When Chelsea and I were walking up Kiyomizu slope’s main road (i.e. the super-touristy path leading to Kiyomizu-dera), we bought ice cream and rested next to a refreshing fountain. Next to it were winding stairs on one side and a western-style building on the other. Once we finished our snack, we decided to mount these mysterious stairs, just in case we’d have a panoramic view there.
We found two dragon fish statues that are usually found on castle and temple roofs (I had no clue what they are, so I looked it up for you; they’re called Shachihoko and apparently that’s not a dragon’s head but a tiger’s with the body of a carp. In Japanese folklore, Shachihoko were believed to let the rain fall, that’s why they were often put on castle and temple roof, to protect them from fire) and a fancy restaurant. Unfortunately, no panoramic view there, but through the restaurants windows we did get a fantastic view on Kyoto. The pictures are a little unclear because of glass-restaurant-glass being in between me and the view. 😉
The western-style building turns out to be a mansion built in Secession style, an Austrian style used about a century ago, by Takeda Goichi and is called Goryuukaku (which loosely translates to the Five Dragon Palace). It’s registered as tangible cultural property and now houses a cafe/restaurant.
On our way home, we passed the famous Kiyomizu-dera’s entrance, which was surprisingly not-so-busy. We then had to figure out how to walk back to the guesthouse while still passing the taiyaki shop we stopped at on our way. We took a little detour, saved a little boy that was left unattended from walking onto one of Kyoto’s busy main streets and savoured another delicious taiyaki on our way home. ^^