Apr 23, 2010
It's my sixth day in Kyoto and destinations were Lake Biwa and Ishiyamadera. We left off pretty late this time at 2:00 PM. The rest of the day, I stayed in my room surfing the net. I thought to myself maybe it's a nighttime tour. Miyako advised me to sleep during travel, because it will be a long drive to Lake Biwa. I did.
Ofcourse, when arriving at a body of water, you just have to ride a boat in it for fun, which is exactly what we did. Watching the sunset from a water vehicle can't get any better. It just makes you feel all "Jack Sparrow" and shit. After that long epic moment at Lake Biwa, we headed for Ishiyamadera where we saw some epic momiji . I'll tell you, they ARE epic.
On a sailing ship,
the sunset at Lake Biwa,
-that pirate feeling
After such a day, we obviously headed back to our hotel.
Apr 20, 2010
It's my fifth day in Kyoto and destinations were Sennyu-ji, Imakumano-Kannon-ji, Chishaku-in, and Kyoto Museum. We left off at 7:30 AM.
When we arrived at Sennyu-ji, I was once again amazed by the momiji of its garden. Imakumano-Kannon-ji is just beside Sennyu-ji so we just walked our way to it. To my surpirse, there was this tree that had the deepest red leaves. I went under it and stared into the sky. O_O was my expression for its beauty. I was driven back to my childhood and for some reason, I can hear a shamisen playing in my head.
Under the red tree
Under the clear, cloudless sky
-sound of shamisen
After such a religious experience, we went to Chishaku-in where I saw a kamon (don't know which family). Chishaku-in has a pretty cool interior and exterior. Even so, I still want to see this place in the night. Next, we went to the Kyoto Museum, which is just a walking distance from Chishaku-in. Believe it or not, it's like I walked from Japan to the Europe. Everything just changed, even the trees. It was cool to be able to learn about the history of Kyoto. I'm glad the capital was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo because I just don't want t see it get so urbanized. It's so much cooler this way.
After such a day, we went back to the New Miyako Hotel, as always.
Apr 13, 2010
We left of pretty early today at 3:00 am from the New Miyako Hotel and destinations were Nijo Castle, Enryaku-ji, and Takao. When we were heading for Nijo Castle, Miyako explained to me why we left off at 3 am. It is because the momiji, or autumn foliage, are best viewed when it is dark and not much people are around. I asked her if we are allowed to enter at this time. She said that we have a special pass, which made me realise why this tour is so expensive.
When we arrived at Nijo Castle, we saw the large moat that surrounded it. As we entered the main gate, I felt really excited when I saw the crimson trees. We entered the Ninomaru Palace through the karamon. I felt so amazed by the crimson foliage in it's garden. I thought the Ninomaru Palace was already the main castle, but Miyako showed me the way to the actual main castle. This place is not like how I pictured it before for it was way huge. I felt like going samurai again because of the falling leaves and all the wonderful shit that's in here. We stayed there until sunrise but I was never bored. The next stop was Enryaku-ji. It lies on high ground on Mt. Hiei. The autumn air was really fresh and I just felt like going Shugendo. The trees looked like they were bleeding and the mist just makes it all look unbelievable. We were really hungry so we ate at this place beside the temple. I wasn't able to understand what the name said but I was able to read "soba" in the name. I guess that explains why we were served soba. After Enryaku-ji, we headed towards Takao, which is a thinly populated, mountainous region of Kyoto that lies to the north of the Arashiyama district. Takao offers visitors scenic natural landscapes, and is known throughout Japan as a site for viewing the autumn leaves. In my opinion, this is the best place to shoot the Japanese version of Twilight. We started in Kouzan-ji, where you can see Japan's first tea plantation and FIRST MANGA. Walking around Kouzan-ji, I enjoyed the wonderful colours of the trees. We then bought some ice cream and headed for Saimyo-ji. When we got there, I just felt like flipping out and killing people (in a good way). I was mad-driven by the trees. Autumn is just my favourite season. This place is just like Tagaytay with autumn trees.
All along this road,
the first leaf has fallen since
the Bloom of Crimson
After such a great time momiji viewing, we headed back to the New Miyako Hotel.
Apr 8, 2010
Third day in Kyoto and destinations were Ryoan-ji, Ninna-ji, Uzumasa Studio and Kaikono Yashiro shrine. Ryoan-ji and Ninna-ji are Zen Buddhist temples, Uzumasa Studio is famous for making samurai movies, and Kaikono Yashiro is a Shinto shrine. We left off from the New Miyako Hotel at 7:45 am and headed for Ryoan-ji, which I have read a little bit about on the net.
Whilst heading towards Ryoan-ji, I can't help but to notice that the places we were passing were quite familiar. Then, it struck me. We were in Myoshin-ji again. Miyako told me that we had to pass here to reach Ryoan-ji and I laughed at the thought of it. When we reached Ryoan-ji, I was dazzled by the morning mist on the autumn trees in the entrance gate. It's a perfect place to shoot romantic dramae. We stayed there for about 3 hours because it was HUGE. We then ate at 竹林の里店 where we were served katsudon or fried pork chops. We then headed for Ninna-ji which was only a long walking distance from Ryoan-ji. It was a pleasure spending noontime here for the trees and pagodas shaded us from heat. I sat under the autumn tree by the five-storey pagoda where I reminisced my last summer days. After Ninna-ji, we went to Uzumasa studio. We saw where they shoot movies about traditional Japanese life such as samurai and ninja movies. The machiya and lanterns were awesome and so are the ninja actors and the moving tree. In Kaikono Yashiro, we passed under a torii and saw a kamidana and some other Shinto figures.
Third day in Kyoto,
walking in between the four
sides of Earth and Sky
After sightseeing, Miyako told me that now is my free time. I don't like shopping much so I just went with them back to the New Miyako Hotel where I took pictures of myself for the rest of the day.