11th July 2012: Kyoto in 9.5 hours: Mission Impossible {Japan, summer 2012}

My express visit to Kyoto [京都] on the 11th was fueled by a jump into a rabbit hole – the first time I drank canned coffee. It would not be the last, definitely.

A can of Georgia Café au Lait

I started off with Fushimi Inari Taisha [伏見稲荷大社] and is dedicated to Inari, the God of Rice, whose messengers are considered to be the foxes or kitsune [狐]. It is a temple with a gazillion plus one torii, since in early Japan Inari was seen as the patron of business. Thus each of the torii is donated by a Japanese business. Sorry for the sun reflection, this was the best picture of the main building I could take:

A shrine building, in powerful orange. The sun is shining at the rim of the roof, and there are two sculptures of foxes sitting on the sides.

A line of torii (have I mentioned that I looove torii?) the Senbon Torii [千本鳥居], or line of a thousand torii:

A torii in the foreground. Beyond it, so many others that you cannot tell them apart. All of them are orange, but the outermost ones have been burnt by the sun and are less bright

After Inari, I crossed the whole of Kyoto via bus and train and visited the Kinkaku-ji [金閣寺], the Temple of the Golden Pavilion. While I went to visit it because it was a must-see I found it amazing, and liked it more than I wanted to admit.

A pond with a pine tree at the centre. To the side, a three-story pavillion that looks similar to a pagoda. The first floor is built in wood and plaster, the upper ones have been covered in gold

Bus again, towards the Imperial Palace, Kyōto-gosho [京都御所], of which you see… the outer wall and the cops that guard the door XD

The entrance to the Imperial palace - a gate through the walls. Two police officers in blue are chatting at the fence

And a thirty-minute walk after that, I found myself entering the castle Nijō Jō [二条城]. Can you feel the rush? XD

The main building to the old castle. Is is built in dark wood with gold ornaments and carved details showing animals and plants, painted in bright colours

A view of the moat. The water is green.

Two buses later I was in Chion-in [知恩院] which was being repaired, so you can only see park entrance gate, which technically might belong to a nearby temple. I mean… there are too many temples to keep track of them! (Edit: after a bit of processing, that’s actually the entrance to the Yasaka Jinja [八坂神社] complex.)

A bright orange and white building at the top of some some stone stairs.

And going down those stairs to the left there was… Gion [祇園], the traditional geisha district. Found no geisha though D:

Traditional Japanese houses in dark wood, burnt by the sun. The entrance has a paper lanter and a menu

Finally, after another temple or twenty, or among them, I managed to sneak into Kennin-ji [建仁寺] just before it closed to see the twin dragons:

A ceiling painting of two dragons. The background is dark and the dragons are coloured in light shades, gold, white and red

By then I was so dead that I headed back to the station and was catatonic for the Shinkansen ride to Tokyo. This is not by far all I saw, but I lost track of the names for a bit. By the end of the day I was exhausted, but this is the gist of what I did that day. I would need more time to sort out the pictures, and I am trying to keep you guys generally updated, not write a thesis on ancient Japan XD (ETA 2017: Wow, that frame of mind changed a lot)

2 thoughts on “11th July 2012: Kyoto in 9.5 hours: Mission Impossible {Japan, summer 2012}

  1. ❤ I run out of comments to say, but I love your pics and am glad you get to do this!!


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