I'm trying to figure out if the blog will have some specific update days each week or if I keep randomly doing so depending on my free time. I'll try to stick to mondays and thursdays starting next week since I'm working on sticking to a calendar to get a couple of projects done, so in maybe a month I'll tell you guys if it worked or not for me! Here comes another bit of my Japan adventure, hope you enjoy the read!
So, still in Kyoto, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the places I wanted to go that my husband reminded me it's better to try and truly enjoy the moments wherever you are, it's better to visit one or two places and have fun than trying to rush a bunch of locations and just stress over how you couldn't get to see 'that thing'. So we decided to just go to Nara that evening, even if one of the main temples was going to be closed the parks remained open. Nara is about an hour on train from Kyoto station, and you get to see the country side on the way there. I had been there before, but visiting during sunset and specially at night is a completely different experience.
We walked towards Nara Park and enjoyed the amazing sights that conform one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, best of all, crowd free! On top of the beautiful temples the park has a quite large deer community roaming free, and since they are used to humans you can feed and pet them, with some caution and care of course. After a while of petting a bunch of deer and as the sunset was drawing near, we headed towards Tōdai-ji Temple, where the largest bronze statue of a Buddha sits. The temple, as I said, was already closed, but not the common grounds. The sun finally went down while walking around this huge temple's gardens, and we listened to the a-bit-eerie silence of a forest temple at night, there was a nice calmness and a gentle breeze among the stone paths that, after a little while, reminded me of horror asian movies and videogames. My suggestion: if you are a wimpy scaredy person like I am, I would recommend doing this only if accompanied by a normal person.
So thankfully, my husband kept me sane and made me forget those scary thoughts, so I joined him once again in enjoying the night scenery as we made our way back to the station, but before leaving we visited a couple souvenir shops and had a wonderful eel dinner before calling it a day.
The next day I was excited to go rent a kimono as my friend Blanca kindly suggested, but sadly the cloudy weather turned into rainy weather for the rest of our Kyoto trip, so we decided it was going to be something for the next trip, because it sounds like something we definitely have to try! I can only imagine you feel like a princess walking around the temples wearing a beautiful kimono, but seeing all the puddles on the streets and having an awfully fluffy hair because of the rain while holding my umbrella bursted my bubble. But I get the feeling we'll be visiting again in a not so distant future, so I can still be a princess some day!
We decided to visit one of Japan's most popular buildings: Kinkaku-ji, Temple of the Golden Pavilion. On our way, we stopped by Hirano-jinja Shrine, where the pouring rain made it somehow more magical as it kind of breath life to the greenery all around it. It had a beautiful path of cherry trees, wild grasses and moss on top of the shrine's roof, it was really lovely!
After a short walk we arrived at Kinkaku-ji, and it was crowded! I couldn't snap a lot of pictures because there was so many people along the paths. The villa is stunning, with a beautiful path that goes up hill and back down around, taking you through the famous golden pavilion and ancient tea houses and buildings. We had a short break before leaving to eat some black sesame and gold dango, they were chewy and delicious and pretty!
The rest of the day we spent in Arashiyama, but since I have a couple of photos of that place I'll leave that to the next post, along our last day on the Kansai area in Osaka. My Memorial day weekend was uneventful (but nice, we decided to rest) so my in-between post next week might be a recipe!