The posts and summary for the whole trip, can be found here
♥November 26th Tuesday♥
Daily routine during our visit to Japan was to walk to the train/subway/bus station to get to the destination we wanted to visit. That Tuesday, it was Eikando 永観堂 that we planned to visit.
We gave the girls ￥150 daily as ‘drink money’, so, they would always made a stop at the vending machine, cracked their heads to choose a drink of their choice.
We took the subway from Gojo Station 五条駅 to Karasuma Oike Station 烏丸御池駅 (Karasuma Line 烏丸線) and then changed train to get to Keage Station 蹴上駅 (Tōzai Line 東西線), the station closest to Eikando 永観堂.
From Japanese Search : At the southern end of the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, just north of Nanzen-ji, you will find Zenrin-ji. Zenrin-ji was the name given to the temple at its founding in 863. It means “Temple in a calm grove,” but few people use the name any longer. In the 11th century it became known as Eikando (永観堂禅林寺) after a famous head priest named Eikan. Eikan is attributed with acquiring the unusual Amida Buddha statue in the main worship hall. The head is turned sideways, and the legend goes that originally the statue faced forward, but turned to speak to Eikan as he was walking by.
Entrance ticket to the temple is ￥600 for adults and ￥400 for children. It’s one of the best temples to view autumn leaves per a lot of websites. The temple was very crowded the day we were there, but gorgeous indeed. You can see for yourself here.
It’s almost like a fairy tale!
After Eikando, we bought some onigiri at the road side as our lunch, and walked to Philosopher’s Walk/Philosopher’s Path 哲学の道. Maybe it was autumn, and there’s no cherry blossoms to view, it wasn’t that pretty. There were a couple of artists selling their art work along the walk.
And it’s home for a lot of (fat) cats.
Next we took a bus to Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺.
From the website : Located halfway up Otowa Mountain in the eastern part of Kyoto City, Kiyomizu-dera is a historic temple that was established in 778, even before Kyoto became the capital of Japan. Since its foundation, the temple has burned down many times. Most of the current buildings were rebuilt by the third Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu in the early Edo period (1631 to 1633).
From the bus stop, we walked along Higashiyama District, the city’s best preserved historic districts, with ancient streets lined with shops, eateries, to get to the temple; and picked up snack we fancied along the way.
I think it was a public holiday for Japanese the day we were there, there were so many people on the street, and of course the temple was extremely crowded.
We paid our entrance fee of ￥300 for adult, ￥200 for children, and joined the throng of people.
We went to Jishu Jinja 地主神社, a shrine dedicated to God of love and “good matches”.
A lot of couples were there making wishes, or probably pledging undying love for one another.
Otowa-no-taki 音羽の滝, the waterfall where visitors drink for health, longevity, and success in studies.
Kiyomizu-dera is best known for its ‘nail-less’ wooden stage (Kiyomizu Stage 清水の舞台) that juts out from its main hall, 13 meters above the hillside below, which gives a magnificent view of the city below. It was so crowded that day, people stood behind one another to get a chance to stand at the edge for photos; but it was worth the wait.
Kyoto City, with Kyoto Tower, can be seen clearly on that day.
We slowly walked back out.
Along the street there were lanterns, indicating there’s special night opening at Kiyomizu-dera, probably to see the autumn light up.
Yasaka Pagoda 八坂塔, is one of the most visible and recognizable landmarks in the Higashiyama District.
Outside of Kiyomizu-dera, more people were queuing to enter the temple for its night visit.
We came across many non-Japanese ladies (they spoke Chinese or Cantonese) beautifully made up in Kimonos walking around Kiyomizu-dera that day. It seems there are several kimono rental services in that area, starting from ￥3500, you can be a kimono clad Japanese for a day.
These 3 ladies, presumably from Hong Kong (they spoke Cantonese), were giggling, posing in front of a cream puff shop.
After the visitors started entering Kiyomizu-dera for their night visit, the streets quietened down slightly.
We found a small eatery nearby for dinner, and then headed to Gion 祇園 for shopping.
Supper was at Issen Yoshoku 壹錢洋食, a famous eatery at Gion. The restaurant only serves 1 dish, an Okonomiyaki-liked pancake. At ¥630, it draws a lot of local as well as foreign customers. It’s renowned for its logo, a dog pulling the underwear of a young boy; its unique interior, where kimono-clad mannequins serve as your dining companions/hostesses at every table; and also the wall deco which are actually ‘wishing plagues’ or Ema (絵馬) with sexual content.
We only ordered one ‘Okonomikyaki’ to be shared. I didn’t like it, the combination of everything mixed together wasn’t to my liking.
It was then time to walk to the nearest bus stop to take a bus back to our hotel.