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06 January 2012 @ 04:05 pm
06.01.2012 - Kyoto: Sanjusangendo  

Hi, everybody! ^_^

So, how about this day? I did what I really wanted to do, although I took it a bit slower today, wanting to give my foot a short break. As I got up, I left right away for Kyoto station. I didn't really feel like breakfast, so I decided to leave that for later. I found it quite complicated that I had to go to Kyoto station first, because today was bus day, actually. Everywhere I wanted to go, I needed to get there by bus.

Well, it didn't take too long to get to Kyoto station. What's more, I had a "moment" today. As I bought my subway tickets I found a couple standing in front of the map and automats, looking quite lost. They were westerners, so I figured they had trouble with using the automats. Not the the descriptions weren't enough and understandable. Actually, everything you need to know is written on that table. However, there's like a million information up there and if you don't find what you need, it can be difficult. Plus, it still doesn't tell you how to use the machines. Just when I was about to ask if I could help them, the man asked me if I could maybe help them out. So I asked where they wanted to go and explained how they could get the right tickets for the trip. I even remembered how to draw 2 tickets at once. ^^ It felt really good to be able to help someone out as well, rather than always asking myself. ^^"

My first destination was Sanjusangendo. My guide said which bus to get on and that it would be about a 5-10 minutes walk. I almost walked past the temple, because it was really just across the street and I thought "That totally can't be it, it's too close." but then everybody went there, so I checked and it really was the right site. Sanjusangendo is a rather special temple. It displays 1001 statues in the main hall. 1000 of them are quite the same, standing in rows. Then there is the big one in the centre. The statues are of "Sanju Kannon" (= the 1000-armed Kannon), who is the "goddess of mercy" and has eleven heads to see the suffering of humans and 1000 arms to help easing the suffering of humans. Each statue has a symbolic 1000 and really 42 arms, each of which is holding a different item. Sadly, I could not read the chart that said which is which and what it actually does. It was still very impressive. The one huge wooden figure in the middle, flanked by 500 human sized ones on the left and on the right. Of course, no picture taking allowed. So, no pics. But I got a nice pamphlet that shows pictures much better than i could have made them anyway, seeing how the hall wasn't really well-lit.

Small pond right next to the main temple hall

View to an aisle around the area

Entrance to the main hall

Pic along the main hall

Once I was back out again and had put my shoes back on (of course, walking through a temple, shoes must be left outside) I went back to the bus stop and went on in the same direction as before, headed towards Kodaiji. As I got off at the station my guide suggested, I tried to use the map to find the temple. I didn't do all that bad, either. I passed through some very narrow streets, that looked like the pattern of a labyrinth, but after a while I got back out onto a bigger road. When I still could not see the temple I went and asked in a shop. Turns out I was a mere 200 metres away from the temple and once I had the direction, I found it without a problem. That, however, was when it began... the stairs. Lots and lots of stairs. >_< well, I decided I had to get up, so I just started climbing. It wasn't all that bad on the stone steps either.

I reached the first main plain and bought my ticket for the temple tour. Kodaiji has a nice scenery and (what with all the stairs) gives you a really good view over the city. The main attraction seems to be a ceiling covered stair path right up to a pavillon. It's not open for visitors, though, you can only watch it. Well, I got to the entrance of the actual temple site, so: shoes off again. ^^ It was nice to walk around the temple buildings. I love walking on tatami too. <3

Temple buildings in wooden area

A rare sight, something that looks like a tower

Straw covered hut

Wooden bridge

Temple building along the way to second level

After that tour, I went on to the second level. More stairs. It was still quite okay and the view was very impressive. The buildings of Kodaiji are (at least in part) quite old, some of them even have an old straw covering rather than tiles. Up there you could also see an old monk's acomodation. It's really nothing more than a small wood hut with nothing much in it. That one had two stores, where you could hardly stand upright in the lower one. It was very interesting to see that.

View onto the first level

View over Kyoto

Path through the bamboo garden

Next I had to get back down. And that was when I started to have trouble, because rather than having put stone steps as on the way up, there was only bamboo laid out and in very short distances. My left foot would give out too easily, so I had to switch to a side-ways technique, where my left foot always went on first. That, however, was very tiring - not to mention that it took forever. Well, I'm glad it worked out alright. Once back down, it was already past 4 pm, temple closing time, so I decided to try to get back to the bus stop. I went back through the narrow streets and yet again got to a bigger road again, but this time I had totally no idea where I was. So I asked a guy on the streets how to get to the main road and rather than showing me, he took me to the next crossing, then pointed down the road and said that this was it. Naturally, he couldn't have known that getting lost so close to the actual road, I could have understood and managed the instruction "turn left right there and then go straight ahead". ^^ It was very sweet of him to help me like this, though. ^^ I thanked him very politely and then made my way back to the main road.

I was really lucky, I had gotten back to the road where I had started my way up to the temple and I had seen a Ramen store as I walked by. So I got in there and had some really delicious Ramen. It was still quite early, so I was the only guest at the time, but I hadn't had breakfast and I was really hungry. ^^" It tasted really good. Once I had finished my meal, I went back to my hotel, where I fell right into bed and slept for about an hour. I was really exhausted. Must have been the stairs. ^^" Anyway, now I'm updating.

Just one more thing for me to do today. I'm basically out of money and I can only get some on Monday again, which is going to be quite a problem, so I'll have to find a way to get to some cash. I'll keep you up to date on everything. For now, this is really it. Thank you, everybody, for reading. Have a good time and be well. Tomorrow I'll be writing from Fukuoka already. ^^
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Walk on (KinKi Kids)
jellybean6972: Arashi Rainbowjellybean6972 on January 7th, 2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
Japan really has so much historical buildings and so much history in general; all of it is pretty. I could spend quite a bit of time just looking around.
Hikaru: Koichi SHOCKyoru_no_hikaru on January 8th, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
You can really spend a lot of time watching all the sights. ^^ There's still quite a lot left to cover, even in Kyoto. I'm pretty happy I'm in Fukuoka now, though, because it's really considerably warmer. :D

Tonight was SHOCK night for me. SOOOOOO GREAT!!!!! *________*
muschick_daniel on January 12th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
No pictures? My bad...
Hm, I distinctly remember taking some pictures in the Kannon hall (sanjusangendo), but you are quite right, the lighting conditions were terrible.

Hmmm, is it only the food, or the bus and metro system stories, or... but I kind of miss Japan too, now.