Saturday, September 26, 2015

Japan Trip // Kyoto Day 2: Productive Touring

It's time to get serious about this tourist thing! We had breakfast at a gorgeous cafe which we realized was also a hostel. Loved the long wooden tables and style of the place. We realize now that breakfast in Japan is quite expensive and basically the same price as lunch or dinner, but it felt good to start the day out this way as we're going to have an intense day. Our hotel has free bike rentals and the weather is cooperating, so we're tackling today on bikes!

We took a route along the river and came across a cute neighborhood.


This is the temple supposed to be decked out in silver, but it never happened. The name stuck though and it's still beautiful to view. I'm glad they never painted it silver because it wouldn't have fit in the surroundings. It has charming gardens and is at the foot of a hill with a lovely view of Kyoto.

My new favorite plant: Japanese maple trees. These are the trees that change color into a gorgeous orange or red shade. They're also beautiful to look at under the sunlight. I also love how they grow in blobs of hearts....just shows how love truly is everywhere :)

Honen-in Temple

 I think they missed concentration and strength. I don't know how you can stack that many round stones without concentration and strength.

Wild shrooms! I wanted to pick them but was afraid they were poisonous. And I don't know what I'd do with raw mushrooms in a hotel room.

  En route to the next destination.....

We meet some cat friends just chilling....


Then we had a late lunch at the cutest mom and pop udon shop. I told the owner I was from Taiwan and he excitedly told me in Japanese how he just came back from a trip to Taiwan and how much he loved it. He kept talking to me about a peach garden and I thought, "there's a peach garden in Taipei?" but I belatedly realized after his wife wrote the kanji that he was referring to Taoyuan, where the airport is. Then they gave me one of their pineapple cake souvenirs as a gift, which I felt bad about because I can eat them any time, but I didn't know how to refuse an offer politely in Japanese. His udon was so refreshingly good and exactly what we needed to carry on our itinerary.

Chion-in Temple

Kodaiji Temple

Are all these buildings and gardens starting to look the same? Because they are to me....

Kiyomizu Temple

The walk up to this temple is brutal when you're rushing to see the place before it closes. Wish we had more time to enjoy the street and people watch.

Fushimi Inari-taishai

Not a temple for the weak-hearted, because there are literally a million red gates, and it will literally take you at least two hours to climb all the way to the top if you can make it without detours. We gave up halfway because we had other things to see and it was getting pretty creepy because it's not very well lit.

 These dogs? foxes? were wearing clothes everywhere! Not sure but they range from being cute to funny to scary.

Kyoto Station

View from the top of the station.

And a cute farewell message as you walk from the top to the bottom (which also functions as an amphitheater)

And Kyoto Tower for grins. At this point, we've biked/walked over 30km. It worked out though, because we definitely wouldn't have been able to see so much relying only on public transportation. Training for Mount Fuji!

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