Sticking it in Kyoto - Day 2

by Samm Bennett
Last day in Kyoto! Woke up and checked out of the Kyoka Ryokan. Decided I really liked that egg toast breakfast yesterday, so I went there for breakfast again.

First stop: Fushimi-Inari Taisha! I initially didn't plan to visit this shrine, as it's on the “outskirts” of Kyoto; however, I found out it was just three stops from Kyoto station on the JR Nara line (meaning it's close-by and free to get there with my JR rail pass). The Fushimi-Inari Taisha is extremly impressive, as it consists of hundreds of Tori lined up for about 4 kilometers along a mountain! I really enjoyed this shrine, despite being completely exhausted from walking almost the entire thing.

I made it back to Kyoto station at about 12 pm - lunchtime! How about some amazing wanton noodle ramen? Sounds good to me :)

About 1 pm and I still have 2 more destinations before my target of 4 pm - when I hope to leave for Tokyo. In about 5 minutes I'm on a bus (I love the Japanese public transportation systems) headed to Sanjusangen-do temple - which houses 1001 statues of the 1000 armed Kannon (goddess of mercy). There were also statues of the 28 guardians of Buddhism, as well as statues of Raijin (thunder god) and Fujin (wind god). I thoroughly enjoyed the statues in this temple as a I strolled around for about 1.5 hours. Time was looking good as I headed for Kiyomizu-dera temple.

For some reason, I expected to spend a while riding to Kiyomizu-dera. I guess I missed the fact that there is only two bus stops between Kiyomizu-dera and Sanjusangen-do. However, I did have to spend a while climbing up a steep street to get to the temple. Completely exhausted, I paid my entrance fare and moved towards the temple, which is apparently a candidate for the new 7 wonders of the world (I didn't know a second revision was in the works!).

After wondering towards the temple, I realized something was up when I failed to notice any Japanese youths in school uniforms. Apparently I had gone through the temple without noticing! The reason why Kiyomizu-dera is so impressive is really because of it's height and the building structure, something a tourist with a deadline doesn't always notice. Determined to thoroughly investigate the site, I head back and wander about for a few minutes before making my way to the bus via a shop crowded street. Ocha (green tea) and sakura (cherry blossom) ice cream helps to keep cool!

I'm currently on the 5:35 pm shikansen to Tokyo. I'll be spending the night in a capsule hotel after (hopefully) spending some time at a manga/internet cafe.