The following day I decided to do the southern and northern Higashiyama area walking course, which supposedly takes a full day depending if I stop at all the temples and shrines along the way. I visited Sanjusangendo Temple first since it was just a walking distance from K’s House. This temple is famous for housing 1001 carved wooden statues of Kannon. The statues themselves are a national treasure in Japan, and it was awe-inspiring to see so many statues lined up and standing together. But if you plan to take a picture, forget about it, picture taking of those statues are not allowed, which was a disappointment.Kiyomizudera Temple
I hopped on the bus to visit Kiyomizudera temple, but I had no idea that the path leading to the temple itself required a bit of a climb.
Along the way to the temple I passed by several crafted goods and souvenir shops before finally arriving at the entrance with a red building in the front. Climbed up the stairs and saw Kiyomizudera temple itself. It was Saturday, so I wasn’t surprise to find a crowd of people near the balcony area. After I’ve spent some time looking around, I walked down and saw a group of people lined up near this small watering hole with 3 streams coming down. I read that you can drink that water and each stream has its own benefits; I didn’t line up to even attempt it because the last thing I need is to end up getting sick during this trip.Ryozen Kannon
I visited the souvenir shops afterwards, and bought some small souvenirs as well as a hot beef bun to eat along the way and regain my strength for my marathon walk.
As I walked north, I saw I huge Buddha statue, at first I was thinking should I go in to check it out, the place looked pretty boring. But each person is different, I’m not going to tell you not to check it out, it’s up to you really. This place was called Ryozen Kannon, which is a war memorial site commemorating those who died in World War 2, as well as the memorial of the unknown solder. It also houses a collection of soil from the countries that were part of the war. I saw the Philippines amongst the other countries. Chion-in Temple
By this time my feet started to hurt again. I took the wrong shoes for this trip, and I had developed a blister on both of my toes. I popped it earlier on the previous night to relieve some of the pressure, but the blisters will nag me throughout the remainder of my stay in Japan.
The good news is that I learned something from it as a result, and next time I’ll be sure to get comfortable shoes to take with me especially with the amount of walking uphill and downhill that I did. On the way I stopped by this massive brown wooden gate with a steep concrete stairs leading Chion-in Temple. Walking up those stairs was a lot of fun even though my feet were hurting. When I got to the top of the stairs, I saw some male students racing each other to the top while their teacher took a picture as several other students made their way up.Heian Shrine
The Higashiyama walking course was a lot of fun so far. And I was closing in on Heian shrine, which is one of the places I wanted to visit because of the movie Lost in Translation, which by the way is one of my favorite movies of all time.
Climbing the stairs to Chion-in Temple.
In fact I went to visit all the sites that were in the film. But before I did, I stopped by this local Japanese restaurant and had myself some ramen with some pork and eggs, as well as an ice cold beer. That ramen was delicious. I’ve eaten ramen in Japanese restaurants in the USA, but they can’t even compare to the ones I’ve had in Japan.
There I was finally at Heian shrine where Scarlett Johansson wandered around in her daytrip to Kyoto
. I didn’t stay that long at Heian, and headed east from there to visit another place that Scarlett visited, Nanzen-ji temple. I really like this temple, with the amount of lush greenery surrounding area.
Nanzen-ji Temple, aqueduct area.
Further back is an aqueduct, went up a flight of stairs to see water actually flowing. Now I’m not sure exactly where it was at, but I tried to look for the pond with the stepping stones across it where Scarlett Johansson walked. I was thinking it was in Nanzenji, but I couldn’t find it. I read later on that it was in Heian shrine. It’s not a big deal, but I would have loved to see it. Philosopher's Path
From Nanzen-ji, I walked north along the Philosopher’s path with the canal on my right side, as well as trees providing some shades. The path is lined with cherry trees, but they weren’t in bloom anymore. That would have been a sight to see. I was surprised not many people were walking the path; I thought it would be crowded since it was a Saturday.
I passed by many residential houses which where really nice. I was thinking to myself, I would love to live here, such a nice quiet and clean location, I think I could be happy here. I walked further north and saw some souvenir shops and cafes. It was very pleasant to walk along the path. I was nearing the end of the Higashiyama walk, but I had one more site to see.Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion) Temple
Ginkaku-ji Temple also known as the Silver Pavilion, which looked similar to the Golden Pavilion, but really the term Silver Pavilion is sort of a misnomer since the building itself isn’t covered in silver. I barely made it to Ginkaku-ji, and they were about to close in 30 minutes. I liked this temple way better than Kinkaku-ji.
Kinkaku-ji Temple(Silver Pavilion).
It’s small, simple, not too flashy, and the pond garden really complemented it. They also had a really nice grey sand garden. Along the back is a path uphill, and on the very top is a beautiful view of Ginkaku-ji and its sand garden, as well of Kyoto in the distance. The view did it for me; it beats out Golden Pavilion easily in my books. It was 6 pm when I arrived at Kyoto station, and decided to eat there again. It’s almost been a nightly deal for me, going to the 10th and 11th floor restaurants to eat. I don’t really remember what I ate for dinner than night, all I knew was that it was a set meal for about 1500 yen. After dinner, I went down the steps and sat down. I took pictures of Kyoto station again at night trying to improve my skills in nighttime photography.
View from the top of the hill.
Again I saw so many lovely couples whether they were dating or not sitting together along the side of the stairs enjoying the view of Kyoto station. There I was taking pictures, and then all of a sudden I got flashbacks of loneliness. I couldn’t take it so I left once again. I went back to the hostel and slowly my roommates started arriving soon afterwards, and we shared our experiences that day. One of them said it was going to rain tomorrow, but I hope it wouldn’t.