Arashiyama November 2014 Part 3 – Jojakko-ji, Nison-in

I read somewhere that Jojakko-ji’s main hall will be under restoration until 2016, but since I was already on Arashiyama’s main tourist path, I still decided to pay a visit. My curiosity was piqued when I saw a lot of people entering the temple grounds despite the news about the long renovation.

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With this as my introduction to the temple, I thought… who wouldn’t go here? It’s so pretty!

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Among all the autumn foliage that I managed to see in Kyoto and Arashiyama, this was my absolute favorite. The leaves covered the sky, and it was glorious.

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What an otherworldly sight. So many Japanese maple trees surrounding the stone path leading to the main temple.

Jojakko-ji was built on the slope of a hill, thus the long stairway going up.

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Jojakko-ji may be one of those smaller, more underrated temples in Arashiyama during spring, summer and winter, but it makes for one of the best (if not *the* best) koyo (color-changing leaves in autumn) spots in Japan.

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Since no one can visit the main hall until 2016, visitors mostly took photos of the 12 meter high Taho-to pagoda, a cultural property of Japan that dates back to the 1600s.

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Giant ginkgo!

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The temple bell.

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This Chinese model was all over Kyoto’s tourist spots, and this was already about the 3rd or 4th time I saw her. She and her team of photographers seemed to have the same itinerary as me!

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This couple too!

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Now you know that the beautiful painted backgrounds in Japanese video games aren’t completely born out of imagination.

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This kind of beauty exists in the world. Lucky for the Japanese, they can experience it any time they want!

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Told you Arashiyama is very tourist-friendly. Thank you Jojakko-ji for printing out this map! I easily found my way to the next temple.

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Inspired by nature.

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Introducing the Jinriksha, or the Japanese rickshaw! These are EVERYWHERE in Arashiyama.

If you’re not into walking for long periods of time or if you’re wearing uncomfortable shoes, you can get into one of these. They’re just a little pricey (average fee starts at ¥2000 or about ₱750 per person) so most people prefer walking or biking. I didn’t get to try it, but it definitely looks like a lot of fun! Some of the jinriksha drivers know how to speak in English, so they can also double as tour guides.

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Arashiyama weather can get rather confusing – I experienced drizzle while the sun was out… TWICE. On top of my Canon 5D Mk II + 24-70 lens (the most killer combination in terms of weight), sony a5000 (which I used to take videos), bag, and other necessities, I suddenly had to whip out my umbrella. I was a walking Christmas tree with the number of items I had on me. I felt like my body was going to snap in half.

But there’s a rainbow always after the rain… *sings*

This was the first one that I saw. Tourists started running from wherever they were to take photos of it. One of the jinriksha drivers kept shouting NIJI! NIJI! NIJI! NIJI! lol

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Tosa Shi Teno – Nakaoka Shintaro, Sakamoto Ryoma, Takechi Zuisan, and Yoshimura Torataro.

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Had lunch at a random noodle shop, where I had my usual matcha soba. I swear I ate matcha soba almost everyday while I was in Kyoto, lol.

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Preparing for the year of the sheep!

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Arashiyama knows that it’s THE place to be during autumn.

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My next stop was Nison-in, a Buddhist temple complex near Jojakko-ji. The path leading up to the temple looked like this! I heard it also looks great during spring.

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The two Buddhist statues here are considered important cultural properties of Japan.

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Not much to see here, but it’s a good retreat from the usual tourist crowd. What I failed to do here was brave the long climb up to see a good view of Arashiyama. I was starting to feel tired at this point, huhu. More reason to come back!

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Confused cherry blossom tree. It’s not spring yet!

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Another temple bell.

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Pastel sneakers and matchy-matchy socks. The kawaii is strong with this one.

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Beauty in symmetry. Kind of hard to believe that this has been around since the 15th century!

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Save the date! February 7, 2015 at R Space Events Venue, Nicanor Garcia Bel-Air, Makati City. Come and see the “Ryuukou Look-Book Fashion Show”, and get updates on the latest Japanese fashion trends. EnjoyJapanPH is selling tickets here. 4 days to go and only 50 tickets left! 

One of the reasons why you should go is that your mere attendance qualifies you for their amazing TRIP TO JAPAN raffle, which is different from their ongoing online contest. I’m hoping and praying that one of my blog readers can experience the same magic that I have experienced in Japan. See you all on February 7th!