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22.2.16

JAPAN TRIP: DAY 10 Kyoto - Kiyomizu Dera, Nishiki Market, Tsujiri Honten, Gion


Finally day 10! Getting closer to the end of the trip. Well, I should be finishing these Japan trip series soon. It has been almost a year, geez, time really goes by so quickly. So, early morning on the tenth day, I arrived at Kyoto. The arrival location was in front of the Centnovum Hotel, and from there, we decided to walk to our guesthouse which wasn't so close, but anyway, it was still early in the morning, so just count it as a morning exercise - a 30 minutes guided with Google Maps walking while carrying our 29" luggage.

Thanks to Google Maps, we arrived safely at Santiago Guesthouse, dropped our luggage, took a shower, then we were off to our first stop Kiyomizu Dera which was around 15 minutes walk from the guesthouse.


Our stomachs were still empty, luckily a convenience store was around the corner. We stopped by to grab our breakfast. Can I say this once again? I really love Japanese convenience stores. I don't remember any convenience store's food that disappointed me.

We continued our walk after the breakfast. It was an uphill walk. You'll know that you're getting closer to the tourist spot when you find shops all around you - souvenir shops, snack shops, dessert shops.






It was Friday morning, and the crowd was quite huge. I met many high-school kids in groups. Also around Kyoto area, you'll meet a lot of girls dressed in Kimonos. There are quite plenty of Kimono rentals around Kyoto, for Kyoto is known for its traditional charm. You could just feel that different vibe when you enter Kyoto, compared to other popular cities like Tokyo or Osaka.





You may say that seeing people wearing traditional clothes in Kyoto is usual, but how about a goat? I don't know if it's something common in Kyoto or what, but I did see this pretty in pink goat in front of Kiyomizu Dera entrance.


So, here it was, one of the most visited place in Kyoto, Kiyomizu Dera.


Kiyomizu Dera is a Buddhist temple which is part of  Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site.



The view from Kiyomizu Dera was indeed breathtaking, moreover when the sky is wonderfully bright like when I came. You could see the pretty blue sky covering the city from this place.



The entrance fee to the Kiyomizu Temple is JPY 400.


Kiyomizu Dera is best known for its wooden stage, as you may see from my picture below. Visitors can see nice view from the stage, 13 meters above the hillside below.







Behind the temple is Jishu Shrine. Around this area, you may find a lot of talismans being sold, mostly about love relationships.











Heading down from the temple, I found a man dressed in a monk robe while holding a bowl. At first I thought it was regular for a Japanese beggar to dress like that, but apparently it was called Takuhatsu - the practice of alms-begging, one of the disciplines undertaken by Buddhist monks. But it is also mentioned that there are people who aren't monks but dressed this way just for the sake of money.


You may also find this kind of stone statues called Jizō, It was said that parents adorn the  Jizō with red bibs as signs for asking Jizo’s protection of a child who has died in the afterlife, or for saving an ill child.


And below is the Otowa Waterfall that have three streams where visitors come to drink water from them, namely to cause longevity, success at school and a fortunate love life. 


From Kiyomizu Dera, we headed to Shijo area for lunch. Once again we walked. Originally I wanted to visit Nishiki Market, so I checked what restaurants were around that area, then I found Ippudo. So we walked there, guided by Google Maps. I love walking around Kyoto, the surroundings were nice.




After around half an hour walk and few times stopping by some nice shops some nice shops along the way we found the Ippudo Ramen shop. Well, we have on here in Jakarta, but I just want to try the real Japanese one.


A bowl of Shiromaru Motoaji with Tamago will cost you JPY 980. No complain about the taste, but still Ippudo hasn't been able to be my number one favorite ramen.


Just a few steps from Ippudo, you'll find Nishiki Market. What can you find here? Food, lotsa food!








And when I think I wouldn't shop at Kyoto (I had this imagination in my mind that it would only be temple and environmental visits in Kyoto), I found Teramachi Shopping Arcade next to Nishiki Market. You could find a lot of clothing store there, a lot of them had reasonable price, I even found one clothing store where I bought two dresses for less than JPY 2,500 or IDR 300,000. I found myself going back and forth to this area every single day I spent in Kyoto. Just a walk a little bit more, you'll find more interesting shops around the area. Apparently, Kyoto is quite dangerous for your wallet.

After the unpredictable shopping spree, we headed to our next stop for an afternoon dessert time. This day was a walking course day, we really walked all day from here to there. We walked around 15 minutes from Nishiki Market-Teramachi area to our destination Tsujiri Honten (Tea house).

We walked across the Kamo River which is a popular walking spot for residents and tourists.


We also passed by the Gion-Shijo station.



And finally we found this famous tea house Tsujiri Honten! The first floor is a tea store, where you can find many kinds of Japanese tea, really, there were  many of them. The teahouse was on the next floor, and as you could see, there was a queue that showed you that this place is indeed popular.


We didn't queue for so long, 15-20 minutes I guess. The place wasn't fancy or what, just filled with people from all ages enjoying their tea-based dessert.


Upon ordering, they would serve you a cup of hojicha (brown tea) that tasted really good. I bought a few boxes on the first floor. Their packaging was really nice and creative!



And here was my dessert that afternoon.


This combination of  matcha whipped cream, matcha castella, chestnuts, matcha jelly, matcha ice cream, azuki bean paste, rice dumplings, matcha sherbet, vanilla ice cream, matcha syrup and agar jelly cube costed me around JPY 1,300, quite pricey huh? But I think the experience worth it. It was indeed delicious!

From Tsujiri, we went back to our guesthouse through Gion area. This area is well known as a geisha district in Kyoto. I love the vibe of Gion - filled with traditional wooden buildings. Can you really spot a geisha here? I did spot one, hurriedly entering a building.





Finally after a day full of walking we reached the guesthouse. We were too tired and too lazy to find dinner, so I just walked to the convenience store to buy snacks. Well, that's all for our first day in Kyoto. 4 more days to go!






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