Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kyoto - Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Kiyomizudera is one of the must see sights in Kyoto. It dates back to 798 (acc to wiki) and not a single nail is used during its construction in 1633. It's a UNESCO world heritage site. It's my 3rd time back, and the first time during cherry blossom season (the tail end of it, tho). Kyoto is currently my favourite sightseeing city in Japan (not that I've been to lots of places in Japan, but I like the buildings in Kyoto). The Otowa waterfall has 3 channels of water falling into a pond. Visitors can drink the water, and each channel has either blessings of health, wealth or longevity. But you can only drink from 2 cos if not the gods will think you are greedy and not grant you any. Nice pond in Kiyomizudera, which looked much better at night.I used to think Kiyomizudera looked so nice and grand during the day, but it looks spectacular at night. During the cherry blossom season, Kiyomizudera is lit up at night and it's really worth a look if you happen to be there. The light up ends around 930 to 10pm and we managed to rush in and complete half the path before we were asked to leave (closing time).
The Kyoto tower on the left side of the picture.
Everything looks so grand when it's lit up. We actually returned the next day and my friends said that it felt more grand during the evening light up.
The entrance.
On the way up, they were selling some beef (white) and red bean with green tea paus. Belgium waffles at the Kyoto JR station (near the train line to Nara). I had the strawberry one, which was really very delicious. It's more bready than cakey (I dislike the cakey tasting Belgium waffles) and I like anything with strawberry, more so if it's Japanese strawberries.
Lots of angmoh tourists getting their Belgium waffle fix.
Their morning roll call - at the Isetan in the JR Kyoto station (which is probably the biggest shopping center in Kyoto?).
Fresh rice crackers - never seen any of these in Singapore, but they're realy nice cos they're freshly grilled. Comes in many flavours including mentaiko (spicy fish roe), 7 spice (we liked this the best) as well as seaweed, sesame, soysauce etc
Okonomiyaki - one of the famous foods from the Kansai region - this was at a matsuri somewhere in Kyoto (can't remember which temple, but it's near shijo dori/gion area.
Eating supper under the cherry blossom trees (we didn't cos we were so stuffed from eating our random snacks along the way).
Quaint houses in Kyoto - view from our hostel. A note worth mentioning here - do book VERY early if you want to get nice reasonably priced accommodation in Kyoto. Was preparing for my exams before this trip so I delayed the booking, and found out that EVERYWHERE which was resonably priced was booked full!! So anyway, we finally narrowed our choices down to a hotel which costs SGD$130/person/night which only had semi double rooms (which means its a bed which was 120cm across, for 2 people to share) or a hostel which had proper beds but a shared toilet, but at a fraction of the price (I think it was like US$50 for 2 nights).
We ended up with the hostel, and had 2 days of the tatami lifestyle. Room looks quite spacious, but after putting out 3 tatami mats, we had to sit at 3 corners of the room cos there was hardly any space to move around... Interesting experience, though I don't quite want to experience it again...

1 comment:

Cavalock said...

i took the exact same pix as yr first pix but minus the beautiful sakura. there r lots of cool little shops leading up to the temple.