An article recently appeared in The Japan Times saying that Kyoto was really feeling the burden of increased tourism in recent years with locals complaining that they can’t even board buses when they need to as they’re packed full of tourists. That was certainly true on the bus to Arashiyama (where thousands and thousands of people visit the bamboo forest) but not the case for the rest of the places I visited in Kyoto which I had pretty much to myself. The fact that I was in Kyoto by 6:30 am no doubt aided that!
Think of Kyoto and no doubt images of Kinkakuji (Golden Temple), Kiyomizu-dera, Nijo-jo Castle and Fushimi Inari Shrine come to mind. Those are all top level places and crazily busy as a result. A few levels down from that and you’ll come to some of the alternatives shown here by Tokyo Fox.
First up were a couple of interesting buildings (below) close to Marutamachi station on the Subway Karasuma Line. Those places are the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry (233 Shoshoicho, Nakagyo-Ku) and the bizarrely titled Creative Studio & Shop 000.
The unique golden torii gate (below) of Mikane-jinja Shrine (618 Oshinishitoincho, Nakagyo-Ku) was next and it was a much smaller place than I’d anticipated. Many shrines are believed to be lucky when it comes to praying for cash but this places name literally means money shrine! The wooden placards for writing wishes on were a sight to behold as they were just piled up in a huge mountain! It wasn’t even 7:00 am and I’d already ticked off three places I’d wanted to see!
The building below was just round the corner from Mikane-jinja Shrine, close to Karasuma Oike Station. No idea what it is but I liked the design.
The next stop was Sanjo Station as that area featured in ‘The Challenge‘ (1982) and from there I walked and walked. I passed by Kitsune Kyoto (below) and couldn’t resist a picture but I have refrained from adding Kyoto to the ever-growing series of ‘On The Fox Trail……‘ posts!!
The World’s Small Ukiyo-E Museum Ichimura Ichibodo (152 Komatsucho, Higashiyama-Ku) has recently become something of a viral sensation due to the sign outside it. I guess the owner must’ve been asleep when I passed by! Yes, there are a couple of errors in the sign (below) but that’s probably not too surprising given the name of the museum is grammatically wrong!
On the way to the next place I noticed this fairly bizarre looking temple (below) which was built in 1954 and seems to blend Japanese temple with a western-style church spire. My subsequent research tells me that it is called Gion Kaku.
As soon as Ryozen Kannon (526-2 Shimokawaracho, Higashiyama-Ku) opened at 9am I was in there as I wanted to see the 24 metre kannon statue (below) which has been there since 1955. It was built in commemoration of those Japanese who sacrificed themselves in WWII and for the establishment of a peaceful Japan. This place really isn’t too far from the very popular Kiyomizu-dera Temple yet I hadn’t seen or even heard of it until just before this trip. It’s a pretty awesome sight.
Back at Kyoto station I hopped on a bus that just happened to be going to Arashikawa but my main aim was not the bamboo forest (which I actually did inadvertently see) as I wanted to visit the 1,200 carved stone figures at Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple. Before taking the bus, I noticed the impressive tower (below) on top of the Kyoto Tower Hotel. Funny that I’ve never noticed it before on my various other trips over the years! I guess I’ve always had my mind on other things like looking for the right bus or my head has been buried in a train map as I headed for the Subway!
Click here to read ‘Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple And The Bamboo Forest In Arashiyama’
Click here to read ‘On The Fox Trail……At Fushimi-Inari Shrine (Kyoto)’
Click here to read ‘Parents In Japan 2016 Pt IV: Kyoto’
Click here to read ‘Kansai Trip 2011 Pt III: Kyoto’