Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Temples and Shrines

I started off my day with a nice breakfast at a small restaurant near the place I'm staying. I had some rice balls and some weird soup. I'm getting pretty good with the chopsticks, although still not super fantastic.

Afterwards I headed out towards Nijojo Castle. It's about 2Km away from the Hostel.

Along the way I saw an "Outside" car wash.

You just park under this thing, get out, stick some money in the side of it, and it goes to work.
It was pretty neat to watch.

A little further down the road, I found a samurai sword shop. Some of these swords cost 1,000,000+ Yen.
I was able to take pictures of these

But she said I couldn't take any pictures of these

Shh, don't tell anyone.

Well, I got to the shrine and you're not going to believe what I found...
A parking lot office

Here's a shrine inside.

There were signs that forbid scribbling. Man, I'm being naughty today.

I met these ladies. The one on the left is 28 years. The middle is 21. And on the right is 30.

Here's another shrine inside.

Here are a bunch of random pictures.

I saw this bird far off and I decided to test out the zoom on my camera.
It's probably about 60 meters away.

Pretty good if I do say so myself.

This is a shell of one of those annoying cicadas.


And here's a birdie

I left the Nijojo castle and headed for Heian-Iingu Shrine.
There was a little stream running through the neighborhood. I wanted to jump in so badly...

As I was walking toward the shrine, I found a gas station that had the pumps hanging from the ceiling.


Here is the entrance to the shrine.

Here's a house off in the distance on the way to the entrance.

Now, I saw a couple of these around here. First of all, these people must be ripped. I should drive one.
Secondly, I cannot understand how these people don't die of heat exhaustion. It's so gosh darn HUMID. Atsui desu nee. I mean, It's about 11:30PM right now, and I'm sweating just laying in bed typing this. Ugh.

And here's the entrance entrance to the shrine from the inside.

Now, before I go any further, I want you all to watch this clip (if you can).
It's a scene from the movie Lost in Translation in which Scarlett Johansson's character is exploring Kyoto.

Okay, now that you've watched that, you may recognize some of these pictures from the video. :P

This is looking inside from the entrance.

Pretty neat!

Off to the side is the entrance to the gardens. Here is a sign right as you enter:

And here are various shots of inside the garden.

The remains of the little engine that couldn't take it anymore.

Small creek running along the path.

Alright, now this spot is in that movie clip.

And this is me in that spot from the movie clip.

Pretty picture of lily pads

Here's a little stream on the side of the path.

It goes under the path to the opposite side.

This is a bridge viewed from the path

While on the bridge there are carp and turtles below that beg for food. I say, someone didn't train them very well.

Back in the main entrance area now, here's a little fountain with some cups. I think you can drink from the cups, but, eh, I decided not to. But I did use the to poor water in my hands to splash on my face.

And finally, here's me in front of the shrine

The next temple is within walking distance, so I began my trek.
The walk is along a river that had a fun fountain in it

Finally I made it to the Nanzenji temple.
This building was in the video

Up the path a little ways (from where those people were walking down in the video)
There's a place to light an incense stick

And then you stick it in a pile of sand

And then say a little prayer or something if you want.

A little further in is this giant water canal that was made in the late 1800s.

And the inside of it

There's a little mini garden inside, too.
Here's a few shots.

Cool little waterfall

Well, I got out of the shrine area and walked through a small neighborhood.
I think this is the same stream I saw earlier that I wanted to jump into, just further up the hill.

I headed back to the train station, hopped on a train and got off at a station near my hostel.
While I was in that station, I found the Stairway to Heaven

And as soon as I emerged from the top, I was dumbfounded on how to pronounce this

Say THAT three times fast!

Anywho, that's all the pictures I have for today. I'm gonna go to sleep. My train leaves for Tokyo tomorrow morning at 11:30.



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