Kyoto: Arashiyama

Before I begin, I must warn you that this post is sixty eight photos long. OTL

We headed for Arashiyama in the morning. It poured some parts of the way, otherwise the weather remained at a constant drizzle that was punctured with dry spells.

When I saw this I was like, “Who is this scary lady?!?!”. Turns out that it’s a cosmetic brand

Also, is it just me, or did anyone else read「よーじや」as「よーじto」? I had a really hard time trying to see it as「や」especially since the angle of the stroke is different from what I’m used to. >_<

I was so amused by a someone telling the owner of the car to go wash it.

Bamboo Groves

Our first stop was at the bamboo forest. I remember thinking that pandas would have been happy there. :D

And then a cemetery smack in the middle of the path. I was a little concerned over the detailed cloud thing at the top left hand of this photo, but I suppose reflection off the rain would cause this instead of say, I dunno, a miasma of spirits or something…

We came upon this little shrine too:

So colourful!

And so many foxes :D

There are always these stands selling souvenirs or charms at the entrance/exit of the shrines.

And then the rain got a lot heavier as we left.

Squelch squelch squelch.

We exited the place and went past a few houses. This particular house had such an amusing garden! Poor lonely terracotta soldier engulfed by greens. XDD

We walked for quite a bit until we saw by chance, the entrance to Tenryuuji, a world heritage site. I was like, ughhh more temples, while Senpai was like, It’s a world heritage site. So we went.

These were things we saw on the way there:

Omg I LOVE that statue.

Random focus on a random flower.

Random tanuki statue. This one amused me a lot because of its big balls (I don’t deny that I possess the mind of a nine year old). Some of those I saw even have got big boobs. Wikipedia talks about it.

Look at that door! Kinda reminds me of marbled beef.

Finding this caterpillar was pure coincidence. I’d actually wanted to take a photo of this flower, and when I went closer it was like, what is this furry thing?

The number of tied fortunes are pretty scary… Do you get horrible fortunes here or what? Also, hello pretty dragon in the background!

The sign says “Air Safety – Flying Cloud Avalokiteshvara”. Senpai mentioned that there was a story whereby someone looked out of a plane window and saw Avalokiteshvara flying on a cloud. You know, I’d always thought that Sun Wukong would be spotted doing this, while Avalokiteshvara floats benignly on a giant lotus…

Tenryuuji

We finally reached the part of Tenryuuji where we had to pay the entrance fee:

Look at that wood carving <3

These guys obviously share my sentiment about the architecture XDD

I don’t know why, but I like this photo a lot.

Does anyone recognise that style of painting from Asian Art History!??! XDDD

Also, hello electronic vacuum cleaner!

We went to explore the vast back gardens behind the main building:

Senpai kept lamenting that the scenic places that we visited had muddy waters because it kept raining. :(

I must say, this particular stream looks pretty good with the chalky water look though.

I think at this point, Senpai got a bit tired and went back to the main building, while I continued exploring the gardens. By exploring, I mean climbing a flight of stairs which unexpectedly led to even more places. I was half afraid that I’d get lost/take too long and Senpai would get fed up with waiting for me. XDD

The view from the top. :)

Descending.

Heart/soul cleansing here. Quite a few people performed the cleansing ritual, and I did the same after observing how they did it.

I liked the engraving behind the slab of stone.

Random funny tree.

Arashiyama also sports young trishaw pullers.

Senpai stopped me as we walked past these cuties along the roadside. Later when I showed Kyohei the photos, he said that these were Ojizou-san.

On a side note, I’d also previously complained to him about the structure of Japanese toilets (why separate the toilet bowl from the sinks and all that, such grief it caused me), and he told me that it was because there is a separate Ojizou-san for both the bowl and the bathroom. Okay, I can’t argue against a religious reason. :P

A random shop secreted waaaaaaay back.

We crossed the bridge:

That’s the bridge in the background. Lookie another trishaw puller! They don’t number as much as those in Nara Park though.

We walked further in in search of lunch:

Some place near where we had lunch.

We popped into this empty place for lunch, although it was probably empty because we were a little early for the lunch crowd. When we left, the place was quite full with salary men, workers and a family.

Was stupefied by the calligraphic Japanese menu. If even English menus stump me for the lack of pictures, you can imagine how much at a loss I was. Thank god for Senpai. XDD

According to Senpai, this place was famous for their yuba (tofu skin) ramen, but I fancied a little more protein, so I called for pork ribs ramen.

The knobs on the wall confused me in the beginning, until the crowd started trickling in and one of the men hung his bag and coat on it. Ohh.

The place was manned by two guys. It was a pretty cosy spot. :)

After that we waited for the bus to take us back to Kyoto station.

View from the bus stop. That’s the river over which we crossed earlier.

The bus ticket and my bus fare of 240 yen. The number ‘5’ stamped onto my ticket means that I boarded on the fifth stop, and the corresponding bus fare would be reflected on the large LED board in front of the bus. Alternatively, some bus stops already tell you how much it costs to get to certain stops in the form of a table. In Japan, you usually board at the back door, and alight at the front, paying as you alight.

Loft

We went to Loft, which, according to wiki, is a hobbyist store found nationwide. This building had a basement level and I think seven levels above ground. We were drawn immediately to the toys and stationary sections XDD

There was a storewide 20% discount! It was disappointing when we went to the Tokyo branch and there wasn’t any discount. :(

ANYWAY, LOOK WHAT WE FOUND:

Cubic Mouth Mickey! Super loltastic.

A close-up. Chip and Dale look like they’re on dope! So much crack. I loves it! XDDDDDDD

The creator also cubified a few other things.

So cute! I like the concept of tying the bag, which will look like you’re tying the hair. But I didn’t buy it because I’m a cheapo and can make it by myself. :P

One of the things that I was really looking forward to when I went to Japan was the Macdonalds:

McPork!!!!!!!!!!! Singapore’s Macdonald’s is Halal, so it’s the first time I’ve eaten this. It’s a bit too salty and what’s with the miserable lettuce, but at least now I’ve tried it. :P

The other thing I was looking forward to in Japan’s Macdonald’s was their 100 yen menu:

Five things are on this special menu: small Coca-Cola, McPork, small fries, Shaka-Shaka chicken, and apple pie (I think).

Aww this Nara University sign on the doors of the subway is just too cute.

Next up, we go to a place I’d been looking forward to!

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