In the afternoon of our first day in Kyoto we headed over to Kiyomizu temple in the Higashiyama area. We've both been there a few times. It was one of the first temples I ever visited in Japan in fact, I rang in the millennium there way back on January 1, 2000.
Its always crowded. The big platform overlooking the city is the main draw:
We stood and enjoyed the view for a moment. Damn that double chin!:
We had lunch there at an outdoor vendor, sitting on fold up tables overlooking the valley:
We enjoyed our Udon. The coke was for me:
The best part of Kiyomizu isn't the temple itself but the winding alleyways leading up to it. They are one of the few places in Japan where you can actually see unbroken stretches of traditional looking architecture. They are crowded, have a mercantile atmosphere to them and are in no way indicative of what such streets actually looked like in the Edo era, but they are still quite fun to walk around. The shopping street looks quite nice with the cherry blossoms in full bloom too:These eventually led us to Maruyama Koen, a park in the middle of the Higashiyama area of Eastern Kyoto. Cherry blossom season was just beginning and it is the centre of Kyoto's Hanami activity, so it was bustling.
We sat down for a snack amongst the colorful vendors:
After that we did a bit more wandering around before crashing exhausted at our hotel (on that, see future post on the hazards of choosing the cheapest night bus to Kyoto). The following day's activities are detailed in the next post.
- Kyoto the Trip! Part 1 - Tofukuji and Sanjusangendo
- Kyoto the Trip! Part 3 - Ryoanji and Ninnaji
- Kyoto the Trip! Part 4 - Shopping Arcades by Night
- Kyoto the Trip! Part 5 - Antiquing Kyoto Style
- Kyoto the Trip! Part 6 - Cute Buddhist Statues
- Kyoto the Trip! Part 7 - Ohara and the Wrath of Mount Hiei
- Kyoto the Trip! Part 8 - Kyoto Station vs. Kyoto Tower