Japan Trip : Kiyomizudera Temple and Pontocho, Kyoto

I was super excited that we were going to trace Jean Reno’s footsteps in Kiyomizudera. We watched Wasabi many years back and a short portrayal of Kiyomizudera left me in awe. I told CS, “I want to go this!”

I’ll introduce Kiyomizudera later on since we made the first stop at Ginkakuji since we are ‘on the way’. Ginkakuji was one of two famous Zen temples (yes, temples again) in Kyoto and the name stands for silver pavilion while the other one was named Kinkakuji as in golden pavilion.

Students, students, students.. it’s kids everywhere!

Once we got off the bus, all we need to do was to follow the crowd to Ginkakuji. Again, I was appalled at the sight of students everywhere. CS finally made the decision to forgo the temple and instead, took a walk at the nearby Philosopher’s Path.

Trees we saw on the way to Ginkakuji
Philosopher's Path, Kyoto
Philosopher’s Path
Philosopher's Path, Kyoto
We saw this display by the Philosopher’s Path, like a bear family having a fishing outing.
Philosopher's Path in Kyoto
A nice homey souvenir shop that I can’t resist using Vivid again.
Taking a bus in Kyoto by following the schedule board
A bus schedule board at the bus stop

The bus network in Kyoto is extensive, efficient and systematic. Bus stops can be found every few metres throughout the length of Kyoto main roads. The bus stops are just a pole with the ‘bus tracker’ on it. All you have to do is to know the number of the bus you’ll need to take.

We stopped at Heian Shrine for another round of look-look-see-see other than the need to use the washroom.

And finally it’s time for us to reach Kiyomizudera.

Again, the crowd was overwhelming and I had the deja-vu feeling not unlike what happened at Versailles Palace.

Herds and herds of tourists!

Walking up the platform of Kiyomizudera, we were treated with this view. We should have gone to Kyoto Tower.

Kiyomizudera love stone

A lot of people tried to the love stone fortune telling but CS forbade me to do it. The answer is obvious, isn’t it?

Kiyomizudera temple, Kyoto

Went a little further and we had a look back at the platform we were on just now.

Kiyomizudera wishing stream

Kiyomizudera’s compound is big and not restricted to the temple platform only. We queued up for the Otowa waterfall to catch and drink the water, that could grant our wish. It was only later, that I learned that each channel grants different wish. I think mine is ‘success in school’ which I don’t need anymore!

Tea house at Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto
A teahouse in Kiyomizudera
Pardon me as I took the bite off before taking its picture.

Walking back to the bus stop, we treat ourselves to cream puff with soft and creamy matcha ice cream.

By evening we had a walk in Pontocho, famous for its preservation of  traditional architecture and the many teahouses and high-end restaurants. It is also the best place to spot a Geisha. I wasn’t ready with my camera when it happened, when a Geisha walk swiftly amongst the crowd and the flashes went crazy. The Geisha certainly knows how to avoid all the lenses. Sorry all, I think you had my pictures instead!

Pontocho in Kyoto
Osho Gyoza in Kyoto

We had missed eating Gyoza in Tokyo and we certainly didn’t want to miss it in Kyoto. When we stumbled upon Ohsho Gyoza with the attractive menus pasted all over its window, we went straight in. Japan Gyoza are good stuff, indeed. They are big, full with moist and flavoursome filling. As we can’t be eating the Gyoza alone, we ordered for the fried rice which proved to be just as good as the Gyoza.

One flaw about Ohsho Gyoza though, was the hygiene. The dining section is okay but as we were on the second floor, they used the dummy waiter to deliver our food from the kitchen to the waiter there. But the dummy waiter was also used for transporting their dirty plates and cutlery not to mention that we saw a few strands of leftover noodles in there!

CS asked me not to look anymore and said “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.”

Read all my Japan trip here:
Japan Trip – Day 1 in Tokyo
Japan Trip – Day 2 in Tokyo
Japan Trip – Day 3 in Tokyo Asakusa and Ueno
Japan Trip – Day 4 in Tokyo – Kamakura
Japan Trip – Day 5 in Nikko
Japan Trip – Day 6 in Hiroshima
Japan Trip – Day 7 Miyajima and Hiroshima
Japan Trip – Day 8 Kyoto
Japan Trip – Day 9 in Nara
Japan Trip – Day 10 Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama
Japan Trip – Day 11 Kyoto
Japan Trip – Day 12 Kyoto – Yasaka, Maruyama Park, Nishiki Market

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