京都… KYOTO! (Day 2)

Day 2 of Kyoto (see Day 1 here)!

But before I get there, I was in a hurry to post the last post and forgot to include this video from the fire ramen shop that we were at on our first night…

 
Anyway, the next day, we woke up at 7am, and were out and heading towards Fushimi Inari Taisha by 8am!  Fushimi Inari Taisha is a shrine at the base of a mountain named Inari.  According to Wiki, Inari is the god of rice, but we had no idea when we were there! I believe the main part of the shrine is at the base of the mountain, but you can snake up to the top (about 2 hours to get up and down) through beautiful paths lined with red painted gates and little shrines. It was especially beautiful in the morning, with the sunlight shining through the trees.  The higher we went, the less people we saw which was great. We also went fairly early so I think we may have beat the rush.

Cute street with shops and vendors leading up to the shrine area!
At the front! Behind me is a water purification stop! (JF)
A little shrine off to the side!
Paper crane chains hear that shrine – they were beautiful!

 

Another view.
There were quite a few areas with wooden structures like this one, on which people could hang up these little tine gate or fox ornaments with messages written on them!
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine had TON of stone fox statues! Foxes are seen as messengers, and they often had keys in their mouth at this shrine. (JF)
And this… this was the beginning of many goosebump inducing moments!! :o
(JF)
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This area was beautiful! Little shrines and memorials built into the hillside.  If you veered off the main path you could follow the twisting cobblestones and climb up through the shrines. They reminded me of graves though…
(JF)
We made it to the top!! It was hella sunny so I apologize for my super shadowy face. (JF)
(JF)

 

On our way out, we bought some food! This is called Mitarashi dango! Dango is a type of rice dumpling, and they are covered with a sweet soy sauce! They are then grilled a little bit and served warm. :) They were so delicious!!!
Then we went to Ginkaku-ji! It translates to the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, but we found ourselves calling it the Silver Pavilion oftentimes. It was created with Kinkaku-ji in mind, and boasts some absolutely beautiful gardens. The pavilion itself is not covered in silver foil because the creator passed away before being able to complete it, so they left it as it was.  This is called wabi-sabi, an approach to art which values finding beauty in unfinished products and imperfections. Anyway, as usual, knew nothing of this when we went to visit, and we actually couldn’t even figure out which building was the Silver Pavilion… D: But the grounds were beautiful, and it was really peaceful to walk around and look at all the landscaping.
This striped sand formation was called Ginshadan!

 

Across the pond… we think that one of these buildings was the Silver Pavilion…

 

(JF)
Me with… maybe the Silver Pavilion?? (JF)
On our way out of the Silver Pavilion, we stop to have a photo shoot LOL. (JF)
Our last big stop of the day was Kiyomizu-dera!  Kiyomizu-dera is a Bhuddist Temple founded in 780, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Mizu in Japanese means water, which is a core part of this temple! There are three streams of water inside the temple from which you can make wishes. There was a huge line up but I did not join them! Walking around was very nice, but we were very tired at this point.  The view from one part of the temple was beautiful though! I also got to watch people pray to Buddha (including Justin!).
At the entrance! (JF)
One of the pagodas near the entrance before we went inside.
A portion of the temple is supported by a wooden structure like this, which looks very impressive!
Different view of the above.

 

Another angle!
Kyoto in the distance!

 

Cute spots to grab a bite at a restaurant.
When we were done, we had okonomiyaki for dinner! Okonomiyaki are Japanese pancakes, which you can put almost anything into, as you can see here!

And that is about it! That was my Kyoto trip!! :)  I had most of this post written up for forever but for some reason it took me a very long time to post it!! But it’s all good! :) I hope you enjoyed! Kyoto was very nice, and I do want to go back again and visit some of the smaller temples that get less traffic.  It felt magical walking around in Kyoto and I loved the vibe. I will do my best to return to there sooner rather than later! :D

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