Friday, February 28, 2014

The Town of Kibune near Kyoto

Kibune literally means Yellow boat and it is a small town in a forested valley. One road in and right on through the valley. It developed around Kibune Shrine which I have another post for. The legend which I mentioned in the Shrine post is that a goddess traveled up the river on a yellow boat and the end of her journey is where the shrine and this town is located. A neat thing about this little town is that in the warmer months the restaurants build wooden platforms over the river known as kawadoko and have a set meal where you can enjoy eating above the river. Expect to dish out 3,000 Yen for the set but it is probably most worth it!
The colors over the river are lovely now!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dressing up in downtown Kyoto

A popular  thing that people can do when they visit the old capital is pay to have you dress up like a Geisha or samurai and walk around the area specifically Gion. These three girls were having a good time as they walked around dressed up with a photographer which you can usually higher at the same place so he/she can take your pictures in different settings. They were happy enough to have others take their picture too!

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Someone said something that made them laugh, I couldn't help myself to take their picture...

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Monday, February 24, 2014

My Ride to Nara Japan

I went to Nara for a day from Kyoto. It is an easy day trip just go early to avoid the crowds at the Daibutsu in Todai-ji. I took a local train from Kyoto all the way to Nara by accident and it took forever! On the way back which is pictured I took the express on the JR Line and is was magically fast and really empty. 
I saw this big temple out from the window when we were rolling along at 70mph..

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Juko-in Temple - Daitokuji Complex Kyoto, Japan

This temple was founded in 1566 as a mortuary temple for Miyoshi Nagayoshi and in 1589 it was designated as a mortuary temple for Sen no Rikyu's family. It is within the Daitoku-ji temple complex in northern Kyoto. This temple is not usually open but it was at this time so it was a special treat. The man that I was with and myself were the only two people in as it was about to close in 20 minutes.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dusk on the Kamogamo River

After finishing up at the Kyoto Botanical Gardens I walked along the Kamogamo river. The gardens line the side of it and it is a wonderful place to walk or ride along on a bike. There were joggers and some bad-mitten players out. It was a little chilly and there was a breeze that didn't help. It was beautiful with the mountains in the back ground. 

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Enryaku-ji Temple - Mt. Hieizan, Kyoto

This use to be a massive Temple complex on top of Mt. Hiei (Hiei-zan). It was established in 767 by Saicho who introduced Tendai sect from Mahayana Buddhism to Japan from mainland China. It is significant in the history of Kyoto and even all Japan. It is the head Tendai sect temple and is a UNESCO site. This temple grew in size by temples (up to 3,000 sub temples) and monks. It had a large group of "warrior monks" and it was a strong force in Japan and in the government. Feeling threatened by this warrior monk class, Oda Nobunaga in 1571 ordered his forces to march up the mountain that over looked the ancient capital and slaughtered the monks and burned the temple to the ground. The current buildings were erected in the 1600-1700 century after a change in the government. Now temple complex today is in three areas the Sai-to, To-do and Yokawa. 
My travels to the mountain (by cable car and rope way) was cut short because I was unprepared for how cold it got that day so I only visited one the the areas. 

I specifically went this time because the colors were showing up in the mountain.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

JP Postal box on the Street

I can not tell if that is graffiti or if it means something that is in permanent marker. These boxes are here and there on the side of the streets. Great if you just need to drop in some post cards. They are a bright orange and can be spotted easily. Sometimes they are in interesting places and have a nice backdrop. 

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kaisando Hall at Tofuku-ji Temple Kyoto

Tofukuji Temple is a big temple which draws a TON of people especially at this time of year. I went here right after Fushimi Inari Shrine and the crowds had grown. The colors are wonderful though! Kaisando Hall or the Founders Hall is part of the complex. I been here before and here was the original post from a year ago. I just had to go back and visit more of the buildings and the foliage. 
Here is the Tsutenkyo Bridge that passes over a small valley with a river below. It is a popular place for autumn color viewings.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Hosen-in Temple - Ohara, Kyoto, Japan

This is a well known temple from locals that I talked to. The price is 800 Yen for an adult which is high but you get matcha and a sweet. It is a sub-temple of Shorin-in and was established in 1012 as a lodging for Shorin-in. It has a 700 year old pine tree, the branches have to be held up by wooden beams. Goyo-no matsu is the name and that is what is in the frame below. Absolutely gorgeous. What I didn't know at the time is that this was one of the temples that received some to the blood stained floors from Fushimi Castle where there was a mass suicide from defeated soldiers. Right above where the lady is serving the Match, the ceiling has the boards where you can see the blood staining with blood puddles and foot prints. They divided the floors across a few temples so they can be remembered.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Yoshikien Garden in Nara, Japan

The Yoshikien Garden in central Nara was free! If you show that you are a foreigner by passport you just fill out a survey and free of charge. It is right next to Isuien Garden. The name of the garden is from the Yoshigawa river which is the stream that passes between the two gardens. It was once the location of Kofukuji's former priest residence. There are three types of gardens; pond, tea and moss garden at this site which givers you a big variety. 

There is a lot of moss here and was pleasant to see!

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Nishiki Market - Kyoto, Japan

Nishiki Market is an open air market where there is a lot of hustle and bustle. It is loaded with foods!It is a narrow five block long "road" with over a hundred restaurant/shops. It also is know as "Kyoto's kitchen". They have a lot of sea food and you can even find some produce that is local. You can find some samples and they even sell food on sticks ready to eat. I got like 5 different things and they were delicious tasting. My girlfriend would have loved it!
It has a colored window lining the entire length above much like Terimachi street that is a covered mall. 

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