The Great Kyoto Adventure, Part I

At last, another weekend had arrived. After doing lots of research on the internet, I had decided to take my own personal tour of Kyoto. First stop? Ninna-Ji.

I woke up to the usual site of the dorm room. I loved that room.

I got moving bright and early. My itinerary was all planned out with Hyperdia, but it was quite a complicated one.

As I moved in to Kyoto, I started to take some pictures.

The text on this sign for a guitar learning center is backwards,
for some reason.
After getting off at a certain station in the middle of Kyoto, I got a little lost, because there were two stations with the same name. I looked at a nearby map, and figured out which way to the other station. As I walked down the street, I was a little worried that I was going the wrong way. I hadn't loaded the map information into Galileo Offline Maps for that area, so I just had a blurry, low-detail blob on my iPod. Luckily, I eventually came across what appeared to be a train station.

It was a weird station though. There was no gate, I just walked right up onto the platform.

 Eventually, a one-car, loud purple train pulled up. It was the only train I had ever seen like it in Japan. Instead of paying at a station gate, you were supposed to pay as you were getting off the train. It was a pretty slow train, with a sign on the front reading ワンマン, or "One-Man."

There was another place at the stop where it said to pay, which was confusing, since I had already paid. I just walked past it.

I had originally planned on taking this train all the way up to Kinkakuji, but considering how slowly the train was moving, and how close this particular station was to one of my other destinations, I decided to create my own route, and visit these three temples in backwards order, climbing the hill instead of descending it.


I walked out of the station, and looked up the street to see the entrance to Ninna-Ji.

It was a very old-looking place, much older than the temples I had visited before. The wood was more brown and weathered.

All of the typical stuff was there. Here you can see the scary statues at the entrance.


To my left as I entered, there was a pay-gate, I think it was 500 yen or so to go in, but it looked to me like there was plenty of interest to see outside of that gate, and since I'm wasn't really that interested in the temple to begin with, I just headed straight.

The nature was ridiculously lush, and with the mountains in the backdrop, it looked like I was completely surrounded by nature.

I headed yet deeper in, looking at more things whose meanings I did not know, but they were sure cool to look at.

Instead of continuing straight forward, I branched off to get a closer look at this tower. I had to wait a moment to avoid walking in front of some girls taking pictures of it.

I wound around the side trail a bit...

Took a selfie or two...

There was some kind of construction going on on the west side. There was actually an entire building covered in a tarp.

In the middle, at the north end, was this huge temple. I had to come back a few times to get a picture without somebody praying in front of it.

I stopped in this pavilion, which had garbage cans, a vending machine, and a shrine. I could hear the Japanese people at the table next to me moaning about how cool it was under the pavilion. Even more than where I live, people in Japan seem to constantly talk about how hot/cold it is.


I headed towards the entrance from which I came, but decided to check out another path branching east, where there was another exit.

I stopped to take a picture of this statue. Sorry if I'm being vague, but I didn't, and still don't, know much about Shinto or Buddhism. But even so, the temples are really awesome.

I headed out, and started prowling the streets towards my next destination, Ryoan-Ji.

Stay tuned for part II!

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