Saturday, November 21, 2015

Kyoto Trip: Arashiyama, Kinkakuji and Kiyomizudera

Arashiyama
kyoto arashiyama
Out of the 5 days we were in Kansai, only 1 day was good sunny weather so we decided to visit Kyoto. The skies were beautiful finally after days of cloud and rain. Our first stop was Arashiyama to visit the temple garden and bamboo forest.

kyoto arashiyama togetsukyo bridge
Love the view because I don't get to see the sky at all from my flat in Singapore...

kyoto arashiyama togetsukyo bridge
This is Togetsukyo, which is a bridge that crosses the Oi River.

kyoto arashiyama togetsukyo bridge
It was completed in 1934, very sturdy and blended well with the river, Arashi mountain and skies.

kyoto arashiyama tenryuuji tenryuji tenryu temple
Can't stop taking photos with the rare blue sky and clouds~

Arashiyama: Tenryuuji
kyoto arashiyama tenryuuji tenryuji tenryu temple
One must visit Tenryuuji or Tenryuu Temple when you visit Arashiyama. The sign says that the red leaves are in their peak.

kyoto arashiyama tenryuuji tenryuji tenryu temple
You have to pay 500yen just to enter the garden and additional 100yen to go inside the temple. I recommend topping up to 600yen so you can see both inside the temple as well as the garden.

kyoto arashiyama tenryuuji tenryuji tenryu temple zen garden fall autumn red leaves momiji
Somehow the garden's red leaves didn't seem to be in peak as claimed. Maybe due to the long days of rain that had beaten the red leaves to the ground or even before they turn red.

kyoto arashiyama tenryuuji tenryuji tenryu temple zen koi garden fall autumn red leaves momiji
Koi fishes though were lovely. Reminds me of otters that ate them in Singapore... haha...

kyoto arashiyama tenryuuji tenryuji tenryu temple zen koi garden fall autumn red leaves momiji
There were so many people it almost felt irritating and unable to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the zen garden.

kyoto arashiyama tenryuuji tenryuji tenryu temple zen koi garden fall autumn red leaves momiji
Only looking at the pond and koi fish was somewhat smoothing. I definitely prefer visiting off-peak season.
Official website: http://www.tenryuji.com/en/

Arashiyama: Bamboo forest (chikurin)


kyoto arashiyama chikurin bamboo forest
There is a backdoor that goes to a decent sized bamboo forest with lots of people too. Bamboo in this season appeared dull compared to the time I visited during late summer in 2012.

I wasn't aware that the rickshaw pullers from the town outside will pull tourists right into the bamboo forest. We were amazed that there was a female rickshaw puller. P.S. Rickshaw pullers at Kyoto are rather handsome and muscular :P

Arashiyama: outside
We wanted to go to Kinkakuji so we exited through the other side and found a nice scenic path down.

japanese yuzu garden citrus
Homes here have gardens that they grow fruits, especially yuzu (citrus fruit).

Kinkakuji
kyoto kinkakuji kinkaku temple gold
Kinkakuji is one of the must-visit temples in Kyoto because well... everybody loves GOLD right? The admission costs 400yen and the ticket is an interesting charm that is supposed to give you good luck. I wonder if it only lasts till end of the year...hmmm (refer to my comic strip:
Japanese charms omamori from temples and shrines)

kyoto kinkakuji kinkaku temple gold
It looks the same as 3 years ago! Gold-plated :)

matcha green tea ice cream soft
There were stalls selling snacks around the exit so I bought this Matcha soft cream as we were really hungry. It was yummy!

Not too sure about this black bun...

Inside is okonomiyaki...um... too salty I think.

Official website of temple (in Japanese only): http://www.shokoku-ji.jp/k_about.html

Kiyomizudera
kyoto kiyomizudera kiyomizu temple
Another must-see temple in Kyoto is Kiyomizu Temple. The admission fee is 300yen and they will ask everyone to leave by 5.30pm for the night-time visit during fall season. It will cost another 400yen for a new ticket to enter after 6pm to see the night illumination.

kyoto kiyomizudera kiyomizu temple
The temple is famous for the wooden structure below its main stage that does not uses any nails. Leaves are beginning to turn colour but not really that red.

kyoto kiyomizudera kiyomizu temple fountain
I tried to "drink" from the fountain this time. If I remember correctly from my study tour guide 3 years ago, each represents different aspect: health, study and love life. I wasn't sure which represent which so I just drank from the first available fountain slot. If you drink from all 3, you are considered greedy and not good instead.

There were so many people queuing to go up on our way down as the gate closes to prepare for night entry. We didn't want to re-enter because of the disappointing red leaves and save our 400yen for dinner instead.

Official website: http://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/lang/01.html

7 comments:

  1. Arashiyama is so beautiful in November. Looks like the colors weren't fully out yet when you visited?
    And no worries. You know I'm "ame onna". I usually get bad weather, rain or even typhoons on pretty much every single ocassion. T__T .....

    Beautiful photos btw.! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I wished I could have gone later part or early December. Next time I will pay for my own holiday to stay in good hotels...

      Delete
  2. You can't go to Arashiyama and skip Monkey Mountain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no you are right!!! I put it on my map now to refer to in case I visit again in the future, thank you!!!

      Delete
  3. Arashiyama was my wife's favourite place during our long stay in Kyoto. We even took one of the numerous boat rides there down the river, lasting 2 hours. Saw some wildlife and a great way to enjoy the scenary:
    https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/192173/item/3937180#item3937180

    Tenryu-ji was also crowded when we visited it and like you, we thought it marred the enjoyment of its fabulous garden. The bamboo colours are quite different in late spring (when we went) vs late autumn:
    https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/192173/item/3937131#item3937131

    Kinkakuji was jam packed during our visit. We went at the opening hour, thinking it would be better, but no such luck. On top of tourists, there were lots of students too.
    https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/192173/item/3937160#item3937160

    Indeed, the whole of Kyoto seems to see lots of student visitors from the rest of Japan throughout the year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It seems you had a great day. I love Arashiyama, I have been there at least three times and it's always so beautiful! My favourite spot, by the way, is Gio-ji.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This temple is wonderful. Omamori of kinkaku-ji can be found on www.omamori.com

    ReplyDelete

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