Travel through Japan: part VI

On the second day in Kyoto, my friend and I decided to go our own ways for the day since my friend wanted to visit several places that I wasn’t interested in. I didn’t really know where to go, so I just walked without a goal. I followed Gion’s main shopping street called Shijo-dori, where you find many shops selling authentic Japanese things like kimono and geta. At the end of Shijo-dori, this beautiful red entrance gate.

I was instantly attracted to the vibrant red colours of this place.

This was the entrance to a popular shrine called Yasaka Shrine.

Yasaka Shrine, with hundreds of lanterns.

Lanterns of Yasaka Shrine.

Lanterns at Yasaka Shrine.

Behind Yasaka Shrine, there’s Murayama Park.

Murayama Park.

Statue of Sakamoto Ryoma and Nakaoka Shintaro.

In Murayama Park.

I don’t know why, but this kind of photo always immediately reminds me of Kyoto.

In Murayama Park

I walked towards the northern gate of the park, where suddenly I was on the grounds of another important religious building, and I happened to find what might be Japan’s largest temple bell.

Probably Japan’s largest temple bell.

Near the large temple bell.

And so I was probably on the grounds of a temple called Chionin Temple, the headquarters of the Jodo sect of Buddhism.

A stairway to one of the temple’s buildings.

A stairway to a strange statue on the temple grounds.

Detail of a temple building’s roof construction.

I’m not sure where I found this little pagoda-like building.

A view of -the grey part of- Kyoto.

I think this is back at Yasaka Shrine.

To think that this ugly view is right in front of such amazing temples and shrines…

After this, I went to the ‘authentic Kyoto’-streets, where the wires are underground to make for an actual ‘old feeling’. (to be honest, I think Japan should put the wires underground everywhere, they’re so annoying and ugly, they really take away the authentic feel…) This is probably the only place in Kyoto where Kyoto looks like what you’d expect from Kyoto.

Shirakawa-dori.

Shirakawa-dori.

I wandered about so much that I went from one interesting place to another without knowing where I actually was. Which is, now that I write about it a year later, a bit annoying because I really don’t have a clue of what I visited! So yeah, here’s another place of which I really don’t know what it is…

Destination unknown.

Those trees gave off a really great smell -at least I can remember details like these…

Yasaka Gojonoto, I think.

Stairs leading to Kiyomizudera, and reminding me of Spirited Away.

Crowds at Kiyomizudera.

Surroundings of Kiyomizudera.

Japanese students posing in front of the temple’s gate.

After visiting Kiyomizudera (I didn’t go inside because I didn’t have money), I wanted to see how long it took to go to Kyoto Station because I’d have to take a bus here the next morning. Near the station, there’s Kyoto tower.

Old and new in Kyoto.

Kyoto Tower.

After getting to Kyoto Station I just walked around but didn’t visit anything more. That day was very warm, with temperatures nearing 40°C so it was about time to go back to the hostel and rest, since the next day I had to take the bus to Yokohama. I met up with my friend for dinner (I remember we ate McDo for the first time in Japan, because we wanted to compare to our own countries McDo at least once during our stay in Japan) and then she was off to visit Fuji-san. I returned to the hostel and was treated for some Baskin’ Robins by the millionaire staying at the hostel. Really, there was an American millionaire staying at the hostel!

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