Kiyomize Temple (UNESCO's Cultural Heritage site) is one of the most frequently visited temples in Kyoto. The locals come here to enjoy the beauty the nature brings to the surroundings of the Temple. It was built in 793 and renovated in 1633, 30 years after the Tokugawa Shougun had started. Its a "must" place when you are in Kyoto.
How to get there: Take subway to Shijou and change to City Bus (207) and get off at Kiyomizemichi and you walk 10 minutes.
If you wish to hear Sunday Mass, this church holds English service at 12 noon.
It is right beside the Kyoto Royal Hotel on Kawaramachi St., about 2 mins. walk south of the Shiyakushomae subway station.
Most of the water glasses of restaurants in Japan are small and tiny. I for one drink a lot of water so when I am at the restaurant I request for more water.
Most of the time the Japanese restaurants provide for tea, though. But there is nothing like drinking water after your meal as I am used to.
However, drinking tea is supposed to be good for your health so I just drank a lot of tea while I was there.
Drinking pop/soda is not the "in" thing in Japan. It is very unusual to sea diners ordering coke, sprite or other soda. The Japanese usually drink tea before their meals or after their meals.
Most restaurants in Japan only give one napkin on the table for each person. They don't give away stacks of napkins. So, if you needed one, make sure to request from the waiter and she will gladly give more.
As we arrived in Kyoto the first day, my sisters and I had to kill time before our check in time at the hotel. (The check in time is actually at 3 pm instead of 11 am in the U.S.). We took a bus and went to one of the temples in Kyoto. As we stopped at the bus stop, we saw a local wedding. This guy in black was pulling a rickshaw with the bride and the groom on it!
It was a little bit chilly that morning (November 2007). The bride was covered with red silk blanket as they proceeded down the street.
Cherry Blossom Forecast! Is there such a thing?
Apparently, yes in Japan. If you often watch TV or Newspaper they often forecast about cherry blossom fall and the best day to view the full bloom of Sakura tree. Kansai is properly the best region to view sakura during cherry blossom season.
If you staying in the hotel, you will definite see big notice board next to concierge desk (quite common) about Cherry Blossom Forecast.
I realise one cultural expect that we all tourist must observe and learn from the Japanese; particularly when taking a train or bus or even metro.
Things I observed in Kyoto metro:
1. Seat tight or stand quitely
2. No ringtones & no talking in the handphone
3. Whisper only (but most of the time they dont talk)
4. Look down or up otherwise reading newspaper or manga
The residence of Kyoto are almost too classy. They are outstandingly friendly they go out of their way to do nice things for non locals. In Japan more then anywhere I've been prople are willing to help you. I was told what direction to go many times and went the wrong was and people behind the ticket booth would come running after me and tell me where to go! Almost anywhere else people would have just watched you go the wrong way.
Pichino is a popular game in Japan it is a casino style game played with small metal balls. The more balls you get the better things you get when you win. It is illegal in Japan to gamble for money but many pichinko players do it under the table.
Okuni stands by a bridge crossing Kamogawa - wearing a samurai sword and a fan.
She's also called Izumo No Okuni and was a Japanese dancer who is credited as being the founder of the Kabuki art form. She was a maiko at the Grand Shrine of Izumo where her father worked as a blacksmith, and where several other family members served. As it was a custom of the time to send priests, miko and others to solicit contributions for the shrine, she was sent to Kyoto to perform sacred dances and songs.
It was during her performances in Kyoto that she also became known for her innovation: her nembutsu dance, in honor of the buddha Amida.
Around 1603, Okuni set up a theatre on the dry riverbed of the Shijogawa (now the Kamo river) and formed a troupe of female dancers who gave a highly popular performance of dances and light sketches on a dry riverbed in Kyoto.
Though she required her male actors to play female roles and her female actors to play that of the males, she was known for playing roles of either gender. In particular, she was best known for her roles as samurai and Christian priests. She retired in1610.
In 2003 a statue was erected in her honor, located at the side of the Kamo river in the Pontochō district of Kyoto.
Kamagawa stretches for about 30km and throughout Kyoto there are pathways so you can walk along the river. In the afternoon there's usually lots of couples sitting on the sides of Kamagawa, just under the terraces of Ponto-cho. (Notice the exact distance between every couple!)
Having a meal on one of the terraces overlooking the river is highly recommended on a warm summer's night! If you're only after coffee, Starbucks got a very nice terrace.. and its free! (see pic)
Kyoto get lot of visitors not only adalt tourists but also field trip students,
most Japanese students do the sights of Kyoto on their school excursion
they makes group and tend to act together and they wear school uniform
Ryokan are accommodations, peculiar to Japan. And its the only one of its form in the world. Ryokan are an excellent accommodation as good as hotel. The structures are made of wood. They have a Western-style guest room but mainly composed of Japanese-style room.(Room with straw tatami mats) A Japanese-style room has various faces as a drawing room, living room and also a bed room. Ryokan is built in a traditional mode of Japanese architectual style and inside, you can see and feel the Japan's beautiful culture and tradition. You can enjoy Japanese dishes and culture also.
At the entrance of your room, you remove your shoes and enter your room.
In the evening, your room will be converted into a bedroom whereby futons will be laid on the tatami mat.
Difference from Western-style hotels, Ryokan has a unique customs. Ryokan staff (usualy called "Nakai" in Japan) will enter your room and serve you in these cases.
1. When you arrive at your room.
2. When you have dinner. (breakfast)
3. To make your bed (futon) after dinner.
4. To clean up your bed (futon) in the morning.
Yes, I tried it once. Many visitors do not know the procedure when bathing in a public hot bath.
Basically, what you have to do is as follows :
1. Walk into the hot bath area naked.
2. Before dipping into the hot bath, shampoo and rinse yourself clean.
3. Dip into the hot hot bath.
4. When you are done, get up, towel dry and put on your yugata.
Or just follow what others do.
This may not be completely local but something you will run into anywhere in Japan.
When you walk down the street or go to a phone booth.... In the public toilette or outside any shop or bar...
You will see the posters for prostitutes... Take your pick!!! It comes in the mail!!!
Naked girls all over the place!
My favourite comes when the photos are next to a beautiful old house or restaurant.
We stayed 3 nights at Kyoto Granvia Hotel from Feb. 27 to Mar 1, 2008. We paid Yen 17,600 per night,...more
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