Kyoto, Part 1: Yasaka Shrine + Kiyomizu Temple

Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

Yes, I am still posting about our three month old trip to Japan…

In between the Ramen Museum and the baseball game, Naoto and I took a bullet train to Kyoto. We’ve both traveled to Kyoto before–me for work in 2008 and him for a vacation in 1988–so we had done a lot of the touristy must-sees before. But we decided to do them all again, because, well, you can’t go to Kyoto and just eat and shop at the craft stores. (More on those later.) Naoto at shrineI really love Kyoto. It’s older, smaller, and much quieter than Tokyo. It felt like a nice break from the crushes of people and cars and trains in Tokyo. But, it was also a little bit weird. I felt like I was in a town of fellow tourists. I know that there are millions of tourists in Tokyo, but they must be drowned out by the sheer number of Japanese people living there. Or we don’t do enough touristy things in Tokyo? Naoto walking up to Kiyomizu TempleOn our first day, we knocked out some major tourist attractions. We went to Gion, the “Geisha District” of Kyoto and saw the Yasaka Shrine. (See the top two pictures…not a lot to say because “you’ve seen one shrine, you’ve seen them all”.) The we started the long, uphill stroll to the Kiyomizu Temple, which offers amazing views of Kyoto. cucumbers on a stick, Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto Kiyomizu Temple, KyotoKiyomizu Temple viewOn the way up to the temple there are hundreds of little shops offering souvenirs and snacks (including cucumbers-on-a-stick!) and waving school children to keep you entertained. Oh, and tourists dressed in full kimono-wear are a common sighting all over Kyoto. For about $35 you can rent a kimono and have your hair and make-up done. (You couldn’t pay me $35 to walk around in a hot kimono and wooden flip flops.) views from Kiyomizu Temple views from Kiyomizu Temple kimberly and naoto, views from Kiyomizu TempleSelfie sticks were everywhere in Kyoto and several times we wished we had one. So many cut-off heads in our Kyoto pictures! Otowa waterfall at Kiyomizu TempleAt the end of the walk down from the Temple there is the Otowa waterfall. According to legend, if you make a wish and sip the water, your wish will come true. I did this when I visited in 2008 and my wish did come true. I sort of regret not waiting in line to make a new wish with Naoto. naoto eating kakigori, Kyoto, Kiyomizu Temple kimberly eating kakigori, Kyoto, Kiyomizu TempleOn the way back, we stopped at a little stand and shared a melon kakigori (shave ice–a must-eat when you are in Japan in the summer!). It was so refreshing on such a hot day! special Kyoto postmark at Kiyomizu TempleAs we were leaving the Temple, we happened upon a mobile post office!! (Now you know why I was so excited for the possibilities of a mobile post office here at home!) They were selling stamps and summer edition postcards and offering a special Kiyomizu Temple postmark! special Kyoto postmark at Kiyomizu TempleI had to write the postcards right then and there in order to get the fancy postmark, so I could only write a few since we were hot, tired, and hungry. But what wonderful serendipity to happen upon the Japan Post!

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5 thoughts on “Kyoto, Part 1: Yasaka Shrine + Kiyomizu Temple

  1. naoto says:

    Kyoto was great! I wish we had stayed there longer…are you gonna talk about our stay at the Sakura Terrace?

  2. […] Castle is the last site we saw on our first day in Kyoto. By the time we got there, my feet were killing me and I was tired and hungry, but when you only […]

  3. says:

    I wish I run into a mobile post office! And the stamps are so beautiful!


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