Japan 2013: Day 8 Last Moments In Kyoto & Back To Tokyo Part 1

DAY 8: THURSDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2013

Have exactly 1 whole morning and 1/2 of an afternoon left in Kyoto before I head back to Tokyo on the 1556 Hrs Shinkansen Hikari 465 train (reserved beforehand at Haneda Airport).

As my luggage was dropped off at the luggage cloak of First Cabin’s reception area, had to bring the luggage back to my cabin to pack. This took some time before everything was done, and I finally checked out at 9-plus.

Went to get my day bus pass at the subway station, followed by Krisy Kreme breakfast at Shijo Subway. Finally had my 1st taste of Krispy Kreme original glazed in Japan, together with a black coffee 😛

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While I usually don’t have the habit of taking heavy breakfast, and just a donut + coffee seemed sufficient for a relatively late breakfast at 10am, it is still not that filling of a breakfast (as compared to bread/sandwich) as the donut is more sugar than substance …… and most likely will have to take an earlier lunch around 12-plus to 1 around Higashiyama area.

The main agenda for my remaining time left in Kyoto – a half-day visit to Higashiyama area covering the Kiyomizudera Temple, Higashiyama District and Kodaiji Temple …… and go back to Nishiki Market for some food shopping before picking up my luggage at First Cabin. Target to reach First Cabin by 1430 Hrs latest so that I have enough time to get to Kyoto Station.

After my breakfast, got up to the streets of Shijo to board a bus to Kiyomizudera Temple. Once again, a bright and sunny day!

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While waiting for Bus 207 (that will bring me to Kiyomizudera Temple), saw at the bus stop this interactive signboard that indicates the waiting time for the bus …… and where the bus is at right now before it reaches the bus stop proper. Interesting!

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The bus ride took around 20 min. However, there is still a further 10 to 15 min walk uphill before reaching Kiyomizudera proper. Let the walk begin ……

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Halfway mark ….. but with the massive crowd (as with peak season), the remaining uphill walk (its really steep) is going to take longer than 7 to 10 min. There were some snack shops and sounvenir shops along the uphill walk though (didn’t take much pictures of them other than 1 food shop as I was navigating through the crowds and wanted to get to the entrance as soon as possible).

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Finally reached the entrance …. Where more steps/stairs greet me 😛

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No chance for a selfie in front of the entrance as there were too many people around.

The walk upslope. Unlike the autumn foliage I saw earlier at Ginkakuji and in Arashiyama, the trees that I spotted along the route looked dried and are already starting to shed leaves. Noted that it is usually hot as well …. temperatures may well have played a factor.

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One of my favourite shots – autumn tree contrasted with the bright blue sky.

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Paid the 300 JPY entrance fee and was greeted by a sea of construction at the entrance. Read prior to the trip that a number of the temple buildings are under major renovations.

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Some information about Kiyomizudera Temple, as extracted from Japan Guide. The most striking thing I had read about this legendary temple is that the buildings are built without nails! :

Kiyomizudera (清水寺, literally “Pure Water Temple”) is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. It was founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall in the wooded hills east of Kyoto, and derives its name from the fall’s pure waters. The temple was originally associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools within Japanese Buddhism, but formed its own Kita Hosso sect in 1965. In 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

Kiyomizudera is best known for its wooden stage that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below. The stage affords visitors a nice view of the numerous cherry and maple trees below that erupt in a sea of color in spring and fall, as well as of the city of Kyoto in the distance. The main hall, which together with the stage was built without the use of nails, houses the temple’s primary object of worship, a small statue of the eleven faced, thousand armed Kannon.
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Despite many of the buildings being under extensive renovation, the main hall still remains intact.

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