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Reisverslag Kyoto, March 9
9 maart 2020
Kyoto, March 9
Good afternoon everybody! How was your day? I hope well, I heard it rained in the Netherlands though. That’s a pity, here in Kyoto the weather today was 10/10!! The sun shone very bright and it was a nice temperature, not too hot that you’d sweat with bare minimum movement but also not that you’d have to carry a scarf with you. Don’t worry today I won’t talk about toilets again, I’ve informed you all enough about that.
Today w had to move from the Capsule hotel to Khaosan guesthouse. Which was literally maybe a 40M walk XD yes it’s on the same street practically next to each other, we didn’t know. Anyway we were hoping we could leave our luggage there before check in because we had to check out at 10AM and we could only check in at 3PM and otherwise we had to carry our luggage with us all the time. Luckily for us they had a special storage for luggage so we could be on our way!
After we left our luggage behind we decided to go and visit Kinkaku-ji. We noticed that Kyoto doesn’t really have as much metro stations as Osaka did. Here, in Kyoto’s center, everything mostly happens by bus. The bus has a flat fare which means you pay one standard price no matter where you’re going within the city, may it be a 10min ride or a 40min one, it will be the same price. What’s also fascinating is that the bus driver has a microphone on, he keeps informing the passengers whats happening. I can’t understand it since he’ll only speak in Japanese but every time we pull up he says something, when we’re nearing a stop, when the doors open and close and most important of all they thank every single passenger once they get off. You pay the flat fare when you get off, you either swipe your public transport card or pay the exact amount in cash, which is ¥230 btw about €2. So if there’s a line of people who need to get off you’ll hear the bus driver repeat ‘arigatou gozaimasu’ for every single passenger. It’s really polite and gives you more human interaction in my opinion. In the netherlands the bus driver sits in silence and you can wave at him when you get off but that’s about it when it comes to interaction. Well whatever back to today’s happenings.
Kinkaku-ji; also known as ‘The Golden Pavilion’. We wanted to go today because the weather was so nice and it is said that Kinkaku-ji is prettiest when the sun shines on it and boi was it pretty! :D As you can guess by the english name the temple has a gold appearance. Gold foil on lacquer covers the upper two levels on the temple. With on top of it a shining golden phoenix. Every level is built in a different style of architecture which together is representative of the Muromachi-period architecture. You weren’t allowed inside Kinkaku which is understandable, but they did have pictures of the inside. The third level is stunning the inside is also covered in gold foil and it just illuminates the whole room. The golden Pavilion is originally a Zen buddhist temple as the first floor contains a buddha hall which relics inside it. The garden and buildings surrounding the temple were said to represent the Pure lands of Buddha in this world.
Of course we took a few pictures of the temple and with us on it too. Though the weather was ideal it wasn’t super busy as you’d expect it to be. I still think it’s because of the precaution that there also aren’t as many tourist as normal, which is totally fine by me! A lot of things has reduced priced because some parts are closed due to precautions and you don’t have to deal with large crowds or fight for a good viewing spot.
After we were done sightseeing Kinkaku -ji we wanted to visit Ryoanji temple too, which is famous for it’s Zen garden. It was surrounded by a pretty pond with a small island in the middle where a small shrine was located. Via a cute little bridge you could get there and we took a beak there. The Kyoyochi pond, as it is called, was known for it’s many Mandarin ducks who roamed there until recent years. The island we were on was called Bentenjima. We continued our way to Ryoanji and once arrived we had to take off our shoes. It’s considered very rude to walk around in a temple with your shoes on, you either go on socks or with the provided slippers. We went on socks and explored the insides of the temple. It’s all so traditional and I absolutely love that Japanese traditional style. The Zen garden was located in the Temple itself and was surrounded by a small balcony where you were allowed to sit and relax in the sun. The zen, or also known as the Rock garden, is completely different from the beautiful gardens we have previously visited. There are no plants to be seen, instead is a 25m lengthy rectangle with 15 rocks who seem to be floating atop of white gravel. The gravel is perfectly raked in straight lines with circling ones around the 15 rocks. Here it’s said that the temple was a place to study and train a Zen mind.
And I totally get it. I could have sat there on the small balcony just watching the stones, bathing in the sunlight for hours. It’s so charming and if I have the chance to ever build a traditional Japanese house for me to live in, it’ll absolutely contain an inner garden like a lot of temples here do. It’s one of the things my dream house would contain.
(Bought a lot of cards there and send them today! Hopefully they’ll arrive soon)
It was in the after noon when we decided to head back to the guesthouse to check in. We had had a little snack at a cafe and were ready to relax a bit. The guesthouse is really cozy in my opinion. No fancy stuff whatsoever as if you’re lodging at a dormitory. The lobby has seating space which os really traditionally set up. It has chairs without the legs XD so like you’re sitting on the ground on a chair(?) idk if you get it anyway it’s meant for you to sit with your legs crossed. And they also have a kotatsu set up! Which is a small table which has a blanket around the sides which reach till the floor so your legs are covered and you’ll stay warm. Usually it’s set up in houses in the cold winter months but they have it permanently here! It’ super cute. I don’t have photos but I’ll attach some tomorrow in this log.
We got Italian for dinner and I still can’ get over how cheap it is here. Had dinner for €10 per person and I still am super full. Amazing! We have a bunkbed here and I’m in the top one. Going to sleep soon! I’m a bit tired of today~
Tomorrow it’s said to be a rainy day to we planned something indoor! We have a Furoshiki folding class + dye class at around 2:00PM, more about that tomorrow!
~ I’m sorry!
Foto's bij verslag (4)
9 maart 2020 16:40 | Door: Connie
Wat heerlijk dat het weer zo mooi was vandaag bij jullie. Weer van alles gezien, beleefd en gegeten. Jullie slapen denk ik al in jullie japans stapelbed. Kijk nu al uit naar het verslag van morgen.