Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Kyoto trip part one: Kiyomizu-dera

My Kyoto trip was kind of long, so I decided to split it up into parts (so I could post more photos... mwahahahah) As is becoming usual, this is a really photo-heavy post, so be prepared!
Kiyomizu-dera was 'the' temple I wanted to visit, so I was so glad to visit it! It is so beautiful, really a must see. Unfortunately, we visited in Silver Week (a national holiday in Japan) and in the middle of the day, so it was sooo crowded. One day I plan to get there early, hopefully on a weekday so I can experience it when it is a little quieter. Bear in mind that these sort of famous tourist landmarks will always be crowded though! 

We took the bus from Kyoto's Karasuma station, but to be honest it would have been quicker and nicer to walk. The bus, although cheap was crowded and hot and there was a lot of traffic. 

Although everyone's first thoughts of Kyoto is of course the beautiful temples and imperial palace, it is still a huge city! So most of it looks like this:
And the the back streets on the way to Kiyomizu-dera look like this:
 ...with a few temples, shrines and historic buildings nestled in between.
 This was the tourist-y walk leading directly up to Kiyomizu-dera. They were selling souvenirs and expensive food, mostly. Although there was also a Totoro themed shop, and a Vkei shop.....

 Here is the gate (Do you see what I mean about crowded?)





 The view of Kyoto was great!
 Even though Kiyomizu-dera isn't far from the city, it felt pretty secluded in the trees and mountains.





 Often, Buddhist temples will have a Shinto shrine somewhere on their grounds, and this was the one at Kiyomizu-dera.

 You had to pay to get into the main hall, but it's only 300 yen so I'd say it's a must do. You get the iconic view from, and of, the famous stage. My teacher told us that the Japanese saying for 'to do something really brave' is 'to jump off Kiyomizu-dera' and I can see why! It's so tall!
 As you can tell, parts of the main hall were being renovated when I visited.











Next up will be another post about my Kyoto adventure: Yasaka Jinja, Gion and Pontocho. 
All I can say is, go to Kiyomizu-dera! You won't regret it! 
Thanks for reading! 
-Amy xoxo
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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Osaka view: Day and Night

Howdy! 
The other day we went to a park in our local area, and the view of Osaka was amazing, so I thought I'd share. The weather was way too hot for a picnic though. Come on Japan, bring on sweater weather!
Osaka's urban sprawl is so huge, there is no real space where Osaka stops and Kobe and Kyoto begin. Luckily, I like big cities. There is a lot of beautiful nature around in Minoh though, so I have the best of both worlds.
 Yuzuru-Kun, the Minoh City mascot. (He's everywhere).



And then at night, I went to the 7th floor of my dorm. How beautiful is this? Sorry for the hideously blurry photos, I'll try and get some better ones soon.


Thanks for reading!
-Amy xoxo
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Monday, 28 September 2015

Amemura

So, the day after we visited Minoh Waterfall, we went back to Namba Osaka, this time to Amemura! I was so excited to go, mostly because it is a lively area that is often labelled 'Osaka's version of Harajuku'. Not having been to Harajuku yet *sob* I can't really make any comparison, but I can tell you that Amemura is awesome! There are loads of fashion shops including SPINNS (which is my idea of heaven, to be honest) and lots of smaller, more unique places. Lolita shops, manga shops, rock bars... this is my kind of place for sure. Unfortunately I didn't get too much time to look round, so I'll definitely be back again by myself, armed with lots of cash! Anyway, let's get to the pictures! 










 We walked too far, missed the station and ended up in dotombori, whoops. It's pretty awesome at night though.

 Back on the subway home!

Thanks for reading! 
-Amy xoxo

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