I can’t believe half our #GOsaka2018 adventure is over! 7 days have passed by so swiftly, huhu. Only 8 left, how I wish I had a magic wand to stop time, or at least slow-mo it so I can keep up.
It’s off to charming Kyoto today! Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu. It is famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It’s also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and Geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district.
Geisha are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses. Their wide skills include performing various arts such as Japanese classical music and traditional dance, witty games and conversation, traditionally to entertain male customers, but also female customers today.
Almost an hour away from Osaka by train (we took the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line from Osaka Station to Kyoto Station for 400 yen each), we visited Arashiyama for the Bamboo Grove, and Fushimi Inari for the red Torii gates -2 of the more popular tourist attractions in Kyoto. (Thank you so much Ate for our most captivating Japan itinerary!!)
Departure Osaka station. It’s a looong ride from. Osaka to Kyoto (with no stopovers), and only the most aggressive people get to sit the long haul. Apparently, we are not aggressive enough by Japanese standards hahaha! :P
Arrival Kyoto station. Iba talaga ang feels pagdating namin, lanterns agad everywhere. Kyoto is so beautiful!! Mas ma-nature ek-ek.
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of Kyoto’s top sights and for good reason too. Standing amidst these soaring stalks of bamboo is like being in another world. If only it weren’t so crowded, our visit would have been perfect. Mali kami to go on a weekend, ang daming turista!
Get hold of a map when you get to Arashiyama so you can plan your day. Operative word is PLAN. Syempre what you plan & what you are able to DO are 2 different things, lalo na at puro lakad. There’s a solo carriage ride, pero naawa naman ako sa taong hihila sa akin at baka biglang mag-cardiac arrest sa bigat ko, kasalanan ko pa! :P
Japan has the creamiest soft serve, syempre we simply could not resist kahit na nginig-pa-more!
And kodakan-pa-more even in freezing temp! Sabi ni ngisay Kap (in English pa ha –but with Chinese accent hehehe!) We came all the way here for the faken bamboo??? Oh Kap my Kap, super laugh trip ka talaga! ;))
Oh yes, that’s all you see folks, endless bamboo trees. Malayong lakaran, but so beautiful & worth it! <3
Had a quick tonkatsu lunch en route to Fushimi Inari at THE CUBE right outside the futuristic-looking Kyoto Station.
Sayang, so many eating places back in Arashimaya in pretty, authentic Japanese settings pa, sana doon nalang kami nag-lunch. Itong si KK (kunat kap) kasi, mamaya na ng mamaya kaya hayan, sa station na kami inabot ng tanghalian, hmp! Ang ganda-ganda ng Zen eateries sapinanggalingan namin, sa mall pa kami kumain.
Just another Yabu experience. :P Unli rice though so happy na rin si Kap. (Umabot ng 4.5k php, mahal sya!)
Then headed to our final destination for the day, Fushimi Inari Taisha. Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine of the god Inari, located in Fushimi Ward in Kyoto. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 metres (764 ft.) above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines which span 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) and take approximately 2 hours to walk up! Good thing the giblings took pity on me & my wobbly knees & we only went halfway.
Also known as “O-inari-san”, Inari shrines are the most familiar shrines to Japanese people. There are said to be some thirty thousand throughout the country, frequented by people of all ages. Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine with which all the others are affiliated. In the 1300 years since its establishment in 711AD, people have gathered here to pray for bountiful harvests, business prosperity, the safety of their home and family and the fulfillment of all kinds of other wishes.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is now known worldwide as one of the most iconic sights in Kyoto, and in Japan as a whole. Typically, the entrance to a Shinto complex is indicated by one or several large gates called torii. The torii may be constructed of various materials and painted in different colors, however most are made of wood and painted red-orange and black. Inari shrines have many torii because those who have been successful in business often donate in gratitude a torii to Inari, (the patron of business). Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto has thousands of such torii, each bearing the donor’s name. Gusto ko din magpalagay ng pangalan, ano kaya ang translation ng GOppets sa Japanese? ;)
The entrance to an Inari shrine is usually marked by statues of kitsune (fox) which are often adorned with red yodarekake (votive bibs) by worshippers out of respect. The kitsune statues are at times taken for a form of Inari, and they typically come in pairs, representing a male and a female. These fox statues hold a symbolic item in their mouths or beneath a front paw – most often a jewel and a key, but a sheaf of rice, a scroll, or a fox cub are all common. Offerings of rice, sake, and other food are given at the shrine to appease and please these kitsune messengers, who are then expected to plead with Inari on the worshipper’s behalf.
At shrines, impurity is the most detested thing, so it’s important to first purify oneself with the temizu. The temizu water fountain is thought of as a shortened version of ablutions performed in a river or in the sea. First take the scoop in your right hand, scoop some water, and purify your left hand. Then take the scoop in your left hand and purify the right hand, then return it to the right hand, pour some water into your left hand, and use it to rinse your mouth. Don’t drink directly from the scoop. When spitting out the water, bend over and conceal your mouth with your hand. Finally hold the scoop vertically and use the remaining water to purify the handle of the scoop, then return it to its position for the next person. It is a Japanese custom to purify your body and soul before going before the kami.
On your way out of the shrine is a convenient food strip that serves all sorts of street food. We can never get enough of the beef! <3 So tender, juicy, and tasty!
Relaxed pace lang today since it’s mostly walking. Will definitely come back tomorrow for more sightseeing. Kyoto is sooo pretty! I’m glad we have 15 days to explore Osaka the the neighboring cities. Sulit na sulit!
An advice though, if you plan on visiting Kyoto, one day is not enough so I suggest you spare yourself the back-and-forth travel & just get an apartment in the city so you don’t waste time (and energy) in the commute back & forth.
Had a gyudon dinner before going back to Osaka. Nahahalata na ni Kap that we are taking advantage of him hehe. He specified that dinner was to be super low key & mura. Not to worry, the giblings are always prepared & planned in advance.
The giblings found Matsuya, a relatively cheap Japanese resto serving premium Gyumeshi (beef on rice). It seats around 10-15 but the turnover rate is fast. We noticed that the Japanese people don’t linger -they eat, then they run. Good for us. ;P
A set menu costs around 250-500 yen (120-240 php) depending on the size. Of course we Goppets always go for the biggest available, teehee. Ang mura diba? Kap wanted to eat there everyday. Of course I said NO. @_@
Before I end, lemme show you the train’s reversible seats. Pag hindi mo type ang kaharap mo, ikutin mo lang! Super naaliw talaga ako. ;))
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