop by a few temples on the way to check them out. There are so many shrines in Kyoto, it is just so easy to pass by one. Ok i just checked, there are over 400 shrines in Kyoto. It is easy to get the two mixed up: shinto shrines (jinja) and buddhism temples (ji). In shrines, you clap before prayers, wash your hands and mouth for purification and pray to more than one god. For temples, you usually will find buddhas and pagodas and you don’t have to clap. Also, you use the smoke from the incense burner for purification.

Anyway, moving on. So i made breakfast today to offset the splurge for the past few weeks. But then again, it is difficult to control my curiosity for food and my black hole of a tummy. But this is it, my food objectives are now cometed and I’m gonna cut the appetite bcos it is too expensive to upkeep.

  
First up, I thought it will be a good idea to stop by the manga museum which is on the way. But it was closed for maintenance. Looks awesome. 

  
So anyway, the first shrine was Kitano Tenmangu, which looked like a school today becauseit was so packed with students. This is because the deity was a successful scholar in his time. This place is also filled with plum blossom trees which makes it good location for plum blossom festival.

   
   Also, there was this little mochi shop in the temple and it was so good, best mochi ever, i would recommend it if you happen to be in the area. Perfect mochi, with red bean filling.

   

  

The next shrine was the Hirano Shrine. It was so quiet, which was a great contrast to Kitano Tenmangu, it has some orange toris and a garden. The garden is apparently filled with cherry blossoms. Ahhh i miss these pink trees!

   
 Next was Golden Pavillion Kinkakuji, golden zen temple . Swarmed with tour groups, super crowded. But the sight was prettier than expected. Sometimes these golden structures can be obnoxious , you know what i mean, but this area uses the concept of borrowed scenery which adds some dynamics to the view. And i like it, even though the scenery borrowed people as well. There is also a teahouse there.

   
         Ryoanji was nearby and it houses the famous rock garden, “finest surving examples of dry landscapes“. Interestingly, the origins and meaning of this garden is not explicitly stated and so it is open to interpretation. And so, i sat there and invented my own stories about how it represents a timeline of human life. 

   
   Then i googled and found that it is supposed to be an “abstract composition of “natural” objects in soace, a composition whose function is to incite meditation” – Gunter Nitshke.

Next, i cycled another 8km to Arashiyama because i wanted to eat this yummy looking matcha eclair i saw on instagram and it seem liked a good idea to cycle in the direction of the sunset. But many things were closed when i got there. Neverthless, i found this pretty kimono forest at the train station.

  
And a pretty sunset over the lake. I cycled along the monkey forest and i got scared half way thinking that i might fall into a pond if a wild monkey appears.   

    Then, it was time to cycle back. 

Was so happy with the house that I didn’t explore the nightlife, once again. So tired now, gonna crash! 

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