My 2016 Japan travelogue so far:
Osaka Day 1: Ana Crowne Plaza & Sennichimae Doguyasuji
Osaka Day 2: Osaka Station, Kuromon Market & Dotonbori
Nara Day 3: Todai-ji, Cheeky Deer & Fall Foliage
Osaka + Kyoto Day 4: Nishiki Market & Len Kyoto Kawaramachi
Kyoto Day 5: Kiyomizu-dera, Sannen-zaka & Ninen-zaka (Part 1)
Here’s part 2 of day 5…
After Ninen-zaka, we came to another famous street called Nene-no-Michi ねねの道 (Nene’s Street), named after a noblewoman. Nene is also known by the title “Kita no Mandokoro”.
There are shops, tea rooms and small shrines on this street but more importantly a beautiful temple built by Nene herself is situated here. The temple is called Kōdai-ji 高台寺 and it was named after her honorary name “Kōdai-in”. She built the temple in memory of her late husband, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (a famous general/warrior/samurai). That is how deep her love was.
This is Daidokoro-zaka 台所坂 which connects Nene-no-Michi to Kōdai-ji grounds. It was a long slope upward and while I have some difficulty keeping up with others (haha), I enjoyed the view presented by the trees and gentle running stream.
Upon reaching the top, we came to this beautiful building called Kuri 庫裡 (priests’ quarters).
Kōdai-ji entrance tickets @ 600 yen pax and brochure. The loo is near the ticket office… in case you need to answer nature’s call.
Beautiful bamboo fountain (not sure if it’s the right name) on the left and Iho-an 遺芳庵 (Cottage Of Lingering Fragrance) tea house on the right.
This garden with its famous ripple art forms is called Hashin-tei 波心庭. It’s a classic Japanese rock/dry/zen garden. This type of garden is called 枯山水(Karesansui). The ripple patterns signify water ripples. You can actually sit at Hojo’s verendah and enjoy this view. We only pass by it unfortunately because the place was full. On the left is a door called Chokushi-mon 勅使門 (Imperial Messenger’s Gate). Can you see a bald tree on the right? It’s a weeping cherry blossom tree.
Kangetsu-dai 観月台 (Moon Viewing Pavilion) on Engetsuchi (Pond) 偃月池. The pavilion was built on the bridge to view the moon’s reflection on the pond’s surface. The important building is called Kaizan-do 開山堂 (Founder’s Hall) and on the foreground is the Temple Garden 庭園.
Shoin 書院 (Reception Hall) on the left which is connected to Kaizan-do 開山堂 (Founder’s Hall) on the right by a bridge where Kangetsu-dai 観月台 (Moon Viewing Pavillion) is situated.
Hojo 方丈 (Main Hall) on the left and Kangetsu-dai 観月台 (Moon Viewing Pavillion) at right most (see the signage?).
The front view of Kaizan-do 開山堂. On the left is the bridge with Kangetsu-dai 観月台 (Moon Viewing Pavilion) and on the right is Garyoro 臥龍廊 (Reclining Dragon Corridor).
Garyoro 臥龍廊 is then joined to Otama-ya 霊屋 where Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Kodaiin are enshrined in this building. The shrine is decorated with maki-e lacquer art (decorated with gold).
Lovely autumn leaves on temple roof. I dig this kind of view and shot.
The many beautiful maple foliage shots in Kōdai-ji. While Kiyomizu-dera is famous for its stunning structures, faith and overall BIG views, Kōdai-ji is a place of tranquility, zen garden and some love story. Both are 100% different and yet equally stunning and should not to be missed if you’re visiting Kyoto for the first time (and consequently after that). Both places are ideal places for koyo (fall foliages).
Passed by these huge and tall bamboos on the way to the exit.
Getting my third goshuin (seal) from Kōdai-ji. Cost 300 yen.
This is Tenman-gu 天満宮 (shrine) where Sugawara no Michizane (God of Learning) is enshrined there. Nene revered this deity. It’s believed that if you walk around this shrine three times, your wish will be granted and misfortunes with go away. See the Maniguruma マニ車 (prayer wheel)? It contains Heart Sutra. You can walk around the shrine clockwise while keep touching and turning the wheels with your right hand and pray for your wishes eg. good health.
Temmangu Ox 天満宮 牛. It’s believed that ox will bear our suffering. So if you have any sickness on your body, you can touch the corresponding area of the ox with right hand or both hands.
We spend an hour at Kōdai-ji. After that we rested at the nearby Kōdai-ji Park 高台寺公園 while having some snacks. Around 3.45pm we start the long walk back to our hostel as everyone was tired.
This is Ishibei-koji 石塀小路, a small quiet alley that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into yet another old Kyoto. There are restaurants and inns here. You can enter via Nene-no-Michi.
Saw two tourist (I suspected, if not then they are models) dressed as maiko at Ishibei-koji. They are not real maiko based on several characteristics. The most glaring different is the lipstick (cannot be seen in this photo).
Golden ginkgo trees at Minamimachi. Oh ohhh traffic jam.
A copper ‘map’ signage on the five foot way at Higashioji dori.
Yasaka Pagoda (Hokanji Temple) seen from Yasaka dori.
Late afternoon view (~4.25pm) at Matsubara Bridge overlooking Kamo River.
Saw this rice cracker shop called Bandouame 坂東飴 (near Matsubara Bridge and our hostel). Bought a couple packets back to try. We passed by this road (Matsubara dori) earlier this morning but didn’t noticed this shop. Maybe they were still closed then.
From Nene-no-Michi to our hostel (Len Kyoto) it took us around 45-45 mins on foot… yup almost similar time as when we walked from Len Kyoto to Kiyomizu-dera earlier today.
After a much needed rest in our hostel rooms, we went out again at night for dinner. The restaurant we wanted to try called Inoichi was closed. *Sobs So we walk aimlessly for quite sometime before we chanced upon a curry rice shop. Click the link to read what we ordered.
We stopped by Daily Yamazaki again to buy some snacks for tomorrow. The cashier that served me reminds me of a robot. He really didn’t have mood to work. He was expression-less and his motion was quite mechanical. It was unbelievable. I went there for two days and for two days it was the same. Slept nearly 12am.
Okay that’s it for day 5. More to come. I’m so behind in blogging about this trip. LOL.