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29 December 2010 @ 10:01 pm
Japan Travelogue: Imperial Gardens & Kinkakuji & Kiyomizuji & Fushimi Inari (28th & 29th of Dec.)  

Hi, minna-san!

Gomen, gomen. I was kind of tired last night, so I didn't report. Well... there wasn't too much to report anyway. But I'll add some of the more important parts in today's report. Please, enjoy. ^^

Okay, yestarday we were a bit lazy. Well, we got up and made our way to the Imperial Palace. It had gotten a bit warmer, which was nice and so the gardens looked rather neat. It turned out, however, that the Palace itself is closed and, guess what - starting on the 28th, of course. -_-  So we didn't get to see the palace, which is a shame, really, because I was very interested in it.

On the other hand we got quite lucky. We moved right on to the Kinkakuji, the famous Golden Pavillon, because I absolutely wanted to see it and we had loads of time. And we really got super lucky, because we got to see it bathed in sunlight. Aw, so pretty! ^^ We made our way around the area and the garden was really beautiful, some trees even blooming. And just as we made our way back to the bus station some rather nasty rain started. So we decided to head back to the hotel. Once there I felt a bit dizzy and thus laid down to rest a bit. After that I still felt dizzy, but we went out all the same, looking for a post office (because I really needed some money) and some good dinner. We found a very nice little store that sold excellent Soba. On our way back we strolled the shopping street a bit and B.A. and I each bought a set of chop sticks for more than 30 Euro. XD Oh, but they're so pretty. With butterflies on them. ^^ Well, that was pretty much our day yesterday. Not much happening. But I was SO tired in the evening. So I went to bed early without posting. Big sorry. But now I finally got around to doing it.

Probably the most-taken pic in Japan ^^ Well, here it is: The Golden Pavillon

Artful garden

View of a building walking along the area

Little hut at the Pavillon

Stone collum on a pond

Now, about today. ^^ At first I totally didn't want to get up. I was a bit worried about my head and thought about styaing in. But the weather had gotten so nice, I decided to at least try to go out. Now I'm so happy that I did. After our breakfast it totally lookde like it would rain again. But we set out all the same, making our way to the Kiyomizuji, one of the biggest temple areas around. And it truly was pretty and also impressive. Oh, I just had one off experience there. ^^ At one of the temple buildings, we saw people taking off their shoes and going downstairs into the temple. It didn't cost too much, so we decided to make that tour as well. Before going down you had to take off your shoes and got them placed into a bag to carry them with you. A guy at the gate said "it's dark" and then pointed into the according direction. Instead of "it's dark" he should have said "pitch black", though. ^^" Well, the people who know me in person, know that I have a little balancing issue. Like, when it's totally black and I can't see anything, I mean, really nothing, to shadows, or anything, my brain will kind of... well, I'll get a strange sensation of losing orientation. I don't know where I am, I have no points I can relate to and my head will protest and start spinning. You know, some people have problems with heights and say their heads will start spinning? I have the same problem, but it doesn't have to be high above the ground. If my eyes don't find anything to estimate a distance, I get dizzy. Okay, enough bad explanation. As it was, we got in there and myhead started spinning. I tried a few metres in, holding onto the wall and B.A. at the same time as if for dear life, but in the end, I really couldn't do it and had to go back. ^^" My head was spinning so bad when I got back out, I had to take a short break before we could move on. But it was really okay then. We saw a lot of beautiful temple buildings. The most famous one, I think, is the one that's built completely on a huge construction of tree trunks. It looks really cool. There are several platforms, from which you have a fantastic view over the area. B.A. told me that they were actually little balconies that went slightly downwards towards the edge, so that the rain water will run down on them and not collect in the temple area. That's quite interesting, I think. It's also actually amazing that there are little shrines settled somewhere on the way. Oh, a big attraction is the "love fortune telling stone". There are two stones on a platform. You have to touch one and then move blindly to the other one. If you manage it without falling, or bumping into anything, you'll find good love. ^^ Aw, I think that's cute. I did not try it, though, because there were so many high school girls doing that, ehlping each other out with giving directions. It was nice to watch, though. ^^ We took our time wandering around and then made our way to the train station.

Entrance of the Kiyomuziji

Buddhist stone bell

Impressive Pagode

Taking water for cleaning

Love stone

The huge terrace

Our next destination was the Fushimi Inari Shrine, with the... what was it again? 1,300? Well, many, many tori. ^^" The shrine itself is already an attraction. It's a huge area with beautiful buildings, but the best hting about it are ,of course, the many tori that build a way up the hill and back down again. At first it didn't look like much to me, but the road is pretty and you have many different stops, where you could find little shrines hidden in the woods. It had a very special feel to it. KInd of secluded. Like, you could discover some hidden secrets wherever you went. At one point I thought this was the perfect set for a LARP. ^^" (LARP = Life Role Playing Game. That's where people dress up as Rangers, or Knights, or Goblins, or what not and run around the woods, trying to hunt each other down. ^^ ) You could also buy small tori at the shops at the start of the road and take them to a shrine of your desire and place it there. I like that idea a lot.

Tori to the Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fox shrine)

Entrance with fox guardians

Some of the hundreds of Tori you can walk through

Fox statues everywhere

Mini foxes

Small tori placed on a shrine

Kyoto Tower

Much to B.A.'s dismay, we only took a short road around the area. ^^" Mah, but it was getting dark and we were getting hungry, so I don't think he really minded that much. Once back at the bottom, the shops in the area were already closing and we made our way back to the station. We rode back to Kyoto and actually wanted to find a nice Ramen store... when our gazes went up and we saw the amazing constructure that conects the Kyoto station with two skyscraper buildings to the left and right. There were escalators going up all the way to the roof from which you have a fantastic view over the city. The path was beautifully lit too, so we decided to ride up and have a look. Aw, it was really beautiful. City night lights are indeed a fantastic thing. But we were still hungry. It said on a door that there were restaurants on the top floor, so we went in, jsut to have a look. We didn't think we could afford eating there, but were pleasantly surprised to find the prices only slightly higher than usual. And then I saw a "Teppan Yaki" store and decided we absolutely had to go there. They sold everything you can make on a teppan and I wanted to have Okonomiyaki. And I got Okonomiyaki too/ YAY! Haha, what I didn't know was that they baked everything in the kitchen and then just brought it to your table. So I still have to make my OWN Okonomiyaki. Well, maybe save that for Osaka. ^^ It was still delicious. OH!!!!!! *_* And I got to see... well, I don't know the exact name, my recipes always only say "bonito flakes" - the thin rasps they cut from that dried fish they make dashi with. They totally danced on top of the Okonomiyaki and it looked almsot too pretty to eat. XD And it tasted REALLY good.

Ah, a quick note here: I can't keep myself from flailing over Kansai-ben, whenever I hear it. It's just so cool! Yesterday already I grinned when I heard "Nande-yanen?!". XDDDD Heard it twice. And today during breakfast I heard two guys talking, using Kansai endings. I totally love it. But the best part was at Fushimi Inari Shrine, on our way back when the shops were closing, one of the keepers called out "Okiini!" And I was like XDDDDDDD

After having dinner, we decided we had to get desert. Well, more like I decided that. ^^ I had seen a delicious looking Strawberry Shortcake in a shop window the night before. (TAKKIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!! XDDDDD ) And I wanted a piece of that. So we got to that shop and had some cake and tea. That was really a nice and relaxing stop. In case anyone is wondering about my strawberry... XD Curiously, I always eat the cake up to where the fruit sits on it, then eat the fruit and after that the rest of the cake. What does that say about me, then? ^^ After finishing our tea, we finally made our way back to the hotel. I'm really glad we saw so many cool things today. When I think I didn't even want to get out... @_@ TOday was really cool, but now I'm tired. Want to sleep. And tomorrow we'll be busy, because we'll have to do our packing. We leave Kyoto on the 31st at 9am already and so we must everything prepared. Okay, I'll better stop now, before I get excited again. ... Okay, too late. XDDDDDD But I'll still stop now.

B.A. says hi to everyone. ^_^ Please, read my report again tomorrow! m(__)m

Hugs to everyone! <3

Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
(Deleted comment)
Hikaru: zombie-fleasyoru_no_hikaru on December 30th, 2010 05:43 am (UTC)

LOL! Somehow you seem "Charly the Unicorn" infected. XD
Cool icon! ^^
(Deleted comment)
Hikaruyoru_no_hikaru on December 30th, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)
Ah, sorry, I messed up. ^^

Haha, it's cool, though. XD