The Heart of Kyoto

Today was predicted to be hot, so I stuck with light, airy fabrics and some of my favorite accessories from Pinkyotto. I’m loving their new Fall designs, so definitely check out their new collection!

pinkyotto

travel style

pinkyottotravel style

travel style

First stop: Kiyomizu-Dera—the temple of clear water—a Buddhist temple located halfway up Otowa Mountain in eastern Kyoto. I traveled by City Bus to Gojozaka; from Gojozaka, I hiked fifteen-minutes uphill (rethinking the shoes) to reach the temple grounds. Near the cemetery, I chose the road less traveled to enter the grounds, and at the end of the tour, the main path to exit, picking up a snack before heading out for my last stop. I enjoyed the many important cultural properties of Kiyomizu-Dera including a three-storied pagoda, bell tower and my favorite, the Kaizan-do Hall.

kiyomizu temple
Deva Gate at the entrance of the temple.
kiyomizu templeBell Tower
kiyomizu templeKaizan-do Hall

kyoto

kiyomizu temple    kiyomizu temple

kyoto

Leaving Kiyomizu-Dera, I glanced to my right and caught a glimpse of the ancient Yasaka Pagoda, welcome evidence that history is around every corner in Kyoto. Surrounded by modern architecture and neon signs, I was discouraged when I first arrived, but as I began to explore, I was pleased to see Kyoto’s rich history begin to unfold.

yasaka pagoda

The Shinto Yasaka Shrine, located in the Gion district of Kyoto, is my final stop for the day. Yasaka is one of the more popular shrines in the city welcoming visitors and locals alike offering its traditions, vistas and peace. The chiming of bells carries on the breeze and marks the moment pilgrim and faithful pay their respects as they make an offering (saisen) to the kami.

yaska shrineThe lanterns over the stage are the names of those who sponsor the festival every New Year.

kyoto

shinto shrine    shinto shrine

I will spend the night in Kyoto and then it’s back to the Conrad Hotel and my final night in Tokyo before I head for Seoul.

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