Saturday, July 2, 2016

Japan 4/10 - Kyoto : Kinkakuji Temple, Arashiyama, Gion

"Travel makes you realize that no matter how much you know there's always more to learn" - unknown

Spectacular Kinkakuji/ Golden Pavilion, so beautiful :)
Day 3 - Monday , 18 April 2016
We arrived at Kyoto (Gionshijo) as schedule, 06.55, definitely happy to know that we are in Kyoto now! We go to our hostel to take a shower and put our bags. We stayed at Backpackers Hostel K's House, Kyoto, already booked from, no need to pay in advance or pay the deposit, just come to the hostel and show your booking confirmation. I made a review about this guest house if you want to check. The Bus stop is nearby Gionshijo St. (subway) so we took subway to Shichijo St. (¥150, 3min) then walking to our hostel, only 5 -10 minutes to the hostel which not really far. The hostel was looking so good from the appearance and when we walked in, it's really nice, the staff are Japanese and really nice too. We asked if we can put our luggage here, take a shower, and they welcome us. Took a shower at that time was soooo refereshing, we went to 2nd floor to the lounge room and the lounge looks spacious, clean and homey.
alight at Gionshijo Station
Subway ticket to Shichijo
Inside the subway
Bought City All Day Pass Kyoto at receptionist, ¥500 which definitely good deal instead you always pay for single ticket because in Kyoto mostly bus charge flat rate, ¥230/way, so use this pass to maximize your journey around Kyoto :) They also have a great bus map that will help you along the way. We walked around 10 - 20 minutes to Kyoto Station to take bus to our first stop, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion). Kyoto Station is really huge and center of every transportation, and also there are lot of shopping center around and even inside the station. The bus terminal was so awesome, no way you will get lost there, if you think you are lost, that's just you might not get used to yet, above your head you may see the signage everywhere and there are signs too in the, even they have sign in the floor for queuing the bus. When we get there we ask people around directly, haha and just found out those signs actually everywhere.
Heading to Kyoto Station
Bus Number sign on the floor
Kyoto City One Day Pass ¥500
It took around 40 minutes from Kyoto Station to Kinkakuji Temple, we left our hostel at 10.30 AM. To enter Kinkakuji Temple, admission ¥400, so many people there and it's not that far to see the Golden Pavilion, it's the main attraction there, the temple was sooo beautiful, located in the middle of the lake, Kinkakuji is a Zen Buddhist Temple in Kyoto and designated as a National Special Historic Site and a National Special Landscape, located in northern Kyoto. Wandering around the temple, following their path and we off to Ryoanji Temple by walking. 
Kinkakuji Temple Ticket ¥400
Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji Temple) so beautiful
Phoenix on the top :)

It was so quite and nice to walking in that area, we decided not to go in to Ryoanji Temple because we are more interesting to go to Arashiyama and if we saw the map, it is located in the west side of Kyoto which quite far, we took Randen (similar like train but slower) from Ryoanji (Kitano Line, B7), cost ¥210 (flat rate), we need to change train at Satsueisho-mae (B1) to Arashiyama Line, Katabiranotsuji (A8) to last stop at Arashiyama (A13), you can ask the officer if you want to make sure again. Taking this train make me could see another side of Japan, mostly people that took this train is old people, the train looks old-ish too :) but it was really nice to see many grandmother and grandfather there, I saw few old people no need to pay, and the officer was very kind. Anyway you need to prepare the cost, they don't give you change. Just get in to the train and pay later when you want to get off the train.
Stay fit with my drink selection hehe
My Lunch in backpacker style ¥198
on the way to Ryoanji Temple
decided not to enter Ryoanji Temple though hoho
I love flowers
on our way to take tram to Arashiyama
the tram...hohoh another transportation we tried
Strolling around Arashiyama, passing the bridge, river, eating matcha soft ice cream ¥300, window shopping, so happy the weather was friendly too, but of course we already prepared our umbrella, just in case :) Heading to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, I know that we have plenty of that in my country but it's slightly different in here so why not? hahaha along the way we found some temple that actually not in our itinerary but thinking of that as a bonus, especially if free entrance, hmmm it's great though :)
Arrived at Arashiyama :)
Matcha Soft Ice Cream ¥300
The Bamboo Forest is very big, we wander around and actually we are looking where usually people take those great pictures haha, it was one of our reason came here, to prove it. There are also ricksaw driver around the bamboo forest area, you can strolling around with this ricksaw while enjoying the view. Ricksaw is a two-wheeled passenger cart and pulled by a man, human-powered-vehicle, haha you can choose the cart based on the one that pulled it too if you want :p I don't know why but usually they wear tight pants and they wear special footwear.

enjoying view with Ricksaw
the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, top spot in Kyoto
Arashiyama is a promenade place to enjoying the view, nature, and temple wandering along the way. If you go to Kyoto, you can put this place on your list, I think it's nothing much to see in this place but visiting this place at least once if you already in Kyoto. There is a small stall selling ramen or udon in reasonable price but we didn't try since we still fulled, and we had little regret because of that haha, the stall is so full with people and it gained us curiosity. We went by bus from Arashiyama (Nonomiya) to Nanzenji area on the east part of Kyoto to go to Philosophers Path, it took almost an hour from west to east side of Kyoto. Philosophers Path is a pleasant stone path at northern part of Higashiyama district and you may find cherry blossoms along the line, which is because of that we really want to see that,   but too bad the cherry blossoms already fallen so the view that we expected was not there, with approximately 2km long from Nanzenji to Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) but we didn't walk for that long, haha, we prefer to go to Higashiyama since they said most shops at Higashiyama will close around 5 or 6 PM so we went there by bus to Gion area and start wandering from there.
Philosophers Path but too bad fall already
We found so many nice spots to take pictures or even just strolling around, some people wearing yukata/kimono there, traditional clothes from Japan. You can rent that for ¥3000 and you can even had make up and hair-do too. The colors are so pretty. Our next destination is Kiyomizudera Temple, and along the way there was soooo packed with people, shops where sometimes you can have the snack samples too which so yummy and souvenir shop is everywhere if you want to buy souvenirs for beloved ones, the traditional feeling was make me very happy there.
Higashiyama district
Yasaka Koushindo, those tied colourful clothes called Kukurizaru

Kiyomizudera Temple, one of signature World Heritage sites in Kyoto with over 1200 years of history. The famous spot in here is Otowa Waterfall located at the base of the main hall. It divided in 3 separate streams and visitors can use cups attached in long poles to drink from it. Each stream has different benefit such as longevity, success at school and fortunate of love life but some said you can only choose one :) we tried this one and the queuing kinda long but it was nice experience, the admission fee for Kiyomizudera Temple is ¥400, from there we went to Sanjusangendo Temple by bus, but too bad it closed already so we decided to go tomorrow.
Otowa Waterfall, what your wish for?
Kiyomizudera Temple
packed with people
Hello Kitty souvenir shop
closed T_T
From there we took the bus and went to Gion area to hunting Geisha which is I know it would be difficult haha but seeing Gion at night was so pleasure, we wander around, we bought another meals at Family Mart as usual haha and we get in to Takashimaya, hoping to find foodcourt and the officer told us, the foodcourt is located at upper floor and we went there and oops it's not a foodcourt that we wish for but actually it's restaurant which so expensive and not fit in our budget haha..but we found a bench near escalator which is pretty quiet and we sat there and eating our meals haha, cheaper way yet comfortable with aircon and also great wifi :p On the opposite of Takashimaya I saw Disney Store and sooo cute, at beginning my friend didn't want to go there but finally we get in and she shops quite a lot, haha xDD From there we walked again and waiting for our bus to go back tp our guest house, we went back late at night but we were so happy and since the guest house gave us 50% Discount Coupon for drinks at the bar next to our guest house, we decided to use it and I choose Sake at that night
Gion Gion
that Disney captured my eyes
couldn't resist to enter :D

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