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Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 4: Kyoto

Kyoto is one of the most important destination in our trip. I allocate 4 days just for Kyoto alone and plan it such that it coincides with the peak of autumn foliage. And what we are going to do here is simply temple hopping! Not that I am very interested in temples but Kyoto's most gorgeous autumn colors are usually found around the area.

Nijo Castle
Even the promotional brochure didn't look interesting. So we just took photos from outside and left.

Main entrance

This is the building they put in the brochure. Must be the best looking one though. :P

Honganji Temple
The temple is huge but architecture and foliage wise isn't very impressive.

The lotus fountain and the main gate of Honganji.

Stone lantern and the main gate

Feed the doves

Dragon spurting out water

Main temple building

The interior

Opposite the temple, there's a small island dividing the road. I had more fun here than the temple earlier. :P

Fallen ginkgo leaves.

A Japanese style house across the road.

From here we took the subway to Nanzenji Temple.

Foliage along the way to Nanzenji temple.

Nanzenji Temple
Finally, my first favourite temple for autumn foliage.

Nanzenji Temple

Isn't it superb?

Girls in kimono

Main temple building

Decorative roofs

See the colors. My mouth was wide open most of the time. :P

These red maple leaves are very close to the ground. It 'floats'.

Close up look of the maple leaves.

The temples in Kyoto are usually surrounded by the mountains or hills.

Sightseeing in style.

Next, lunch at Coco curry house. They have a few branches in Seoul and it's my favourite eating place.

Tori karaage in curry.

Beef steak in curry.

Kyoto Imperial Palace
The only way to see the Imperial Palace is through the guided tour. Need to book in advance.

It's a huge group!

Roof made of cypress bark.

Arranging the rocks. This is not exactly a Japanese rock garden, but same concept.

Model of cypress bark roof, hiwada.

The bark is arranged layer by layer and secured with bamboo nails.

See how long it takes to make the roof this big! And it only lasts for 30 years.

Shishinden, the most important building in the palace and is used for important ceremonies such as enthronement.

The ugliest building in the palace with a rusty aluminium roof. It is a warehouse. :)

Oikeniwa Garden

Japanese garden is all about nature. The trees represent the mountains, water is the ocean and pebbles are the shore.

He sketched to keep the memories alive while the rest of us took pictures.

Gonaitei garden

Nishiki Market
A traditional market selling a lot of Japanese stuffs.

Nishiki market

Cute sweets

Fish eggs

This shop is all about fortune cats.

Red bean desserts soak in water!

Took a break in a cafe.

Ice cream and mini donuts. Yum!

Usually there is a shrine near the market and Nishiki market is no exception.


More lanterns

Red lanterns

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