The posts and summary for the whole trip, can be found here
♥November 24th Sunday♥
Weather forecast for that day was clear and sunny, so we decided to go to Arayashiyama 嵐山, which is another to go places on my list.
We walked to Kyoto Station to take a JR train, and stopped at a Drug Shop to stock up on snack. We just love the drug shops there which sell a wide variety of things.
Saga-Arashiyama Station 嵯峨嵐山駅 is just 15mins away. Upon arrival, we picked up a map from the JR station which provides walking route options, and what to see on each route (these sort of maps are common at JR stations). This round, we didn’t want to walk with an empty stomach, so we bought our lunch from a nearby Lawson (24hrs convenient shop), before we started our walk.
When we were approaching Daikakuji 大覚寺 (our 1st destination), there were lots of big banners with 大根供養 written on it. I know it has got something to do with daikon or radish, so I went to check further.
The temple was doing a Daikon-kuyo 大根供養 (Daikon Memorial Festival). From one of the ladies who were serving the daikon, we were told the daikon was offered to Buddha, and after that, they will be cooked and served to the public and those who eat the daikon will be blessed.
The daikon was cooked in these big pots for 3 days.
We ordered a portion (￥900) from these ladies.
They gave us an extra portion when they knew we were foreigners. Oh boy, the daikon was so delicious!! So glad we tried it.
We were warmly sent off by the ladies after our daikon break. Paid for our tickets (￥500 for adult, and ￥250 for children) and then entered the grounds of Daikakuji 大覚寺.
(Per Japan-Gude: Daikakuji was originally built in the early 800s as the detached palace of Emperor Saga, who thoroughly enjoyed spending time in this calm area on the outskirts of Kyoto. Thirty years after the emperor’s death, the palace was converted into a temple and has since been one of the highest ranked temples of Shingon Buddhism.)
We found a spot at the garden, and had our picnic lunch while the hubs went to take shots of the Osawa Pond (the oldest man made pond in Japan).
After lunch (and waiting 30mins for the hubs to finish his photo shooting), we went into the Temple which is made up of several buildings connected by elevated wooden walkways.
As a security measure, the covered corridors has low ceilings so that no one can swing swords or spears, and the floor is uguisu-bari (nightingale floor) which squeaked quietly as you walk over them ensuring none could sneak through the corridors undetected.
The temple is beautifully landscaped with some nice autumn leave viewing spot.
Taken from Secred Destination: From the Heian (794-1185) to Edo (1603-1868) periods, the destitute of the Adashino area brought their dead to this hill, leaving the bodies exposed to the elements. Receiving no tombstone or proper burial, their souls were honored by stone Buddhas.
The place is so beautiful with autumn leaves scattered on the mossy ground and the mysterious looking roughly cut stone Buddhas every where.
Exiting Adashino Nenbutsuji, we walked through an old street where the buildings are traditional machiya (“town houses”) that served as private residences but are now converted to shops and restaurants.
Since there was still some sunlight (although it was soon getting dark), we made a quick stop at Gioji Temple 祗王寺 (￥300 for adult, and ￥150 for children), a nunnery with a small thatched building and an equally small moss garden.
The temple was so small, we covered it in about 15mins.
We walked back to the town area of Arashiyama. I do like this town as there are lots of beautiful houses, and little temples here and there (not mentioned in the guide or the JR map).
We made a stop at Bruce 2 as my guidebook has recommended the shop to get hand made little ‘man’ pencil case.
I bought myself one as a souvenir.
Not knowingly we reached the Arashiyama Station (Keifuku Line), where a bust of activities were going on. Tenryuji 天龍寺 temple was having autumn light up (i.e. the temple garden got lit up to highlight the autumn colours in the night), there was a counter selling some packages, ie. train ticket + ticket to view the autumn light up, and people were queuing up to buy them. We joined the crowd as well. Got our tickets, had a simple dinner at the station, and then walked to Tenryuji to view the light up.
It was an extremely cold night and the place was packed; although the crowd was orderly, I didn’t enjoy myself at all.
After this, we took the train and headed back to Kyoto. It was a long day, and we walked a lot and I was again amazed with the girls’ stamina and ability especially in this cold weather.