Time for Temples!

The jet lag this trip is killing me, much more so than usual. In the past a 12 hour flip hasn’t been this difficult. I need to take melatonin tonight – hopefully that will help realign my schedule

This morning we tried the breakfast buffet at the hotel. In addition to western offerings, such as eggs, bacon, and hash browns, there were gobs of Japanese options such as fish, tofu, rice porridge, curry, and gobs of other unnamed foods. I tried a spare few of these. Fish in the morning just doesn’t feel right to me.

Oh and local yogurt. The local drinking yogurt was absolutely wonderful. 

Following breakfast, we headed out and hopped on a bus to one of the temple districts in town. We started at the Kiyomizu-Dera temple. The bus let us out on an unmarked corner and we paused momentarily to gather ourselves and get oriented. 

We followed the few others out in the morning haze, heading up a street past closed store fronts. Ahead in the distance, a temple began to break through the mists.

This is a Buddhist temple, the current buildings of which were constructed in 1633. No nails were used in the construction, and I think that’s pretty cool.

The grounds are pristine, and there are numerous buildings to be seen. Although it looks like that’s a restroom toward the front of the frame.  Not exactly a temple, I guess.

They use a lot of orange here. Technically I think it’s vermillion, but it looks orange to me.

The deity worshipped here is Kannon, who stands for mercy and compassion, among other things. According to the website, “The figure of Kannon embodies your thankful hearts—feelings of gratitude for coming into this world, your tranquil daily lives, and your loved ones, friends, and acquaintances who are always there beside you.” This feels right for the month of November, the month of Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately the doors are closed and we cannot view the statue of Kannon.

This place is a Unesco World Heritage Site. I keep going to such sites, and should probably start a list.

After visiting the primary building we headed out afield in the grounds. The signs directed us to the Easy Child-Birth Pagoda, but we somehow got lost and ended up hiking well into the shade of the trees high on the hillside.

We eventually headed back down from the hills, and found this, which I suspect may be the Easy Child-Birth Pagoda. 

Leaving the temple grounds, we headed south, where the vendors had opened for the day. We passed many park grounds and temples.

 

We gave these drums a spin, not bothering to look up what we were doing. But it seemed a thing to do.

Eventually, we left the temple district and found a lunch of real Japanese sushi. It definitely didn’t suck.

 

In the afternoon, we went to a Fushimi Imari-Taisha, a Shinto shrine, known for its thousands of “torii” creating pathways around the grounds.

 

Here’s a view of them you don’t often get. 

Within the gateways, the light reflects in glowing shades of orange and light, where the sun filters through.

 

As the evening drew on, we discussed briefly, and ultimately decided against following the gates up Mt. Inari. Turning back, this was the view. We are still tired and our legs and feet are spent, so we took the train back to Kyoto and dinner.

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