Posted by: Darrell | September 23, 2008

Kyoto By Day and Kyoto By Night

JR Kyoto Station

JR Kyoto Station

On the National Equinox Holiday of Sep. 23, we decided to head out to Kyoto. During the afternoon, we went to explore some more of the usual fare that Kyoto offers: ancient temples and shrines. After arriving at Kyoto Station we headed off to Higashi-Honganji Temple. Although the main section of the temple was under construction and thus inaccessible, we still toured around the other sections which were very serene and quiet. An observation about Kyoto station was the amount of gaijin (foreigners) that were walking around the station. On a disappointing note, many of the gaijin did little to fit into society and consistently “gaijin smashed” their way through. Being in Japan for almost a month now, I have managed to grasp some of the delicate and sensitive aspects of society and tried my best to assimilate. I believe that to fully learn and appreciate a culture, you actually have to be part of it rather than always standing on the outside looking in. On that note, my Japanese is quickly improving with the constant daily challenges.

Sanjuusangen-do Temple

Sanjuusangen-do Temple

Afterwards, we headed to Sanjuusangen-do, a Buddhist temple which contains 1001 statues of Kannon. On the outside, the temple looks unassuming; however, stepping inside you are simply astounded by the immense number of statutes with such extensive details. There were also 28 Buddhist guardian statues that represented different characters from Buddhist mythology. In the center there was a gigantic sitting Buddhist statute with many arms. With a strict no picture policy, I was only left with pictures of the outside of the temple.

Following a relaxed afternoon, we had dinner near the Kamo River in Kyoto at Ganko Japanese restaurant. It was a great dinner (albeit expensive), but the ingredients and presentation were superior. And to top off the day, we grabbed some beers and sat along the banks of the Kamo River, drinking and relaxing along with all the other cool kids and young couples in love. With a cool breeze, city reflections on the water and tranquility right next to the hustle and bustle of the city, the river is one of my favourite places in Japan. There is no better way to enjoy the evening this side of Tokyo.

The banks of the Kamo River in Kyoto

The banks of the Kamo River in Kyoto

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Responses

  1. That was a nice night….sitting along the river drinking beer – perfect weather too.
    Now that I’ve made a comment, is my name going to appear on the bogroll… er.. i mean blog roll?


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