3 Locations In 3 Days
Day 3: KyotoYou can't fully understand how culturally significant Kyoto is to Japan until you have seen it for yourself. The city is full of the old temples, classic artisan shops, and historic natural sites that we envision when we daydream about traditional Japan. But I always suspected that the real thing would not be as majestic as it appeared in my imagination. Well, guess what? I have been proven wrong.
Out of the city's 2000-something religious sites, there are two particularly outstanding ones that you must make sure to journey to and through: Fushimi Inari-taisha and Kiyomizu-dera.
. . . . . . . . . .
Among Japanese people, there is a common expression: "leaping off the edge of Kiyomizu" (kiyomizu no butai kara tobi oriru), which I believe is equivalent to "taking the plunge" or "taking the great leap of faith". I challenge you to use the expression. ;]
[photo by my friend, Oye Jarusilawong]
|Bought this orange umbrella on a whim that sunny day.|
The fun part about visiting Kiyomizu-dera is that the uphill path up to the legendary temple is flanked by two seemingly endless rows of homey novelty shops. TIP: do your best to ignore the shops while going up to the temple; enjoy every bit of them on your way down. And look for a totoro. It'll lead you to an inner cove of Ghibli.
Stopped by Kyoto Station for lunch before heading to the final stop in our adventure...
The last stop: Arashiyama ("Storm Mountain"), a peaceful, scenic district in Kyoto that contains the Sagano bamboo forest (among other notable natural sites). Strolling through the bamboo forest is a suspended moment too beautiful for words to accurately portray. You are surrounded by tall shoots that seem to penetrate the blinding sky and have no end. The only sounds you hear are subtle chirpings of crickets and birds and the silent awes from you and fellow travelers. Your eyes can't escape the purest greenery that you thought had gone extinct by this century. It was another dimension that I wished I could have lingered in a little while longer.
|You can opt for this too.|
|"Arigatou gozaimasu" (Thank you.)|
Man in the forest who makes postcards.