There are still some main autumn sights in Kyoto that I have not visited. Thus I decide to drop by it one last time before the start of my winter hibernation period. I bought the bus ticket a week before from the Meitetsu Bus Centre and was told that the earliest bus departing Nagoya is at 9.30am. So this final trip will be the most relax trip ever, cos I'm only waking up at 7.30am in the morning and leaving my dorm at 8am. Surprisingly, the bus arrives in Kyoto only 20mins behind schedule. It gave me ample time to get a Kyoto Day Bus Pass which cost 500Yen and take the 12.33pm train to the first stop for the day at Tofukuji(東福寺).
There is a sizable crowd leaving the train station for the temple. This temple is famous for its autumn leaves and is only second to Arashiyama in Kyoto. On the way to the main temple, there are smaller shrines along the walkway with bright red autumn leaves.
Here is the main sight that greeted me when I arrive at the main temple gate. One of the unique feature of this temple is that it is situated just next to a river. Thus there are bridges spanning across the river with autumn trees at both sides. Visitors to the temple will have the opportunity to cross the bridges and view the autumn leaves either from the bridges or the raised temple platform.
It cost 400Yen to get into the main temple park. The sight is just remarkable, it almost feel like I'm living in a painting. I'm amazed that there are actually such beautiful places on Earth. The mix of red, yellow and green truly gives this place a heavenly feel. I share the photos I have taken below for common viewing. Enjoy!
I left Tofukuji after an hour of strolling through the temple gardens. Think the main highlight of the temple is the beautiful autumn leaves and not the main temple hall.
2. Fushimi Inari Shrine
Further south, just a 15mins fast walk is a popular Shinto Shrine call the Fushimi Inari Shrine(伏見稲荷). This shrine is dedicated to the Shinto god of rice and to the foxes, which are the messengers for the god.
Here is a fox statue. In the fox mouth is a key, which is said to unlock the granary used for storing rice.
This shrine is famous for the thousands of torii gates. There is actually a mountain path at the back of the shrine where visitors can spend up to 4 hours walking through the torii gates and appreciating nature.
All the torii gates are actually donated by well-wishes. I walked up the mountain path and spend some time admiring the large number of toriis.
After Fushimi Inari, I took a direct train to the north of Kyoto where I transited to another bus to Ginkakuji(銀閣寺). I visited the entrance of Ginkakuji when I first came to Kyoto last month. But we came a bit too late and it was closed at 5pm. This time round I made an aspiration to visit this final 'Best of Japan' sight in Kyoto. On my way up to Ginkakuji, I met Robert, whom I have arranged to meet up for dinner this night. We kind of agreed to meet slightly earlier (5pm) instead at a different destination.
Here is the main temple garden of Ginkakuji. There is a large stone garden in the middle.
This is the Silver Pavilion. It is in contrast to the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) which I visited a month before in Kyoto 2.
I climbed up the hill at the top of Ginkakuji and it offers a good view of the surrounding area, against a backdrop of the setting sun. Along the way, I met a fellow traveller from India. We chatted a bit before bidding each other farewell and I went on to my next destination.
I left Ginkakuji at 4pm. As I have quite a bit of time, I decided to walk the entire length of the Path of Philosophy. On the way to the Nanzenji, there are beautiful autumn trees at that area of the path.
I met up with Robert at the train station just south of Nanzenji. There was a slight drizzle and we agreed on our next stop. I will bring him over to Gion and Pontecho to check out the night life in Kyoto. This is actually my third time visiting these places and thankfully the rain stop just as we arrived in Gion. I noticed Robert taking a cool photo of this passageway leading to a restaurant. So I joined in. It really looks good on photo (like the kind you see on magazines).
Here is Robert and me going to my favourite hangout - watami(和民). I always visit this Izakaya whenever I'm in Kyoto. The first time was with the Shiga gang, the second time with Kim-san and this time round with Robert. It serves quite a good variety of food and it is quite affordable.
I ordered my favourite hot pot - the Kimchi hot pot. Took it the last time with Kim-san and it was simply fabulous.
We left back for our accommodations at 8.30pm. Robert is rushing back to Osaka to meet his hostel curfew hour at 11pm. While I am going the opposite direction to my friends' hotel in Omihachiman. We noticed the awfully long queue at the bus stop and after a while, decide to hop on a cab to the train station.