Do you know that feeling when you are comfortable and warm under the blanket, while outside is raining and the weather channel forecasts more rain, wind and temperatures drop, and you don’t wanna leave the bed?
Ok. That was us this morning! But we had a perfectly planned itinerary and could not avoid the fact that we are here to see places, not to laze in bed.
The first step to take to fight laziness is a good breakfast. Red beans dorayaki (I’m starting to hate them) and a lava-hot coffee.
Second step is to take a scorching-hot shower.
Filled and washed, we took our umbrellas and went out. With the map at fingertips, we took the bus from Gion to Ginkakujimichi. As we left the bus we smelled something familiar in the air.
Few meters away lied a bakery. The first real bakery since we came to Japan. We just couldn’t resist and bought a couple pastries.
Satisfied, we walked the 5 minutes to the Ginkaku-ji Temple, also known as the Silver Pavilion.
As the temple is located far from the city center, basically up a hill, we had the idea that it would have been a quiet place where to admire some Zen Buddhist culture.
We were so wrong. The place was invaded by a multitude of Chinese tourists. I admit that I’m always critical with people that instead of enjoying a place they are visiting, spend their time screaming to their friends, laughing, taking tons of selfies. You can do that in you village you ducking duck!
If you add to the horde rain and umbrellas, which made you bump on somebody with every movement, you have the perfect recipe for a stressful day.
But we didn’t give up. We tried to enjoy the visit.
Ginkaku-ji is a Zen temple established in the 15th century by the then Shogun. Despite the common name is Ginkaku-ji, it is formally called villa Higashiyama.
This is the place where the modern Life style of the Japanese started.
Even now the Higashiyama and Zen culture can be seen here.
After spending almost one hour walking among ponds, moss and drysand gardens we decided to move to the next daily attraction.
After the Silver Pavilion, we went to the Golden Pavilion, Kinkaku-ji.
Kinkaku-ji is a shariden, a Buddhist hall containing relics of Buddha.
The garden and buildings, centered in the Golden Pavilion, were said to represent the Pure Land of Buddha in this world. In 1994 the entire area was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
Here the crowd was even worse. Despite the building is amazing, the only place where to admire it is a small area on the other side of the pond surrounding the building. Useless to say that we couldn’t even move, less take decent picture.
And we were lucky. People said that on sunny day the number of visitors is at least triple…
Tired to fight with other tourist we decided to move on, and took the bus first and a train then to the Bamboo Forest, in the area of Arashiyama.
On the way there we bumped into a charming temple complex.
Arashiyama is close to the forest in the north west side of Kyoto. The atmosphere was so quite that we (almost) forgot the chaos of the morning.
Together with a random German couple we met, we walked into the Bamboo Forest.
This place was so beautiful. If you have seen the Chinese movie “House of Flying Daggers”, you will understand the beauty expressed by a bamboo forest.
Pictures just can’t explain how amazing this place is.
Time flies when you’re having a good time, and we had to go to Nishiki Market,a narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Do not forget the one single temple lost among the shops…
Here Sara decided to try some creepy food…
This poor mini octopus was not only boiled (probably alive) but his head was filled with an egg…
After Nishiki, we took an overcrowded bus to Kyoto station to book the ticket for tomorrow Shinkansen.
We could have done it tomorrow morning, but better safe than sorry.
As we still had our daily pass we took the last bus of the day to Gion, our district. Looking for a place where to have dinner, we decided to go for Gyoza.
We found a small restaurant, with only three tables and some seats in front of the counter. They only served two kind of gyoza, but they were super tasty.
Leek with garlic or ginger. They may not sound good, but believe me, they tasted amazing.
Walking back we found a nice bridge just a couple of hundred meters from our place.
We had no idea there was a river so close…
Tomorrow we will spend almost 4 hours traveling to our next destination: Koyasan!
So, better sleep and get some rest.
See you with our next post.