07 November 2008

Autumn in Kyoto (almost)

This past weekend Sho-chan and I went on a day-trip to Kyoto. We were hoping to take in the autumn leaves, which are especially beautiful in the mountains around Kyoto, but unfortunately we were early and most of the trees were still green. We had a great time sight-seeing and eating yummy food though, so no loss. Here are the pictures:

This is Sho-chan at Sanjuusangendou, the famous "Hall of 33 Bays". I always go to Sanjuusangendou when I visit Kyoto, but Sho-chan had never been before. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys temples even a little. There are more than a thousand spectacular gold-painted statues of Kannon (the Chinese goddess of mercy Kwan-Yin) and they say that anyone can find a statue that resembles someone they know.

This is a small pond at Sanjuusangendou. It's a little hard to make out, but there's a large carp swimming in the water near Sho-chan's hand.

From Sanjuusangendou we went to Kiyomizu temple, another famous sightseeing spot. On the way there we spotted this couple. Recently it's become popular for visitors to dress up as a maiko (apprentice geisha) and walk around Kyoto. There are many shops that rent clothes and do geisha/maiko make-up , but you can always tell the real from the fake by the way the walk. The fake maiko have a heck of a time in the giant clogs that go with the kimono. Also real maiko aren't usually strolling around tourist spots in the middle of the afternoon dressed in their full regalia.

This is a display of ema (votive plaques) at Kiyomizu temple. You can buy one and write your wishes and hopes for the future on it and hang it up here.

Here is one funny ema that we saw.

From Kiyomizu we went to Ginkakuji and on the way there we saw many young men pulling rickshaws (rickshaw comes from the Japanese jinrikisha). I've always wanted to ride in one, but they charge an arm and a leg, so we just took a photo.

This is the sand garden at Ginkakuji. Magnificent, isn't it?

After our long day trekking around we went to a lovely little restaurant in the Gion area of Kyoto. Dad and Julie may remember this place; we had lotus root chips, pumpkin soup and some delicious daikon pickles there. Here I am pouring Sho-chan a little cup of steaming hot sake.

And finally Sho-chan enjoying a well-earned cup of sake at the end of a long day of walking. Until next time, see you!

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Anonymous john said...

Nice info on the rickshaw!

I think next time you should live the dream and go for a ride.

08 November, 2008 22:24  
Blogger Becki said...

Thanks! I think I just might!
BTW do you still have a blog, or are you too busy with the business. I've been trying to keep mine updated fairly regularly.

08 November, 2008 22:39  
Blogger Elfcookie said...

Actually, I don't recall why, but we were just talking about that restaurant the other day!!! We had a really good time on that trip - nice to remember.

I have a nasty, nasty cold (the same one your dad has had for the past 3 weeks but he is all better now) and some hot sake sounds really good right now. Good for what ails ya.........I just want to be decongested by the time we get on the plane to London in less than 2 weeks. Did you know we are going? Katie is in Exeter for the semester so we are going to spend a weekend with her and a few days in London.

Talk to you soon.

Love, Julie

BTW, Just started reading World War Z

09 November, 2008 00:31  
Anonymous john said...

I don't do blogs very well as
1) I'm a rubbish writer
2) I am too opinionated, which is fine in small doses but even i cringe when I look back at some of the stupid stuff I write.
3) I don't balance my own feelings vs things that have happened very well. Its either all about what I did which is a shopping list that nobdy cares about, or its all about me and what I think and feel which is even worse as most of what I think is barely worth thinking never mind writing.

I wish I had an account of some of our late night coffee drinking sessions. I think they would make an excellent toilet book / comic strip.

Today I have been wondering whether I should stand as a single issue politician in the next general election. My single issue would be "No school classes with more than 20 pupils". I was dreaming about how I would do it.

I'll probably stop thinking about it by tomorrow though and go back to trying to make my millions.

09 November, 2008 09:24  
Blogger Becki said...

We actually had some of the same things there that we had 2 years ago, including that delicious fried camembert cheese and the assorted pickles.

Sorry to hear about your cold. I hope you feel better soon! Give my love to my Dad.

10 November, 2008 17:38  
Blogger Becki said...

I'd be interested in hearing about your little adventures! That's all my blog really is anyway. Just news of my life for my family and friends. I bet some of the old Nova students like Kayoko and Nihongo Salon people like Miyazaki-san would be interested in reading "The New Adventures of John Barber" too!

10 November, 2008 17:41  

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