November 17, 2013

Kyoto Walks in Higashiyama - part 2

Continuation from here ...
Next on the walking route was Maruyama Park. It is Kyoto's most popular spot for cherry blossom viewing parties. Must be so lively then. But I visited the place last winter season, it was empty.
It was so empty I felt it was really weird. Don't you think so? Where's other people???
Were they being kidnapped by aliens or what?

The park is actually very near to Gion, as it is just behind Yasaka Shrine so you have an option to detour. I have visited Gion the day before, so I just followed the walking guide.

Then I reached Nene-no-michi. The street is basically a pedestrian-only zone so it was perfect for a relaxing stroll. It was among the most beautiful street in Kyoto as all the buildings are in traditional Kyoto style. And I guess it would be more beautiful in spring as cherry trees lined up the street. I super want to visit Japan during sakura season!!
Only here I began to see people. haha..
Along the street, I saw a few Buddha statues and a lot of people were seen touching it. Curious as usual, I went to have a look.
Here's what I found out.

There are a number of Buddha statues around Higashiyama area. Touch them for some good fortunes. There are three of them in Nene-no-michi. Others can be found in other places in Higashiyama.
Hotei - god of love and kindness
Daikokuten - one of the seven gods of good fortune, and is the god of good luck
Marishi-ten - believed to offer protection, good fortune, and victory

A tourist attraction, of course the street has souvenir shops. Here is Kyo-Rakuichi-Nene, a shopping area featuring fourteen traditional shops.


Moving on along the street, I saw two temples located quite near to each other. At first I wanted to skip both temples as I felt I've seen a lot of them already. But the path to Kodai-ji looked attractive. I thought, OK.. it 's not steep. My painful legs can take it.
 Daidokoro-zaka (Daidokoro stairs)
So to the left I turned, and walked up the stairs, and took some selfie.

Years of traveling alone made me such a master at self-taking photos. No need mobile phone's front camera. haha.. #foreveralone

Anyway, when I reached the top, I changed my mind and decided not to go in. #fickleminded
I was heading to Kiyomizu-dera anyway, so I guessed I didn't have to see so many temples right?

Kodai-ji is open all year round
Visiting hours from 9 am to 5 pm
Entrance fee is 600 yen

Access : From Kyoto Station, take Kyoto City Bus #206 to Higashiyama Yasui and walk about 5 minutes

Oh there! Another two Buddha statues from the 'touch the roadside Buddhist statues in Higashiyama'.

I didn't return to Nene-no-michi right away, instead I just walked towards the car park area. Saw another route from there. Might be a short cut, so I took the chance.

And I'm glad I did cos not long after, I saw a huge Guanyin statue. Perhaps the statue is also visible from Nene-no-michi but at least I saved some time as it's nearer if walking from Kodai-ji. Drawn by its size, I approached the entrance gate.

Outside the gate it was written 'Ryozen Kannon and Memorial to the World's Unknown Soldier who perished in World War II'. Oh.. a war memorial.

I took a peek from the entrance gate to see what's inside. Nothing special except for the 80 feet high statue of Guanyin (the Goddess of Mercy) and nobody inside. Skip.

Ryozen Kannon is open all year round
Visiting hours from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm
Entrance fee is 200 yen

Access : From Kyoto Station, take Kyoto City Bus #206 to Higashiyama Yasui and walk about 5 minutes
torii gate to dunno which shrine, but the Ryozen Kannon car park is on the left side
Walking through Nene-no-michi ultimately brought me to Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka, the narrow sloped streets lined up with shops filled with Japanese goods. Will be continued...

No comments: