Today I’ve woken up around 4.30 am (the jet lag is still in me), and decided to spend the morning planning the day. Original plan was to hire some bikes and cycle around the city, but considering it was supposed to be quite hot again I’ve figured it won’t hurt to fix up a backup plan. The plan was quite simple – get on the JR train towards Saga-Arishiyama and get lost in this west district of Kyoto.
After Monika got up we’ve decided to go with the backup – neither of us felt like biking on such a hot day.
The train ride was quite short – just 15 mins (6 stops from Kyoto central) on the JR SAGANO line. Our JR Pass (the 14 day rail ticket) covered the cost, so that was nice. The weather also did not disappoint again and indeed it was yet another hot day.
Once we arrived we headed towards Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple – it was quite remote – good 40 mins walk uphill. It was worth it though. The temple is a home to over 1200 little statues made by different people from all over Japan during 1980s and 90s. We also happened to stumble upon local monk who was performing some sort of ceremonies. We kind of stalked him a bit, he didn’t seem to mind though. It was quite interesting to see how humble, simple and ‘true’ he seemed. Totally different from what we are used to see in most of our catholic priesthood.
From there we headed back via Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Street stopping by here and there (mainly local souvenir shops) until we got into Nison-in Temple – founded in 9th century – quite important in times when Kyoto was Japan’s capital city. We’ve taken a little break out there – just sitting for an hour or so enjoying the atmosphere and the view.
We were getting pretty tired and decided to head back towards the train using the famous bamboo grove. Bamboo is very important material for the Japanese people, who use has been using it to manufacture various products, such as baskets, cups, boxes and mats at local workshops for centuries.
The photos are available HERE.
There is some more great photos on Monika’s camera which I might add at some later time.