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Japan Diaries 2: Day 7

Day 7 (May 23)

Greetings from Kyoto City, it's already our fourth day here in this awesome city and sadly, it's our last full day here too. 



According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), today is going to be rainy and true enough it was. It is nice to note that the weather forecast system here in Japan can really be trusted.

A confusing day for a first-timer...

Taking the subway from Kujo Station to Imadegawa Station

Just arrived at Imadegawa Station

Anyway, despite the weather, we decided to push through with our 4th-Day Kyoto City itinerary. Our first destination for today is the Kyoto Imperial Palace Grounds. To reach it, we rode Kyoto's subway system for the first time. From Kujo Station, which was the nearest to our place, it only took 12 minutes to reach Imadegawa Station which is the nearest station to the palace grounds. As usual, the transportation system was very efficient. My only concern about the said trip was the ticketing system which was in Japanese. We needed to wait for a local passenger so that we could ask for help to purchase our tickets.
 
Kyoto Imperial Palace Grounds

A rainy day to stroll the palace grounds

Check out the foliage...

As planned, we met up with our friend Gil at Imadegawa Station. She accompanied us in checking out the Kyoto Imperial Palace Grounds. Sadly, we didn't have a reservation to go inside the Kyoto Imperial Palace so we contented ourselves with just exploring the northern side of the palace grounds. 

Going to our next destination...

From there, we walked towards Shimogamo Shrine which is around 20 to 30 minutes away on foot. However, before reaching it, we decided to buy some packed ready-to-eat food at a grocery store for our lunch first. Funny as it may sound, we ate our lunch at a bus stop since the grocery store where we bought it does not have a place for us to consume it decently. 

Stone jumping at Kamogawa River

I-spy turtle stones

Look who successfully crossed the river

After lunch, we decided to continue to the shrine. About halfway there, my wife and I were surprised to see a place which we saw in a Japanese movie. It was the "turtle" stones of Kamogawa (River) which was one of the filming locations of the 2016 film My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday (ぼくは明日、昨日のきみとデートする). We did not waste the opportunity to cross the river by jumping on the "turtle" rocks like what the main characters in the movie did. 

Heading to Shimogamo Shrine

The kids seem to enjoy their freedom

When we reached the other side of the river, we proceeded to walk towards Shimogamo Shrine. The shrine is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto City and is famous for the yabusame or horseback archery contest held every third of May. 

Sidetrip to Kawai Shrine

Inside Kawai Shrine grounds

Kawai Shrine Emas

Continuing on to Shimogamo Shrine

Before reaching the shrine, I had a bit of a side trip to the Kawai Shrine which is inside the grounds of Shimogamo Shrine. I was surprised to see that there were a lot of women visiting the shrine. It would only be later that I'd find out that this shrine is visited by women who pray for beauty. Regardless, I still got a goshuin from the shrine (and a secret wish to be more good looking hoping that prayers here also work for men.)

Shimogamo Shrine

Purifying oneself at the chozubachi before entering

Inside Shimogamo Shrine grounds

I then ran back and caught up with my wife and Gil who were walking leisurely along the long pathway going to Shimogamo Shrine. Upon reaching the shrine's famous Romon Gate, my wife and Gil decided that they'd just wait for me outside the shrine as there were plenty of things that they'd want to talk about (I just let them,10 years of not seeing each other means that they have a decade of life stories to discuss). I took as many photographs inside the shrine as I could and also got a goshuin for my collection before I went back to my wife to continue our plans in the itinerary. 

Next stop Ginkakuji

Gotta love the path going to the temple

Ginkakuji AKA the Silver Pavilion

Check out the temple's beautifully manicured sand

Our next destination in the itinerary was Ginkakuji which is famously known as the Silver Pavilion. However, Gil won't be joining us for this leg of the trip as she had to go back home to fulfill her motherly duties. Upon arriving at the bus stop nearest Ginkakuji, we had to walk quite a distance to reach the temple. Since it was drizzling and the weather was cold, it drained the energy of my wife and daughter so they asked me if it would be ok if I explore the temple alone and they'd just wait for me at a nearby restaurant. I agreed since I only have 30-40 minutes left to explore it before it closes down for the day. 

Enjoy the beauty of the environment

Ginkakuji's temple vicinity was a bit vast (but not as vast as Ryoanji). I was one of the last to leave before they announced that they were closing down for the day.  Thankfully, I got to buy a ref magnet souvenir and also got a goshuin for my collection.

Are those macha flavored hotdogs?

When I got back to where my wife and daughter were, I was surprised to see them eating macha flavored stuff (even a macha ice cream despite the cold weather). Well, to cut it short, I also tried some for myself and loved it! 

Tetsugakuno-michi or Path of Philosophy walking route

Before going back home, I saw a sign pointing to the two-kilometer-long Tetsugakuno-michi or Path of Philosophy walking route. My wife gave me a raised eyebrow look and I know that it's a no-go destination. Well, looking at it, I'd have one more place to visit next time we go back to Kyoto City. On our way home, we bought some mitarashi dango which is a skewered variant of mochi to try out. 

Mitarashi Dango

Overall, our fourth day and last day in Kyoto City was worth it even if it rained. Given the chance, we would love to revisit the city again in the near future and visit the places that we missed out during this trip.  

Comments

  1. Truly amazing adventures. Beautiful captures. I find Japanese cuisine to be a real treat, courtesy YouTube videos !

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  2. These pictures are great! I would love to go to Japan!

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  3. Love the pictures! I felt like i was going on the trip with you.

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    1. Thank you for the positive feedback. Hope my article inspired you.

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  4. Japan is on my travel bucket list!!!! Thank you for sharing your experiences so far. I have heard of the Kamogawau river (Pinterest board I follow on Japan). The metro system looks to little confusing. I wonder if you used google translate at all during this journey?

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    1. The train system might be confusing for first timers. Weasked a local for help as Google translate gave onle little help.

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  5. The Mitarashi Dango looks so delicious! Your photos are so good. I would love to visit one day!

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    1. Thank you McKenzie. I agree the dango was delicious.

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  6. Wonderful post on Kyoto with amazing photographs of shrine, love all.

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  7. I love the manicured sand.....it's so Zen....though i'm looking forward for your next blog inside the Kyoto Imperial Palace and the Path of Philosophy.....it's interesting...

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    1. Thanks reveler. :) Sadly, I wont be writing about the palace grounds as I did noy explore it fully.

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  8. It looks like you guys had alot of fun. The matarashi dango looks delicious yum!

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  9. Kyoto is one of the places that's long been in my bucket list. I am hoping to cross it off in 2020! Fingers crossed!

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  10. Japan is one of the most clean environment in the world. I am looking forward to see more post on your blog!

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    1. Looking forward to your next visit. Thank you Maysz.

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  11. This is my first time of hearing of beaches in Japan. Patungan Beach sure has it own special characteristics and is beautiful in it's little way. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You might have seen the side bar of my top articles. Patungan beach is not in Japan.

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  12. Wow, it seems you had a lot of fun in Kyoto city. Great pictures!

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  13. Love that picture of her crossing the river on the rocks..<3

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  14. It looks like you enjoyed your last day, even though it was a bit rainy. The shrine is beautiful!

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  15. Japan is just oh so beautiful. I cannot wait to be in that country and explore its beauty. Thank you for always writing such great narratives of you and your trips.

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    1. hank you for always visiting my blog Sheena. Appreciate it.

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  16. Feeling nostalgic! Kyoto will always be my favorite destination. I had fun reading your experience and looking at your photos. Glad you guys had a great time. Planning to go there again next year *cross-finger*

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    1. I would be looking forward to see your adventures to Japan. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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