Saturday, June 02, 2007

Japan May 2007 : Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

I arrived Kyoto late in the afternoon of Wednesday from Tokyo by Shinkansen Tokaido Line and had to leave by noon the very next day by Kintetsu train to Nara. After the meeting at Nara, I returned to Kyoto Station where Hotel Granvia is to collect my luggage.

From there on, I took the Shinkansen Sanyo Line to Shin Osaka where I stayed till Saturday. So, there wasn't really enough time at all to explore Kyoto.

Dropped my bags at the hotel and made a beeline for Kiyomizu-dera, a temple 15 minutes by taxi from hotel. There are, of course, cheaper means to get to Kiyomizu-dera but having not the luxury of time, taxi was the best option.

Kiyomizu means pure water which the temple derives its name from - the source of pure water here is Otowa Waterfall. I picked this temple to visit since it is one of the latest closing sites and at the same time, it is also a recommended place to see the sun set being perched on higher grounds.

On 1 Jan 2006, this temple was nominated as one of the New Seven Wonders of the world.

The taxi dropped me off at Kiyomizu-zaka, the street that leads to the temple. This street is lined with many shops selling souvenirs like pottery, fans, zori/geta (footwear) etc, snacks like the Kyoto specialty called yatsuhashi, a doughy triangular sweet filled with bean paste.

There are so many buildings that make up Kiyomizu-dera - it's a beautiful site - too bad i missed early spring when the cherry trees were blossoming. Compare pictures with cherry blossoms here.

Pardon the pictures which are not in their right position. I still can't figure out how to get it right.

On subject of picture-taking, I had no choice but to assess strangers and ask for help with taking my pictures as I was traveling alone. It did feel odd posing in front of the camera handled by strangers - on can tell that I was stiffer than the stiffest drinks around. On top of that, not everyone can take a picture with good composition... this means a lot of wasted time in front of the cam.

Apart from enjoying the sights and sounds, I also had a go at Omikuji for JPY100. I do not know what exactly I got cos it was written in Japanese. Was told that it is not a cursed one though. Not that I believe but when in Rome... ooops, I mean when in Japan..... though I didn't drink any of the pure water.

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