I was officially sick in Kyoto and needed to rest. So I gave my friend my camera to at least bring some impressions home. He had to walk from the hotel to the nearby Kyoto Train Station and had to buy another day ticket for the bus and subway in front of the station, where also the bus terminal is located.
Now let’s hear from him about his adventure alone in the wilderness of Kyoto, shall we?
“After finding the right bus stop, I lined up in a long queue for the Bus 206 for another huge attraction of Kyoto, the Kyomizudera Temple. Bus connections inside Kyoto are fortunately easily found online. It took a bit more than 10 minutes in a crowded bus to Gojozaka Station, from where a street leads upwards to the temple. When I finally came closer to the entrance it became really crowded (tour buses park nearby and there were many), so crowded that I lost interest and decided to skip it.
Iinstead walked back the busy street leading to the Kyomizudera Temple where I had already seen a sign for the Kodaiji Temple. I walked through a beautiful area, the historic Higashiyama District until the street came to an end. To the right was a street to the Ryozen Kannon, to the left a street to the Kodaiji Temple, but a path also lead upwards to a huge parking lot, where I could already see the Ryozen Kannon. The Ryozen Kannon which is actually a war memorial, has a huge statue and is quite a sight.
From the parking lot in front of the Ryozen Kannon it is just a few steps to the north to the entrance of the Kodaiji Temple. Unfortunately, I only found out later and walked back down from the parking lot and later had to walk up again to another path, after confirming with a Japanese woman, that this is the path leading to the entrance. The lovely Kodaiji Temple however proved to be quite rewarding. When I followed the walking course inside the complex, I even came to another bamboo forest.
I continued back down and then to the north towards the next sight, the Yasaka Shrine and could even help two Italian tourists, who were looking for the way to the nearby Gion Geisha District, with my maps. The Yasaka Shrine is another huge complex with so much to see.
I exited the Yasaka Shrine complex at the western entrance, where a big and busy road leads to the Gion District. The district was originally built to accommodate the needs of the travellers and visitors to the shrine. Later on, it became one of the most exclusive geisha districts in all of Japan. From the big street another street leads south into the Hanami-koji area. I went there, but didn’t stay there long. There were so many cars driving through the streets and it was rather busy and stressful. The pedestrian road is where the cars were also driving through.
After a coffee I instead walked to the Chionin Temple. The temple is located further north and has a huge gate. The major highlight was the massive bell.
From the Chionin Temple I walked further to the north to the Shorenin Temple, which is completely different to the Chionin Temple. While at the Chionin Temple everything is huge and impressive, at the Shorenin Temple it is more small, green and charming.
The road continued to the north towards another huge and impressive complex, the Heian Shrine. I actually came at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art first, but skipped that.
From the Heian Shrine I walked eastwards along the Kyoto Zoo towards the Nanzenji Temple. It is another huge complex, with a lot of green, beautiful gardens and even an aqueduct.
I then walked to nearby Keage Station and took the subway back to Kyoto Train Station.”
I had a good rest and slept the most part of the day at the hotel. When my friend came back, I could at least get up and feeling a bit better, so we went to the shopping centre at the train station for some food and later enjoyed the great onsen of the APA Hotel Kyoto-eki Horikawa-Dori.