Jan 5, 2015

Autumn Kyoto day 7 (Kinkakuji & Nijo Castle)

The 28th October 2013 marks the 7th day of my extended CoFesta Ambassador trip in Japan last autumn. I was invited as an Ambassador for CoFesta in recognition of my continuous work of sharing Japanese related content online. I extended the trip and made it into a 12 days trip from Tokyo to Osaka and Kyoto.


- Read about my CoFesta related travel trips here (Click!)

- Read about my Japan related travel blogs & tips here (Click!)





So yes, that Monday morning marked my first morning in Kyoto! I’ve been dreaming of a Kyoto flooded red with maple leaves ever since reading the grotesque and romanticised descriptions in Yami no Matsuei.  After a tedious and anxious day of rushing for my Shinkansen and lugging my luggage from Tokyo to Kyoto the day before, I woke up at 10am haha. By the time I got out of the Hostel it was already 12:30pm hahaha. This is why I like travelling solo; I sleep and rise according to my own wishes. 


Remember to watch in HD!




I’m not sure if it’s my camera or the Nippon sun but in all my Japan videos, my skin look so nice and glowy *_* . This is my makeup & hair of the day! My right eye looks significantly smaller IDKY. Could be bad makeup or it could be puffy eye T^T



I purchased a 500 yen bus day pass and took a bus to Kinkakuji. To know more about how to take Buses in Kyoto, check out this other blog entry I wrote


Since it was my first morning in Kyoto and seeing the neighbourhood around the Hostel for the first time, let’s just say it wasn’t easy navigating around . I was supposed to take Bus 12 from Gion bus stop but I couldn't find the bus stop and instead took Bus 59 from Sanjo Keihan-Mae Bus stop. Had to thank this really nice Japanese guy for bringing me to my bus stop. Poor guy was on a lunch break when he was ‘caught’ by this shameless tourist xD He couldn't speak any English so I was really thankful to all my years of Anime watching for minimal linguistic enabling 8D




He wasn’t sure of the exact Bus to take either but he definitely knew the terrain and language  better than me 8D . I took Bus 59 from the Sanjo Keihan-Mae Bus Stop and reached Kinkakuji Mae roughly half an hour later!




One travel tip to share, be sure to alight at Kinkakuji Mae Bus Stop instead of Kinkakuji Michi Bus Stop as that is a lot closer to the Temple. If in doubt, just ask the bus driver before you alight. From there it's hard to miss the entrance to the temple.

From here on it shall just be photo spam of the temple xD




The entrance to Kinkakuji. It’s a long gravel road before you reach the ticketing counter.




The entrance ticket is 400yen and it comes in the form of a black and white talisman; really brings everything to theme eh XD? With each entrance you will be given a talisman ticket that can be retained as a souvenir and a Temple brochure.







And behold, the famed temple in various angles xD




As you guys can tell, the maple leaves are disappointingly green =( I came too early into the season *mega sigh*





Lush greenery surrounds the temple.






However they were not red so I attempted to make them red myself by playing around with my camera settings xD




School Kids in Yellow plastic caps xD




The final point of the trail is a temple for visitors to pray.




After so much gravel walking it’s time for a rest!




I found a tea house within the temple and delightfully went in. Check out the Japanese styled Al Fresco Dining xD Somehow the red umbrella reminds me of Gintama haha.




This seems to be the only thing the Tea House serves; Matcha with a traditional Japanese pastry. This menu sets me back at 500 yen. 




This pastry has Anko (Red Bean) filling. I’m not sure if it’s the Matcha’s bitterness that counters the sweetness or is this pastry just not very sweet by itself. But it was nice and soft =) The Matcha was also very nice and frothy and not as bitter as I imagined it to be. I realise I’ve never really had any real Japanese Matcha before and this was a very nice first experience! Especially since the only places I can get Matcha in Singapore would be Nana Green Tea Cafe that charges an exorbitant price for a cup -_-; Compared to the inferior experience in a cafe inside a commercial mall, this definitely win hands down in terms of flavour and experience.




I’m sure the image would have looked a lot more romantic if it was a beautiful model with red leaves in the background but this will do for now xD





Yes boy, I can see you looking at me -__- . Even though I’m randomly shooting strangers with my camera, I am not a weirdo, trust me. 




So I finally left Kinkakuji after much loitering and photo triggering xD This is the way out.





Japanese Vending Machines! I buy from it pretty much everyday xD It’s especially cool on cold days because you can choose to buy HOT bottled tea to warm your hands. It’s a very cosy feeling ^w^





After that I took another bus and went to Nijo Castle!


“ Nij┼Ź Castle is a flatland castle located in Kyoto, Japan. The castle consists of two concentric rings of fortifications, the Ninomaru Palace, the ruins of the Honmaru Palace, various support buildings and several gardens. “





Obligatory tourist pose and picture! Omg, my right eye is so much smaller than my left -_-;




Another camwhore with the Nijo Castle brochure. You can tell I was trying very hard to make sure nobody will ever think I photo shopped myself into Kyoto travel photos LOL




Nijo Castle as the name implies is a castle that in my opinion, looked much like a war fortress with it’s high stone wars.




There was a lot of vast green spaces.










One of the very few buildings I’ve ever seen in my life that’s made predominantly from wood. I guess that’s why come parts of the old castle had burnt down.




I climbed up some stone stairs to the highest point inside the castle and this is the view I see. Sigh, I wish dem leaves were red =(





An audio interactive board for tourist to press and listen to the history of the place.






manually photo shopped the leaves yellower than it really is hahahaa.




This is the entrance and exit of the Nijo Castle. Around 5pm and the place is closing already. That’s the thing about Kyoto, places just closes so early.





After that it’s time to take another bus to the JR Kyoto station because everywhere else is closed LOL!






Inside the JR Bus interchange!





Kyoto Tower! Didn’t bother checking it out though, never quite understood the point of these high tower tourist attractions.




Random building with stained glass featuring traditional Japanese scenes.




Basement of one of the Malls there. Think it was the JR Kyoto station/mall.




Mac Donald's in Japan!






Japanese drug/beauty store! I was really tempted to get this 3-in-1 makeup block thingy. I figured it would be a really cool and space efficient travel brush. however I stopped myself because the brush types don’t really suit my needs.





Travel sachet Hada Labo skincare products! There is such a big variety of Hada Labo products in japan compared to Singapore.




My dinner at Sukiya!  bought the mini Beef bowl with glass noodles and topped up with vegetable salad and miso soup! The cup of malt tea is complimentary and free flow!




Japanese restaurant, even if it’s a fast food joint provides free and complimentary drinks to it’s patron. Jugs of ice water and malt tea were available on every table.





Then I made my way back to Gion!





It took me many attempt to get this photo as clear as it is because the light was so dim and I didn’t have a tripod. While I experimented with different settings and flash , I accidentally ‘flashed’ a guy.




This poor guy got the scare of his life when he took a right turn and waked straight into my flash lights. Both of us were oblivious to each other’s presence until the flash scared both of us hahaha. After the initial shock and awkwardness it soon dawned upon me how dangerous it was for me to be loitering around this area alone. I had been standing there for a long while , tuning my camera settings and looking straight ahead. But all it took was for me to look down for a moment for someone to rush out and ambush me if that was their intent.




I hasten my steps and tuned up my cautiousness as I walked on.




Anyway I reach the hostel safe and sound around 9pm. This is my loot of the day! Mostly snacks and souvenirs for people back home. Thus end my day!

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