Kyoto Day 2 and 3: a written oracle at Kinkakuji Temple, my dango wishes come true at Arashiyama, and the eventful last meal.

Finally, my trip was coming to an end. After days of perfect sunny weather, the weather on Kyoto day 2 and 3 reflected my mood: cloudy.

If you would like to see my other adventures in Japan, please click on these links: Osaka Day 1, Osaka Day 2, Osaka/Kobe Day 3, Kyoto Day 4.

Compared to Osaka’s complicated spider web of a subway system, Kyoto’s subway routes are more on the simpler side, to say the least. There aren’t that many lines running through the city, and many of the landmark must-see locations in Kyoto cannot be accessed by subway.
However! The Kyoto buses, on the other hand, boast an incredibly intricate system that run throughout the city. We used our last day of our Kansai Thru Passes, and instead of buying the JR pass (which does not go to many of the major sight-seeing locations throughout the city and is quite expensive) or any other subway pass, we decided to go for a one-day bus pass which cost 500 yen per person. If you’re staying at a hotel, ask the front desk if they are selling any bus passes. That’s where we got ours.

(1)
DSC_0524The front desk provided us with a English bus map, which was incredibly useful considering many of the signs and route maps at the bus stops were completely in Japanese. We got on a bus to get to one of the most famous landmarks in the city, Kinkakuji, a Zen Buddhist temple and garden complex.

(2)DSC_0525
The bus stops right in front of the complex.

(3)DSC_0526
After paying a fee of 400 yen per person, they give you each a paper talisman.

(4)
DSC_0529
The three-story Golden Pavilion is famous for its distinct golden sheen, being covered completely in pure gold leaf.

(5)DSC_0530
The pavilion is surrounded with water, with trees lining the area.

(6)DSC_0532
When the sun shines, they say it really looks like the pavilion is glowing.

(7)DSC_0533

(8)DSC_0537
There is a phoenix roof ornament on the top.

(9)DSC_0539

(10)DSC_0540
There were lots of huge koi in the pond, and suddenly one would come up to the surface.

(11)DSC_0546
There was an area where you could try to throw coins into a small metal pot.

(12)DSC_0548
There was a pine tree with a flower, which I had never seen before.

(13)DSC_0550
Overall, even though I’m not a Buddhist myself, looking around the area made me feel quite calm and peaceful.

(14)DSC_0559
There was an area where you could light some incense and make some prayers.

(15)DSC_0561

(16)
DSC_0562
I was very interested in a vending machine of English fortunes. There were of course Japanese fortunes and also Korean fortunes as well.

(17)DSC_0563
Thus, I received a written oracle.

(18)DSC_0564
My fortune was excellent, which actually made me pretty lucky throughout the day.

(19)DSC_0565
business: Do not buy now, or you’ll lose. Wise words.

(20)DSC_0567
I passed by another temple, which also seemed quite beautiful and ancient, but alas we needed to get going to our next destination, Arashiyama, famous for its mysterious bamboo grove.

(21)DSC_0569
On the way, I stopped by Yojiya, a Kyoto cosmetics brand famous for its oil blotting papers.

(22)DSC_0570
I had to get this little make-up pouch.

(23)DSC_0571
Waiting for the train.

(24)DSC_0572
The station was very old-timey in a good way. Old fashioned, but very clean.

(25)DSC_0573
The train was more of a tram then your average subway train in Osaka.

(26)DSC_0582
After arriving at Arashiyama, we stopped to get some food before trekking around.

(27)DSC_0584
Fried silken tofu in a dashii broth with various toppings.

(28)DSC_0585
Came with rice, tsukemono, tamagoyaki, and other delicious little bits.

(29)DSC_0587
I tried chilled macha soba.

(30)DSC_0591
After shopping around and buying various cooking vessels made of bamboo, I came upon this quaint little sweets shop called Nozura.

(31)DSC_0595
Instantly fell in love with the interior.

(32)DSC_0597
Looking through the menu.

(33)DSC_0599
Ground bean powder shaved ice with red bean paste and three little rice cakes. Nutty and refreshing.

(34)DSC_0601
I got chilled warabi mochi which came in a bath of cold water.

(35)DSC_0603
With two kinds of dipping condiments: a syrup made of black sugar and ground bean powder. So refreshing and delicious. Perfect on a hot day.

(36)DSC_0607
There is a river that runs through the area.

(37)DSC_0609
You can also rent a hand-pulled carriage. I really enjoyed the shoes/socks the carriage-pullers had.

(38)DSC_0612
Although there weren’t that many people on the boats, I can really imagine people flocking to the river during the springtime.

(39)DSC_0614
Finally, the place my dango dreams came true. I always imagined how authentic toasty mitarashi dango on a stick tasted like, and after taking a bite, I almost shed a tear because it was so good.

(40)DSC_0615
Different sweets, or okashii, but I knew what I was getting.

(41)DSC_0618
Like toasty little unicorn buns. The mitarashi sauce was just the right amount of salty and sweet.

(42)DSC_0619
Finally, the bamboo grove. Actually, to me, I wasn’t that blown away by the garden. There were huge straw fences that stood between the path and the bamboo, and it really took away from taking beautiful pictures of the bamboo itself. I also felt like it would have been much more pleasant if the weather was a bit cooler.

(43)DSC_0622

After looking around the area a bit, we left for our next destination, Nishiki Market.

(44)
DSC_0623
Lanterns in the market.

(45)DSC_0625
Nishiki market is famous for its large variety of pickles, but all kinds of food can be found throughout the market.

(46)
DSC_0628
Pudding.

(47)DSC_0630
We stayed in a traditional ryokan by the name of Hirashin. It cost about 15,000 won for one night (two guests). The ryokan was very clean, the staff hospitable, and there’s even a public bath. Click here for details. The ryokan is very close to Shijo-Karasuma station.

(48)DSC_0634
We were greeted with a hot pot of green tea.

(50)
DSC_0639
In the evening, staff will come in to lay down the futon, the bedding.

After going to the department store at approximately 7:30 and buying 80% discounted bentos, and sleeping like a baby in the thick futon, it was finally time to head back to Korea.

But first, a coffee break.

(50)DSC_0660
Chiffon cake from Starbucks.

(51)DSC_0663
My last meal was one of my favorites, a bowl consisting of white rice, natto, okra, tuna, ground mountain potato, raw egg, a pickle of some sort, and nori. All my favorite sticky, gooey foods in one bowl.

(52)DSC_0666
It doesn’t look that appetizing, but if you can learn to embrace the texture, is incredibly delicious.

After our meal, we tried to pay with credit card but found out they only accepted cash. The lesson to be learned is, just because a restaurant looks like it might receive credit card doesn’t mean they do. Please save enough cash so you don’t have to run around the area like a crazy person trying to look for a atm machine that accepts foreign cards.

All in all, even with minimal planning, I felt my trip to the Kansai region was informative, beautiful, and most of all, delicious. If you live in Korea and only have a few days of vacation, I would highly recommend heading to this region. It’s quite near (1 hour 30 minute flight time), and the ticket prices are quite reasonable (200-300 thousand won during normal time, but can inflate to 700 thousand during peak time).

If you would like to see my other adventures in Japan, please click on these links: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4.

Advertisements

3 responses to “Kyoto Day 2 and 3: a written oracle at Kinkakuji Temple, my dango wishes come true at Arashiyama, and the eventful last meal.

  1. 핑백: Nagoya Day 3 Part 1: combini feast at the park, matcha ice cream at Nagoya Castle, and Midland Square’s immaculate bathroom on the 42nd floor | yorimcha·

  2. I noticed your website’s ranking in google’s search results is very low.
    You are loosing a lot of traffic. You need hi PageRank
    backlinks to rank in top10. I know – buying
    them is too expensive. It’s better to own them. I know how to do that, simply google
    it:
    Polswor’s Backlinks Source

답글 남기기

아래 항목을 채우거나 오른쪽 아이콘 중 하나를 클릭하여 로그 인 하세요:

WordPress.com 로고

WordPress.com의 계정을 사용하여 댓글을 남깁니다. 로그아웃 /  변경 )

Google+ photo

Google+의 계정을 사용하여 댓글을 남깁니다. 로그아웃 /  변경 )

Twitter 사진

Twitter의 계정을 사용하여 댓글을 남깁니다. 로그아웃 /  변경 )

Facebook 사진

Facebook의 계정을 사용하여 댓글을 남깁니다. 로그아웃 /  변경 )

w

%s에 연결하는 중