The Magical Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

Tourists in Kyoto have always raved about the beauty of Kiyomizu Dera temple and they are 100% right when I get to see it in my own eyes. For most visitors in Kyoto, I find this is one of the must-see especially in spring and autumn. 20160401_123253-01[1]The walk from the bus stop to the temple complex is a great experience, with shops, small restaurants, crowds, people in kimono, etc. – definitely worth a good look around. The temple and associated buildings are beautifully and lovingly cared. The large wood balcony is definitely a sight to be admired and the view is splendid. Looking at it from below, when you go around the circuit is also really worthwhile as you see how the balcony is set up, truly an intricate work.20160401_113010-01[1]20160401_131110-01[1]20160401_113310-01[1]20160401_113304-01[1]20160401_113441-01[1]20160401_113526-01[1]20160401_113747-01[1]

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Although there were lots of people, the crowd added to the charm of our Kiyomizudera experience since a lot of Japanese locals were in their colorful kimonos.20160401_115321-01[1]20160401_115641-01[1]20160401_115446-01[1]20160401_115413-01[1]

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And oh, what a strange thing to be under those lovely cherry blossoms! 20160401_115041-01[1]20160401_115215-01-01[1]20160401_115222-01[1]

FACT CHECK:
During the Edo period, a tradition where people would jump from the 13 meter tall veranda to the ground. It was said that if one were to survive such a plunge, one’s wish would be granted. Of the 234 recorded jumps in history, approximately 85% survived the fall. The practice is now prohibited, I couldn’t imagine how many could have died if they still do it until now. I just can’t. haha!20160401_122811-01[1]20160401_122736-01[1]20160401_121222-01[1]20160401_120948-01[1]20160401_120853-01[1]20160401_120831-01[1]Once you’re finished exploring the balcony area, follow the path out from the balcony and you’ll see a flight of stairs that will lead you up to the Jishu Shrine. This small but pretty cute shrine is dedicated to the deity Okuninushi, the god of love and matchmaking.
Praying there is said to help one succeed in finding an appropriate love match. And of course! I did mine. lol.20160401_121340-01[1]20160401_121706-01[1]20160401_121639-01[1]20160401_121606-01[1]Walk the trail across and then down to the triplet Otowa waterfall. People come to the temple to drink water from the falls by collecting it in tin cups; the water is said to have therapeutic properties, and drinking from the three different streams is said to confer health, longevity, and success in studies.20160401_123253-01[1]20160401_123145-01[1]20160401_123040-01[1]20160401_125115-01[1]The walk was apparently a great way to be able to view and take photos of the temple’s wooden stage. The main hall is built out on a veranda onto pillars, a structure constructed without nails. Amazing Isn’t it?20160401_125136-01[1]

Heard some noise from my tummy. Oops! didn’t realized it’s about time for lunch, well I say late lunch! lol.

20160401_124032-01[1]20160401_124258-01[1] A perfect combo for the freezing cold weather!

After feeding those hungry pangs! Hmm. Recharged! Who’s not? lol. The awesome Kiyomizu dera experience doesn’t actually stop the moment you finish your meal in their ramen shop coz even on your way out is a beautiful surrounding filled with lovely cherry blossoms, garden and a view of the temple from afar. The walk through it is absolutely amazing!

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First part of the day ends here. If you are like me who never gets tired when it comes to exploring places, then let’s head on to Fushimi Inari Taipa. Click to read the famous landmark of kyoto.

Get There and Around

Kiyomizudera can be reached from Kyoto Station by bus number 100 or 206 (15 minutes, 230 yen). Get off at Gojo-zaka or Kiyomizu-michi bus stop, from where it is a ten minute uphill walk to the temple. Alternatively, Kiyomizudera is about a 20 minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station along the Keihan Railway Line.

 

 

20160401_114003-01[1]Stylishwanderer.com

 

The Scenic Countryside of Kyoto

Located on the Western Outskirts of Kyoto lies the Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty of Arashiyama. It’s terrifically charming and feels a bit like traveling back in time a few hundred years. Undoubtedly, it has become one of the famous landmark which offers a unique window into Kyoto’s historic heart.

Start the day around 9 in the morning to explore the district of Arashiyama. For those who have JR PASS, take the JR Sagano line from Kyoto Station and alight at Saga Arashiyama Station. It is 10 mins. on foot before you reach the gate of Tenryuji temple. Entrance costs ¥500 (6sgd/203php) and it’s really worth the visit.20160402_090653-01[1]As we mosey around the temple grounds of Tenryuji, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and considered as Kyoto’s top 5 Zen Temples, I was in awe.20160402_091643-01[1]
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The glorious garden that surrounds it is a testament to the timeless nature of Japanese landscaping. 20160402_092054-01[1]20160402_092934-01[1]20160402_092419-01[1]20160402_092824-01[1]20160402_092345-01[1]20160402_092244-01[1]20160402_093323-01[1]20160402_093424-01[1]20160402_093148-01[1]After Tenryuji, head back to where you entered the temple grounds. From there is actually the starting point of the must see Arashiyama Bamboo Forest (Click to read post).20160402_090442-01[1]20160402_090412-01[1]20160402_090259-01[1]20160402_093556-01[1] I love the wind chime quality of the bamboo rattling and the light rustle of the leaves. It’s magical! And as you keep walking towards the end of the groves, is the way to the breathtaking view of Arashiyama Mountain.20160402_095821-01[1]20160402_100437-01-01[1]20160402_103035-01-01[1]20160402_103032-01-01[1]If there is one place in Kyoto where I could say I fell in love with at first sight, then It would be the scenic view of Arashiyama Mountain. Surrounded by wonderful scenery of nature and the togetsu-kyo bridge as its most iconic landmark. It’s definitely magnificent! Here, you will be listening to relaxing sounds of the river, spotting boat rowing, and running into visitors enjoying their rickshaw rides. I spent a few hours to savor the picturesque setting. So, you definitely must dedicate at least half a day at Arashiyama district. Now, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. 🙂
20160402_113612-01[1]20160402_113253-01[1]20160402_113340-01[1] 20160402_104133-01[1]20160402_104507-01[1]20160402_114441-01[1]20160402_120610-01[1]20160402_114806-01[1]20160402_115221-01[1]And To cap off the morning part is my favorite activity, EATING. lol. It’s time for lunch! There are lots of small souvenir and food shops lining both sides of the street. So for a choice of place to eat is definitely not a problem. Just don’t be afraid to try any of them. Gladly, I’ve picked the best place to dine in. The Japanese resto which I forgot the name (sorry) :p situated right across the end of Togetsukyo bridge. Gazing at my favorite view, the quaint countryside of Arashiyama Mountains with many tourists walk blissfully in different direction while eating my authentic Japanese meal is beyond any doubt unrivalled. A great combo of food and setting. 20160402_104814-01[1]20160402_112854-01[1]20160402_111035-01[1]20160402_111044-01[1]

Itadakimasu!20160402_110656-01[1]20160402_111455-01[1]

I purposely had a simple meal cause I know that on the other side of togetsukyo bridge lies a lot of  Japanese food stalls by the river.

And who do not want to try as much food as you can? lol.

TADAAAH!
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The sunny freezing cold weather paired with yummy matcha vanilla ice cream! Ahhh.. Heaven!20160402_122008-01[1]

The first part of the day ends here. So, the next part is to visit the famous Golden Pavilion Temple before taking the Shinkansen ride bound for Tokyo. I’ll be making a separate post for the Ginkakuji Temple coz I find this post a bit lengthy now. lol.

 

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I hope you find this blog post helpful, especially for you guys planning to explore the Countryside of Kyoto, Arashiyama district. It actually is one of my fave!

-Stylishwanderer.com