Two Last Temples
Trip Start Aug 11, 2010
21Trip End Sep 02, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
I had big plans for today. I was going to zip and see as much as I could in my last full day in Kyoto. When I drive by in the bus, I see temple after temple that I have no chance of visiting.
My plans were quickly dashed as I tried first to find somewhere to buy my bus ticket from Tokyo to Mt Fuji 5th station. Frommer's said travel agencies could arrange them. Not every travel agency. By the time I got to the JBT Agency it was 9:50 but they don't open until 10. A young woman sneaked in ahead of me somehow when the door was opened. But eventually I left with the bus tickets - 3 of them. One from Tokyo to the 5th station the morning of the 23rd. The second from the 5th station to the bottom of Mt Fuji mid-afternoon on the 24th. And the final one from there to Tokyo close to 7 pm in order to give me time to get back down....assuming I make it to the top
Sanjusangendo Hall was extraordinary. It is said to be the longest building in Japan or Asia. What further amazed me was how it was built. Granted it had been burned down and rebuilt but this building is old yet it appears to be extremely strong and well built. The pieces of wood are huge; They used a special technique for the foundation alternating sand and clay. They had one piece of wood that was kind of shredded because of the archery competitions. One event of the competition held here was an all day event. You shot as many arrows as you could in a 24 hr period. I think the winner averaged something like 9 shots per minute making over 8 thousand out of 13 thousand shots - at least that is what I think I remember. This too was extraordinary.
After coming from the torii gate temple yesterday, I get the impression that multiples ,,, in huge numbers....is something that is desirable here
A short bus ride later and I was on my way up a rather long hill to Kiyomisudera Temple - the Temple of the Pure Water. A digression here because I have been very struck by the clear water here in Kyoto. The water in the old canals, in drains along the streets or even some ditches all looks so clear. It is hard to believe. I may have seen one or two ponds with lots of algae but otherwise water seems to be highly respected and you don't typically find trash and garbage in the water
By the time I got moving, I thought it was too late for Nijo and it was time to get some dinner. I checked out my Frommer's and was going to be adventurous and picked a sushi place in Kyoto center. I went back to the station and found the appropriate bus and waited for the right stop. And waited. It seemed like more than the minute Frommer's said it would take. I got off the first time it stopped and asked a young woman for directions. She thought I was 2 stops beyond where I should have been so she kindly waited at the bus stop with me until the #205 came in the opposite direction. I was ready to get on but she held me back and said I was supposed to get on the next bus right behind this one....also #205. Ah, I thought to myself, I picked an express bus. So I got on this bus and waited.....until I got back to Kyoto Station again....no stops
At this point I decided to eat at Kyoto Station again but picked a new spot: a restaurant on the 9th floor of a big department store. The elevators were slow. Some had elevator girls dressed in blue uniforms with Santa Claus type hats, but rounded, not pointed. I had more sushi and beer overlooking the Kyoto Tower and the city of Kyoto. It was a fine setting for my last dinner in Kyoto.