Kyoto April 2013 Part 1

First part of my Kyoto trip is here! I really love Kyoto from the bottom of my heart, and wanted to save these posts for last, but I apologize if it took longer than expected! Originally planned for the two parts to go up last month, but couldn’t as I was suddenly swamped with work (for the secret project I keep mentioning). Now that it’s almost over, I can finally concentrate on this without my mind going blank in the middle of typing! I’m also bound for Hong Kong in a few days, so might as well bump this off my list of pending posts.

First things first. Japanese-style burger thing! With egg and mushrooms, two out of three of my food faves. The third one is cheese, of course!

The ultimate breakfast for me is an omelette with loads of cheese and mushrooms. This is why my cholesterol is high.

Coffee time! I love how they sell “honey latte” everywhere in Japan! I wonder if there’s any cafe here in Manila that offers the same-ish taste, because I really miss it a lot! Or maybe I should just try making my own?

I am really convinced that luck is never on my side while traveling. It ALWAYS rains. Even if I check the weather the week before and the forecast turns out good, it still ends up raining.

Looks like two pictures I cut in half and put together, but this is an actual wall. The shuriken or origami-ish print is glorious and wish we had remotely similar minimalist MMDA art along EDSA.

First stop was Heian Shrine. I’ve been to Kyoto before but somehow missed this place. Better late than never!

Jidai Matsuri, one of Kyoto’s three main festivals, ends in Heian Shrine.

Garden than takes up about half the whole land area of the the shrine. Still beautiful even if it was raining so hard. I actually think it even contributed to this ethereal and unreal photo effect.

Can you imagine having a garden like this? Looks straight out of a movie! Kyoto is so photogenic, anyone can print their photos out and pass them off as legit postcards.

The lake at Heian Shrine.

Obviously, I made all the green in this post more like yellow-green through post-processing! Sorry I’m not sorry!

Doesn’t matter if my shoes got ruined trekking through all the mud and rain puddles. These pictures made it so worth it.

Bunch of school boys feeding the fish.

I did not ask them to arrange themselves by height.

Me and my denim + floral print spring outfit. Tights weren’t originally part of the plan, but the rain made the temperature lower than expected. They protected my legs from all the cold rain, sand and mud! It helps to always pack a pair of black tights in your luggage for emergencies like this one.

Giggled with my brothers because our geekiness kicked in all at the same time at the first sight of PORTAL. It must be a portal to another dimension! 8D

Next stop was Sanjusangendo Hall! First time to visit this place too, and I can’t believe I missed it the first time I went to Kyoto. In a nutshell, it is a wooden hall housing all of 1,001 statues of Kannon, Bodhisattva. YOU HAVE TO VISIT THIS PLACE!

Sad it’s forbidden to take pictures inside the hall. From what I’ve observed so far, places where you need to take your shoes off are places too sacred to take pictures of.

Kiyomizu Temple for the second time! Spot my brother Juju wearing bright yellow pants that pretty much photo-bombed all of my pictures, rendering them almost useless! So out of place, lol.

They say that if you can lift this metal rod, you are strong and worthy enough to protect the temple.

Omikuji or paper fortunes. You tie it up like this if you get a bad one so the fortune won’t follow you. You can keep it in your bag or wallet if you get a good one!

One of my favorite pictures! Thank God it was raining that day or this wouldn’t have looked as dramatic.

My dream is to be able to visit this place in fall! I can only imagine how magical this would look like with all the red/orange foliage.

Not a single nail was used for this structure.

“To jump off the stage at Kiyomizu” is a popular saying that means “to take the plunge”, and people used to believe that literally jumping 13 meters down and surviving can grant you a wish! Of course, this has long been prohibited! Too freaky!

Torii of Jishu-jinja, a matchmaking shrine. If you don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend yet, you can try the love stone challenge! Basically, there are two stones that are 6 feet apart, and you have to get from one side to the other with your eyes closed. If you succeed, true love will find you!

Her bright pink outfit stood out so much. Loved it so I used my ninja photo-taking skills again.

See any familiar bands?

Shopping area for souvenirs at the end of the tour.

Back at Kyoto Station, I chanced upon this girl who seemed to be waiting for me to take a picture of her. Or not. Only in my dreams.

I loved her pastel leopard print scarf and bright red phone case! Stalking skills level 99 has been demonstrated once more~

OMG OUR DINNER WAS MADE OF HUMAN FLESH

They meant “fresh”, lol

Kyoto Tower at night. I wasn’t able to go up the tower but hopefully I can visit Kyoto again soon!

Upon arriving at this station for the first time 4 years ago, my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t believe how it’s even possible for a station to be this pretty.

Now you know why they always have the nicest backgrounds and architectural designs in anime, manga and video games. Because they also have the nicest places IRL!

I’ve often wondered how it would be like to be a kid in Japan. You just kind of get used to a certain standard of beauty, I guess? Art is everywhere. And beautiful art at that. Once you are born, you are exposed to all sorts of pretty.

Don’t get me started on how their packaging is always FLAWLESS.

Steps somewhere in the station. There was some sort of light show happening when I took this picture, and I had to wait at this angle to be able to view it properly. Simple but nifty! Won’t spoil it for you guys, so you can check it out for yourselves if you go to Kyoto.

If you go all the way up, you can find yourself at a really dark area where there are a lot of couples hanging out / cuddling / I don’t know, lolololol

Part two coming soon!

If anyone is interested, I booked this Kyoto Afternoon Tour. It was okay. Just a bit rushed. Couldn’t really pick up a lot of info because there were like 40 other people in the tour (and I’m used to touring around on my own / with my family), but the Sanjusangendo bit made it worthwhile. I don’t think you’ll be able to enjoy it as much if you go on your own without someone explaining the whole story behind the 1,001 statues. I don’t remember any English guides in the place.