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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ニッポン 5 - KYOTO/OSAKA

05Sept08 Fri
Day 5 - Kyoto→Kimono Show→KinkakujiKiyomizu Temple
Osaka Castle
→Shinsaibai Shopping Street/Dotonbori→Universal City

Playing Bingo on bus to Kyoto. Long ride from Toyohashi!
Didn't win... had a bogus win and got so embarrassed. one family kept winning and our tour guide Victor was so stressed over the prizes he promised.

Fuji-Q Highland (富士急ハイランド) is an amusement park in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan.

WOOHOO! makes my heart skip a beat..

adrenaline rush, i like! i will challenge this theme park some day!! i'm serious!

You see this on the streets every now and then.
Records the number of traffic casualties for the day for the certain prefecture.
Kiki and I will cheer when the numbers are small.

turtle looking thing (?)

map to Kinkakuji

Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺 Golden Pavilion Temple) is th informal name of Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺, Deer Garden Temple) in Kyoto, Japan. It was originally built in 1397 to serve as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, as part of his estate then known as Kitayama.[1] It was his son who converted the building into a Zen temple of the Rinzai school. The temple was burned down twice during the Ōnin War.

The Golden Pavilion, or Kinkaku, is a three-story building on the grounds of the temple. The top two stories of the pavilion are covered with pure gold leaf. The pavilion functions as a shariden, housing relics of the Buddha (Buddha's Ashes). The building is often linked or contrasted with Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion Temple, which is also located in Kyoto.

The Golden Pavilion is set in a magnificent Japanese strolling garden (kaiyū-shiki). The pond in front of it is called Kyōko-chi (Mirror Pond). There are many islands and stones on the pond that represent the Buddhist creation story.

In 1950, the pavilion was burned down by a monk, who then attempted suicide on the Daimon-ji hill behind the building. He survived, but during the investigation after the monk's arrest, his mother was called in to talk with the police; on her way home, she committed suicide by jumping from her train into a river valley. The monk was sentenced to seven years in prison; he died of illness during his imprisonment in 1956. At that time, the statue of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was burned. A fictionalized version of these events is at the center of Yukio Mishima's 1956 book The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.

The present structure dates from 1955. Recently, the coating of Japanese lacquer was found a little decayed, and a new coating as well as gilding with gold-leaf, much thicker than the original coatings, was completed in 1987. Additionally, the interior of the building, including the paintings, was also restored. Finally, the roof was restored in 2003.

The land where the Golden Pavilion sits was used in the 1220s for a villa belonging to Saionji Kintsune.

magnificent isn't it? although to me, looks a bit fake. probably because of the multiple restorations.

place where samurais drank tea.

this is still, not the end of it.
there are many vending machines and convenience stores around.


lockers for shoes

best lunch!! =)

this is interesting. you keep your shoes in these lockers with a wooden key (only fits one lock!)

match the key with the locker

you get your shoes

the thing is, you may forget your keys. and we did. haha.

Nishijin Textile Centre

kimono show

Beautiful? Really expensive though.

Glimpse of Kiyomizu Temple

Jishu Shrine 地主神社

Notice anything about this shrine?
the people going in and out are all couples - yes this is a love shrine.

Jishu Shrine is a small shrine tucked away behind Kiyomizudera Temple that even though very small in area, receives an unusually large number of visitors. The reason is that Okuninushi-no Mikoto is enshrined here and he is the god of love and marriage. The deity's messenger is the rabbit. The shrine does a brisk trade in Omamuri (amulets) that promise to help “for love knot”, “for good marriage”, “for love chance”. If you don’t want to spend any money, you can try out the Love Stones (koiuranai no ishi), a pair of rocks set in the ground about 6 metres apart. If you can successfully walk from one stone to the other with your eyes closed you will be lucky in love. Of course, if you don’t succeed you can always buy an Omamuri.
The shrine was built by Shogun Iemitsu in 1633, and is an unusually colorful and busy site.

and then I was made to try.

by this time everyone was looking

it was terrifying to walk alone with eyes shut.

so how did I fare? well a bit off the target. haha.


Can I trust this pair of stones or not....................


Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) is a Tendai Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Its full name is Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺). The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site. Not one nail is used in the whole temple.

I told Dennis, if you close your eyes and walk down this stairs without tripping you will be lucky all your life (following the love shrine). Apparently a Taiwanese standing nearby heard it and smiled. Oh embarrassing!



kawaii menu

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle (大坂城・大阪城 Ōsaka-jō) is a Japanese castle in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Originally called Ozakajō, it is one of Japan's most famous castles, and played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Osaka Castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one kilometer square (1100 yards square). It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls of cut rock, using a technique called Burdock piling, each overlooking a moat. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from sword-bearing attackers.

The Castle grounds, which cover approximately 60,000 square meters (15 acres)[1] contain thirteen structures which have been designated as Important Cultural Assets by the Japanese government,[2] including the Toyokuni Shrine, dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

The castle is open to the public, and is easily accessible from Osakajōkōen Station on the JR West Osaka Loop Line. It is a popular spot during festival seasons, and especially during the cherry blossom bloom (hanami), when the sprawling castle grounds are covered with food vendors and taiko drummers. The large indoor arena Osaka-jo Hall is also located within the grounds of the castle.

It was rainy and the weather spoilt the mood =(
lucky it was the few rainy days while I was in Japan


Headed over to Osaka Shinsaibashi 心斎橋
Shopping street in Osaka

Well things aren't exactly cheap.. but it's a very very long shopping street

Famous Glico Signboard

there were suspicious guys standing on the bridge where I was.
wonder what they are up to...


Dōtonbori (道頓堀 IPA: [doːtomboɺ̠i]) is one of the principal tourist destinations in Osaka, Japan. It is a single street, running alongside the Dōtonbori canal between the Dōtonboribashi Bridge and the Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba ward of Osaka. A former pleasure district, Dōtonbori is famous for its historic theaters (all now gone), its shops and restaurants, and its many neon and mechanized signs, including snack/candy manufacturer Glico's giant electronic display of a runner crossing the finish line.

Man, I love this place. Food heaven + good atmosphere.


Osaka is famous for Takoyaki. and Okonomiyaki.

Fuyu Puffer fish. Game?

Jinlong Ramen is apparently famous. But we had no time to try.

Vivienne Westwood! <3>
Shabu Shabu for dinner

I kinda forced her. Hhaa!

We have reached! Universal City!


Universal City


Each takoyaki shop has its own unique mold

Halloween theme already!

the lift level indicator that looks like a clock.
cool right?

takoyaki flavour snack limited to Kinki area

cute bathroom amenities!

one TV programme that shows the ways to make bentos with sausages

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