Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kyoto - Philosopher's Path (哲学の道, Tetsugaku no Michi)

One of the places which I really wanted to go to in Kyoto was the Philosopher's Path. I've been to Kyoto twice before, but both times, I missed this. It takes around 4-5h (if you're slow and ploddy like us, and keep getting distracted by shops and food along the way) but I think it's very walkable within 2h. The Philosopher's Path is a great place for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) and it was really crowded, because the cherry blossoms were just after full bloom, and the trees were full of cherry blossom, which occasionally drifted down when the wind blew strongly. Walking along the cherry tree lined canal was really nice, and the canal was full of cherry blossom petals. We also spotted lots of cats along the path. The Japanese really like cats, and the cats there are all so round and well fed, and they never look mottled or scrawny like the strays here. We nicknamed the cats above Mochi and Dango, cos there were so round and white.
More cats eating.
Another cat
Store which sells only cat related stuffJapanese masks. I like the fox mask.
Artist along the Philosopher's path
I think I am such an old person when I travel. I really enjoy sitting down and eating, especially if it's under cherry blossom trees in full bloom, and I would very truthfully much rather do this than cheonging about Universal Studios and Disneyland and sea (anyway, everything is in Japanese, so can't understand much! And it's so crowded and one has to queue for nearly an hour to get onto a ride which lasts a few minutes. So, a great part of my trip was devoted to sitting and eating, and the Philosopher's Path was no exception.
We all ate so much along the path, and within 10min of stepping off bus 100 (the tourist bus in Kyoto), we were already eating. I got myself this drink called amazake (甘酒), which is a sweet, traditional Japanese drink, which is served warm. Its something like mulled wine, just that it's more like mulled sake. The drink has the same ingredients as sake, and it's brewed so that there is very little or no alcoholic content. There's also a bit of grated ginger, so the drink is very warming and spicy. It was served to me with a cup of hot tea. The drink has a consistency of thin rice gruel, and has little bits of rice in it.
To accompany my amazake, I had this special snack called shiromiso dango. I've only seen it once this whole trip. Instead of the usual dark brown miso, the miso used here looks more like condensed milk, and it's sweet and salty at the same time, compared to the brown miso which is alot more salty. The dango from this stall is grilled over a charcoal fire.
More on the amazake This is the shop where I had my Amazake, and it's along the path leading up to the Ginkakuji (Silver Pavillion) right at the start of the Philosopher's walk. We didn't go into the Ginkakuji cos the entrance fee was around SGD$7.50.We were trying to look for another temple along the Philosopher's path (if I'm not wrong it's the Nazenji temple) and we even crawled up a very steep slope looking for it, but we couldn't find it! But we found a very quiet, nice forested area (and a cemetry).More stuff along the Philosopher's PathDucks swimming in the canal.This old lady is very cute! She was using a featherduster to brush off all the cherry blossom petals which fell onto the car. Her house is surrounded by lots of cherry blossom trees. I really like the quaint, 2 -3 storey houses in Kyoto - feels like you're stepping back in time.
This is another temple/shrine which we stumbled upon. I'm not too sure but it might be the Eikando temple(?). Oh well, this was at the end of the walk and we were really tired from walking.
Kyoto's houses all look like these. So nice and quaint! I think Kyoto is such a nice place to retire in (minus all the high cost of living and healthcare in Japan). I think I will like to retire here and spend the rest of my time slowly walking around the Philosopher's path, Kiomizudera, and visit Uji and Fushimi Inari Shrine.The JR Kyoto station, which is where the bullet train will take you to. It's probably one of the bigger, more mordern structures in Kyoto. Some people say it's ugly, cos it sticks out like a sore thumb amongst all the shorter buildings. But I think it looks quite nice at night.
Hope I have enough money to stay here in the future when I visit Kyoto. It's Kyoto's most luxurious hotel, the Granvia Kyoto. It's so nice and posh! (We stayed in some hostel and had to roll out our own tatami mats and it was quite dusty, and we had to share the toilet >.<)

More food posts from Kyoto coming up!

Back to my miserable life now. I'll be so haggard and old by next year if this keeps up!! Depressing +++!


ice said...

I so want to go!

Cavalock said...

that's where i stayed when i was in Kyoto! its real convenient cos its right at the train station.