Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – 京都 洛東 清水寺
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Others looks more exquisite, with more intricate motifs. Naturally they command a more hefty price tag!
Some look suspiciously chinese….
In every imaginable shape, size and colour, the selection is very wide already, just from the shops which opened early.
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…
Apart from tableware, there are cutesy ornaments as well.
A rolly polly clay figurine of a Japanese monk.
Then we stumbled across an interesting shop, one that specialises in maiko or geisha makeovers also known as “henshin” 変身
And finally we reached the foot of kiyomizudera 京都清水寺
Despite being really bright, the weather’s very cold. Shrubs were still covered with snow.
Few school students posing for a group shot
Branch of plum blossoms
Omikuji, fortune-telling paper tied to a pole covered with ice and snow.
wooden plaques for writing wishes
designs on a rooftop
a Japanese monk walked by, I think on his way to beg for alms.
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.
IMO Jishu Jinja next door was more interesting than Kiyomizudera
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.
“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.
And this is the other mini boulder on the other end, some 6 metres away.
A shinto priest performing a ritual.
A wooden figurine of shinto god being worshipped at Jishu Jinja.
A walkthrough brought us to the infamous veranda platform, 清水舞台
Posing for a shot
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