My sweet escape: Kyoto, I'm in love!

Kyoto. Friday, 18/10/2013
It's been three weeks since I returned from my trip to Japan. Still not yet done with my 9-days-in-japan-travelogue project. hehe yes, I am such such a master of procrastination. 
Okay, let's begin!
Our itinerary for Kyoto consisted of Fushimi Inari, Arashiyama, Kiyomizudera, Gion and some other places I really couldn't recall right now since we only got to Fushimi Inari, Arashiyama and Kiyomizudera. heh Well, Kyoto simply cannot be explored in 1 day. There's so much to discover from this amaaaazing city.
That morning we headed straight to Kyoto from Osaka. The train ride took about an hour to reach Kyoto via local line. Should've taken the shinkansen for time-saving purpose.
As we arrived in Kyoto, we decided to go to Fushimi Inari Taisha first. This stunning shrine was dedicated to the gods of rice and sake and it is the most popular shrine in Japan. There's a pathway wanders 4km up the mountain and lined with thousands of red torii.

Blend in. hehe

There are also dozens of stone foxes.We wondered why's the foxes there. I remember watching an anime, Spirited Away (if I'm not mistaken), it is about a spirit in the form of fox coming out from the stone figure, and and is capable of possessing humans. And from what I read (just now), the fox is considered the messenger of Inari, the god of rice harvest (and, more recently, business). Of course, japanese also traditionally see the fox as sacred, mysterious figure that can possess humans. Aha, now I knowww.image
Blend in. again. hehe
During our trip, we didn't get the help from the tourist guide, so it was quite a waste, for not learning/understanding the significance of each places we visited. Basically, we're just taking photos and yeah, that's all we did. -__- Never mind, there's always next time, right? 
We explore the area, took some photos, and decided to go down and find something to eat. Fyi, we didn't even made it halfway cuz the shrine iz zooo freaking big (and my feet hurt so bad). yeah, it's a bit frustrating. 
We found a takoyaki stall near the shrine area woohooo! I've always wanted to try takoyaki in Japan! It's always been one of my favorite food :) image

It's soooo big and delish! Inside of it was a big,fat and juicy octopus. Love! It only costs us 500yen, which is a reasonable price considered the size and the taste of it. Worth every yenn! Omnomnom
After almost an hour at the Fushimi Inari Taisha, we leave the shrine and headed to Arashiyama, which is Kyoto's second-most important sightseeing district after Higashiyama. 
We started walking toward the famous Togetsu-kyo bridge, along the way to the bridge there's a shopping street where you can buy souvenirs.

Oh, you really really should try the ice cream, the green tea ice cream, to be exact. There's a lot of ice cream stall along the street. It was tooooo good! The flavor, texture and consistency was perfect and it just melt in your mouth! Yumm-ness!
It was a cold day but we walked leisurely along the bridge, enjoying the view from the bridge. This Togetsu-kyo bridge spans the Oi river, and is famous for its cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. 

We then headed to Tenryu-ji Zen temple, the name tenryu (heavenly dragon) was inspired by a priest who had dreamt of a dragon rising from the nearby river, which is a sign that the emperor's spirit was uneasy, hence the temple was constructed. I see. To get inside the inner garden of the temple, an admission fee (500 yen) is required.

The japanese garden is always the best. I will decorate my house with japanese element one day (wait till I have one! hehe).  
Just outside the north gate of the temple, there lies the Arashiyama's famous bamboo grove. We made friends with the locals on our way out from the bamboo grove. Japanese people are so warm and friendly. We're like the only people who wore headscarf there (and speaks with loud voices, too), Seriously, Japanese people are soft spoken. and very polite. Very contrary from us. So they must  be curious, "who are they, where are they from, and what they're doing here."  lol.  and again. we didn't ask for their facebook account. Meh. 

Our next destination was the Kiyomizu-dera. It is also a temple. Indeed, Kyoto has more than 1600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shinto shrines, imagine that! Of course, Kyoto is one of the world's most culturally rich cities. So, back to Kiyomizu-dera. We went there by bus. There's a steep pathway to the temple, known as Chawan-zaka (Teapot Lane), lined with shops selling Kyoto's handicrafts, local snacks and souvenirs. It is really steep, and my feet hurts. tottemo ittaidesu!. We all blamed Ecah, our Kyoto tourist guide slash travel buddy slash friend, for taking us to a place like this. and caused my feet sores. Hehe Jk jk:P

This is it.
there's the stairs leading to the waterfall Otowa-no-taki, where visitor drink sacred water believed to bestow health and longevity.


Blend in even moree.teehee


I don't know if it was a school holiday, but there's a lot of students there, and of course we made new friends, too haha. Japanese people sure does love their picture being taken. hehe so kawaii high school students.
kawaii ;3 eh

It was getting dark. We then quickly walked down the slope and headed to a Muslim-friendly restaurant near the Maruyama park. But we were quite lost. Getting lost when travelling was quite interesting. teehee. We made a new friend, again. Gosh, I forgot her name! She is from Okinawa, obviously not from Kyoto. So she didn't familiar with the place either. But, her phone is working, she used her GPS app and helped us find our way to the restaurant. But it was already dark and creepy. There's no sign of geishas either. So, we decided to go back to the bus stop and headed to Kyoto station and got on a train to Osaka. And baaaack to our hotel. 
I am so in love with Kyoto, especially the Arashiyama district. I just couldn't explain in words. I love the scenery. I love the people. The culture. The environment. I feel like I belong there. Really
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