Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Other Bits - My 2019 Japan Trip - Pt 3 (Kyoto)

Mount Fuji can be seen quite clearly from the plane as we arrive.
We land in Osaka and so have to take the train to Kyoto.

Time to check-in to our hotel - The S-Peria Hotel.
We chose this hotel based on the close proximity to the train station, which was about 500m away. Right behind our hotel (about 150m away) was a convenience store which was really CONVENIENT - especially for the midnight snack to sate the hunger pangs in the cold weather!
Pontocho Alley
Very interesting pieces of art LITERALLY in the stream itself!
What blew my mind was that this elderly gentleman was doing a performance IN THE COLD WATER! 
Yup, the mochi IS AS GOOD AS IT LOOKS! They even provided us Japanese Tea to wash it down.
Kamogawa River
Immediately as you venture out of Pontocho Alley, you will see the Kamogawa River.
We see 1 of the hipster Owl Cafes as we explore the vicinity. 
 The Japanese girls here are very friendly and if you asked them, they'd pose for a photo for you.

Higashi-Honganji Temple
Located just a stone's throw away from the Kyoto Tower is the Higashi-Honganji Temple.

The Chrysanthemum here are humongous. Each flower is about the size of my face.
The wood used in the construction of the temple is simply breathtaking. I was unable to truly capture its beauty with my camera. 
There's this oddly unusual looking creature that seemed to be everywhere in Kyoto! Many places seem to have a statue of it in the store front. We tried to ask the locals what it was and they did try to explain it but they couldn't explain it to us in English. So I conclude that it's a mythical creature from local folklore BUT after researching it, it was a wrong conclusion. It's actually a lucky charm named Tanuki (a raccoon dog) to bring good fortune to businesses. Thus, much like the Lucky Waving Cat, we see them outside of stores. 
Nishiki Market (aka Kyoto's Kitchen).
A must see location when you visit Kyoto. Just like Chinatown (Petaling Street in KL).
Here are photos of 2 different entrances to the market.
According to Wikipedia, there are over 100 merchants in Nishiki.
Yasaka Shine
It was already late in the afternoon when we arrived at the shrine.
   It's quite fortunate that we had been there at that time. If not, we may have missed the lit lanterns that looked so good.
 On our way back to our hotel by train after a long day. The Kyoto Station train terminal is just across the Kyoto Tower.
Halloween themed light show.
View from the roof of the Kyoto Station.
Just the right time to grab some dinner before heading home on the train.
This is another variant of the Tanuki inside the restaurant.