25 Aug 2015

Japan Flashback! Part 4: Temple Visits in Kyoto

Welcome to the penultimate part of my Japan Flashback series! If you missed them, check out parts one, two and three!

Day 9: Temple Explorations and Lots of Walking

Although we were staying in Osaka, Kyoto was just a train ride away, so we went on a little day trip. Kyoto is the old capital of Japan and is famous for it's abundance of temples. Although we obviously didn't get to see very many of them, the ones we did visit were beautiful, and the weather was perfect, too.

Kinkakuji (金閣寺)

Kinkakuji, literally meaning "Temple of the Golden Pavilion" (you can see why) was our first stop after having some lunch at a particularly Western-style restaurant. The water was so still and the pavilion itself was one of the shiniest things I've ever seen. 

There was so much nature around, everything was surrounded by green trees and was very calm and quiet. We stopped at the gift shops on the way through, where I bought a pretty little fan (because it was awfully humid), and we got ice-cream as we were leaving.

Then we were back on another bus to our next stop.

Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺)

Kiyomizu temple (or the "pure water temple") is located halfway up Otowa Mountain, so it was a pretty intense walk. The road on the way up is lined with shops the whole way, so while we were all out of breath by the time we got there, it wasn't as unpleasant as it could have been.

Obviously the advantage of being halfway up a mountain is that the view is absolutely incredible. You can see pretty much the whole of Kyoto from up there. The sun was starting to set as we arrived, which cast everything in a soft orange glow. I'm fairly sure it was the most beautiful thing I saw on the whole trip.

The temple was unfortunately under construction when we visited, but there was still plenty to do. The grounds are little like a bush-walk. The paths are all nestled into the trees with small sculptures and gardens dotted along the sides. We stayed late enough to watch the sunset, which is without a doubt the best sunset I've seen in my entire life to date.

And there we have it! Make sure to come back next time to catch the final part of my Japan adventures.

Hope you enjoyed!


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