Japan: Day 6 – Kyoto (Part 2)

There are so many pretty places to visit in Kyoto that it’s impossible to visit them all in one day. Here’s where we went with Goto-san on day two.

We started the day with a visit to Fushimi Inari shrine. It’s a shrine dedicated to rice, agriculture and in more modern times, business. It’s famous for the thousands of torii that line the path leading to the inner shrine. Each torii is a donation by a Japanese business. For 175,000 JPY you too can have your own torii at Fushimi Inari.

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Entrance to the main shrine

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O-mikuji, fortune and blessings tied after they’ve been read

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The path of the torii viewed from one side. It takes approximately two hours to walk the 4 kilometres of the path. Unfortunately we did not have time to walk the whole path. 

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And the same path from the other side with the names of the patrons

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Us:)

From Fushimi Inari we went to Sanjusangen-do, a Buddhist temple that houses 1000 life sized statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon (bodhisattva) carved in Japanese cypress and painted in gold leaf. Unfortunately, photos are not allowed inside the temple. Our visit to the temple coincided with the annual archery tournament referred to as Toshiya. The contest has been occurring for over 400 years. This made our visit a bit crowded but on a more positive note, admission was free for the day and the atmosphere was very festive with all of the Toshiya participants dressed in their traditional kimonos and holding their long bows.

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Crowd of Toshiya participants with their long bows

 

 

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Female participants in their beautiful traditional kimonos

 

We left crowded Sanjusangen-do for the quieter atmosphere of the Nishijin Textile Center. We went there purely for the free 10-minute kimono show. This stop is only worthwhile if you have a special interest in textiles or you really want to see a real kimono, otherwise don’t bother. We didn’t feel like this was the best use of our time.

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Really pretty kimono

After Nishijin Textile Center, we took an interesting walk through Nishiki Market (a.k.a. Kyoto’s kitchen).

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All kinds of fresh seafood

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The Japanese love pickled vegetables. We have come to really appreciate the many varieties and flavours.

 

We ended our day with a quick stop at one final Shinto shrine, Heian Shrine, before taking a last stroll through Gion to complete our time in Kyoto.

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Entrance to Heian Shrine

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The usual display of o-mikuji at the shrine

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Geisha of Gion? No, just a bride getting her wedding photos taken in a traditional kimono in Gion. A perfect ending for a visit to Kyoto.

 

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