Japan Diaries 2: Day 6

Day 6 May 22, 2018

Kyoto Adventure (Day 3)

Good morning Kyoto! We woke up to another great weather, perfectly suited for our planned third day of adventure in this historic city of Japan



Speaking of adventure, today would be the first time that we'd use our Kyoto City Bus One-Day Pass which we bought two days ago. We didn't use it yesterday as our itinerary focused on a walking tour around Kyoto Station. The itinerary that I crafted today is aimed for us to visit as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kyoto as possible. So far, we already managed to visit three since our arrival in Kyoto two days ago. 

Nishi Hongwanji's Amidado-mon

Since the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kyoto are mostly temples, we did not exert effort to wake up very early as temples usually open at 8:30AM. To start the day, we took our breakfast in our Air BnB residence instead of eating out (to save money). We also reviewed our itinerary for today and contacted our friend Gil about our meet up for today. We left our residence a little past 8 and boarded a bus to Nishi Hongwanji

Nishi Hongwanji

Look who's having fun

Team Nicerio visits Nishi Hongwanji

Nishi Hongwanji is one of the two temple complexes of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in Kyoto City. The name Nishi Hongwanji means "Western Temple of the Original Vow" and serves as the head temple of the Jodo Shinshu organization. We explored this temple complex for about an hour taking as many photographs of its historic buildings as we could. Before leaving, I tried to get a temple stamp or shuin. However, I was saddened to find out that the goshuin or the practice of collecting temple seals/stamps is not practiced here. 

Tickets to Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle

Ella exploring the castle complex

Checking out the pond in Nijo Castle

... and the garden of the castle

We then boarded a bus to the nearby Nijo Castle. The only non-temple UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kyoto, it is famously known for the floorboards that create a sound like that of a Japanese nightingale when stepped on. It was built sometime in 1601 and became the residence of the shogun. After our exploration of the castle grounds, we met our good friend Gil who will accompany us to our next stop.
 
Sankomon (gate) of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Students flock to pray for their success in the upcoming exams

Checking out some torii (gates) in the shrine complex

Gil accompanied us to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. This shrine is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site but it is worth visiting as it is one of the most important of the several hundred shrines across Japan that are dedicated to Sugawara Michizane who was a scholar and politician. He is associated with Tenjin who is a Shinto god of education. After exploring the temple grounds, we stayed a bit to rest and eat the delicious lunch which Gil prepared. Sadly, something came up and Gil had to leave and go to her son's school.

Kinkakuji

A closer view of the Kinkakuji

A visit to Kinkakuji won't be complete without a selfie

Before leaving, Gil brought us to the bus stop where we could take a bus going to Kinkakuji Temple which is famously known as the Golden Pavilion.  I got to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site during our first visit to Japan last 2014 however, my wife was not able to join me to explore the temple grounds then so I decided to include this temple again so that she could see its beauty too. There were a lot of people during our visit and maneuvering the stroller with our sleeping daughter inside was quite a challenge. There were times that we had to carry the stroller up some steps, thankfully there were some very helpful Indian tourists that helped me with the arduous task. 

So here's a tip for those parents planning to bring strollers here, I highly suggest that you rethink your plans and carry your babies instead. Before leaving, I managed to get a goshuin of the temple for my collection. 

Ryoanji (temple) as seen from across Kyoyochi pond

The foliage covers the Ryoanji's facade

Ryoanji's Rock Garden

As it was already afternoon and the temples would soon close for the day, we hurriedly hopped on the bus going to the nearby Ryoanji Temple. Luckily we got there 30 minutes before closing time. It's another UNESCO World Heritage Site that is famously known for its Rock Garden. When my wife found out that there was plenty of walking involved, she decided to wait for me at the rest area of the temple with our daughter. 

Ella is ready to go home

True enough, exploring Ryoanji's temple grounds required plenty of walking but the views  (particularly the Rock Garden) and the nature in it were really worth the effort. I managed to get another goshuin here before leaving.  This temple would be our last temple destination for the day. 

A view of Kyoto Station from the bus going to AEON Mall

Before going home and calling it a day, we dropped by AEON Mall near Kyoto Station to buy some supplies and food for our adventure tomorrow. Since we were all tired, we decided to have our dinner out and guess where we went for dinner? You guessed it right! The same Yoshinoya that we dined in two days back. 

Overall, our third day in Kyoto was fulfilling. We managed to visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one important shrine today. I'm very excited about what tomorrow would bring. 

Comments

  1. I always wanted to go to Japan. Seems that you had a great time there. Thanks for sharing. Seems that I am having increase numbers in my list of where to go in Japan.

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  2. This looks like so much fun and like an amazing trip to take! I'd love to visit here one day.

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  3. A family after my own heart! So far we’ve done Airbnbs/ condo rentals everywhere from Portland and Honolulu to Rome and Florence.

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    Replies
    1. Wow! I envy you having visited 2 of the places in my travel list (Rome and Honolulu).

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  4. I visited Japan a few years back. What a beautiful and diverse country!

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  5. I would love to visit Kitanu shrine! Japan never fails to amaze me with its beautiful parks, unique sculptures, and majestic shrines.

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  6. Japan has immense treasure of heritage and Kyoto is great place to experience so.

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  7. Your photos are beautiful. This looks like such an amazing place. Thanks for sharing. Rach

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  8. I am really enjoying the series on your Japan diary. I most say ; Japan is a place to visit.

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  9. Really nice discovery and thanks for your reportage and nice pictures. Can't wait to see the rest of your trip.

    Ben - nutrition-newage.com

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  10. Very beautiful pictures. Looks like you had a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing

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  11. Perfectly manicured garden, Ryoanji's Rock garden is so Zen, lily pond just across the Shrine.... And 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites..... I love Japan .....

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  12. I look forward to the day I can tour Japan. Your photos are beautiful. Looks like an amazing trip!

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  13. AMAZING PLACE!! Japan is my dream place that I really want to visit someday. I'm so jealous to your photos!

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  14. Would love to visit Kyoto's temples when I travel to Japan. Definitely learning alot here!

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  15. Japan is so amazing. Loved all of your pictures. Truly hope to visit one day.

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  16. Beautiful pictures!! I hope to travel one day and I would love to go to Japan. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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  17. The place looks so great. Such great captures I must say that and your description is lovely.

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  18. Very informative writeup...lovely pics...Japan for sure has lots to offer for tourists..
    Thank you

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  19. The temple's view is truly majestic view. Glad you guys had a wonderful time!

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  20. Wow amazing pics, Japan will always be an interesting country. I am a fan of Japanese food myself.

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  21. Kyoto is beautiful, and by the architecture, the way of life, the nature, it is reasonable to see why most their UNESCO world heritage are the temples, and they should be, that beauty needs to be preserved for future generations.

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    1. I agree Matija. Kyoto offers a lot from history to food. You'd surely love it.

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  22. Fantastic pictures. You always look like you are having such adventures!
    Rach

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    1. Thank you Rach. Yes we are really having such great adventures. =)

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  23. Loving your Japan diaries and Kyoto experience. Waiting for more.

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  24. im seeing so many Japan and tourist blog posts that Im literally tempted to go. Your pictures are amazing! you are my biggest culprit! haha

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  25. Japan is definitely on my list for the next 2 years! I will visit your blog again to take some tips! Thank you!

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  26. Glad you enjoyed Kyoto. I been there several times (I live only a hour away) and it is good. I am not much into traveling right now though.

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    Replies
    1. Wow! I envy you. How I wish I could visit this place anytime that I could.

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  27. You know, your adventures are always awesome and your narratives too!

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  28. Love the pictures!! I always wanted to travel to Japan and now I really want to!

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  29. This pictures looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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