Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – 京都 洛東 清水寺

Higashiyama Kyoto

After waking up to a cold and lazy morning, we took a bus from outside the hotel to Kyoto Station. Though the train station is nearby, we opted for buses instead as its cheaper. Moreoever, we get to sightsee along the way, and hopefully chance upon something which would be interesting. Today’s itinerary is to cover Higashiyama, which literally means the “eastern hills” of Kyoto. We had glimpses of the place yesterday since Gion is located there. Today’s walking trail would bring us from Kiyomizudera to Heian Jingu.

Higashiyama Kyoto
Bus from Kyoto Station to Kiyomizudera was packed with tourists! No need to worry about getting off at the wrong station as almost everyone got off at the same place! The road leading up to Kiyomizudera is chawanzaka 茶碗坂, literally meaning “tea bowl street”. This is a part residential-part shopping street with most of the shops were still closed when we reached. It is still very early I guess.
Higashiyama Kyoto
The angle looks weird yeah? That’s because the street is an uphill stretch which leads all the way to the foot of the temple.
Higashiyama Kyoto
Most of the houses look really rustic and old. Though not as old as Kyoto itself probably but I’m pretty sure some would date back to the Edo period at least.
Higashiyama KyotoHigashiyama Kyoto
No surprises that this street is packed with shops that sells pottery, tableware and teaware. This is “tea bowl street” after all. Lots of nice bowls and plates which would have been ideal for food styling. Some are really quite affordable like these in the photo.
Higashiyama Kyoto
Others looks more exquisite, with more intricate motifs. Naturally they command a more hefty price tag!
Higashiyama Kyoto
Some look suspiciously chinese….
Higashiyama Kyoto
In every imaginable shape, size and colour, the selection is very wide already, just from the shops which opened early.
Higashiyama KyotoHigashiyama Kyoto
But this is the beginning of a long day and no way are we gonna lug all these as we walk. So no, we didn’t get any of these pretty crockery. What a shame indeed…
Higashiyama KyotoHigashiyama KyotoHigashiyama Kyoto
Apart from tableware, there are cutesy ornaments as well.
Higashiyama Kyoto
A rolly polly clay figurine of a Japanese monk.
Higashiyama Kyoto
Then we stumbled across an interesting shop, one that specialises in maiko or geisha makeovers also known as “henshin” 変身
Higashiyama KyotoAnd finally we reached the foot of kiyomizudera 京都清水寺
Higashiyama Kyoto
Despite being really bright, the weather’s very cold. Shrubs were still covered with snow.
Higashiyama Kyoto
Few school students posing for a group shot
Higashiyama Kyoto
Branch of plum blossoms
Higashiyama Kyoto
Omikuji, fortune-telling paper tied to a pole covered with ice and snow.
Higashiyama Kyoto
wooden plaques for writing wishes
Higashiyama Kyoto
designs on a rooftop
Higashiyama Kyoto
a Japanese monk walked by, I think on his way to beg for alms.
Higashiyama Kyoto
smoke from incense supposedly helps to cleanse one’s spiritual self. Many gather around the large urn to “scoop” some smoke over one’s head.
Higashiyama Kyoto
IMO Jishu Jinja next door was more interesting than Kiyomizudera
Higashiyama Kyoto
A miko, shinto priestess at the booth selling good luck charms and prayer items. Many of them aint real priestesses but just senior schools trying to earn some extra pocket money.
Higashiyama Kyoto
“Love Stone”, the reason why make visits Jishu Jinja. Touch one stone and walk in a straight file towards the other stone located at the other end with eyes closed or blind folded and one would meet “the one” very soon. We even saw very young primary sch kids do that.
Higashiyama Kyoto
And this is the other mini boulder on the other end, some 6 metres away.
Higashiyama Kyoto
A shinto priest performing a ritual.
Higashiyama Kyoto
A wooden figurine of shinto god being worshipped at Jishu Jinja.
Higashiyama Kyoto
A walkthrough brought us to the infamous veranda platform, 清水舞台
Higashiyama Kyoto
Posing for a shot
Higashiyama Kyoto
Another Japanese monk begging for alms, repaying with his services in saying a prayer etc.

Nothing much to say, a mere photolog of things and people we saw :)

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14 responses

  1. oh these pics are lovely! you can go become an events photographer ;) yea miko doesn’t look like a priestess, she looks too pretty lol

    July 23, 2011 at 12:42 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      haiyoh, just some random shots la. I think i’ll probably screw up and freak out if someone ask me to shoot an event. Yeah, she’s very pretty yeah? looks more like those high school students trying to earn some pocket money. The hardcore mikos we saw were in Nara, performing some ritual. write up to follow.

      July 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm

  2. 我年尾要去这里,现在先来看看美美的照片,看了真想快快去:)

    July 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      你年尾要去哦!好羡慕。 我好想回去哦。。。 好漂亮的地方。

      July 23, 2011 at 11:42 pm

  3. Gorgeous pictures

    July 23, 2011 at 5:06 pm

  4. Alan (travellingfoodies)

    thanks!

    July 23, 2011 at 11:42 pm

  5. the first two photos where you show the old houses , the street looks so clean!! i mean really clean. All the shots here very nice captured! that love stone is interesting!! got any fortune stone or not??

    August 2, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    • Alan (travellingfoodies)

      yeah, Japan is really clean in most places. The people are very self-motivated to keep their environment in good condition. I didn’t see any fortune stone leh. You know of any?

      August 2, 2011 at 11:01 pm

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