Day 9 was another beautiful sunny day. It was our last day in Kyoto and we had something special planned out.
Near our hotel in Kusatsu, Shiga
We stayed a bit far from Kyoto because we booked the hotel quite late and the choices were very limited. The hotel was very close to the Kusatsu JR station, and about 25 minutes by train from Kyoto JR station. Transportation was convenient, especially since we had the JR pass. However, if i could have booked hotel earlier, somewhere closer to Kyoto would have been even better. The room was tiny again ( just like our hotel in Tokyo), but that was within our expectation.
Urban Hotel Kusatsu: http://uh-urban.com/kusatu/
My fabulous traveling buddy Christine!
My traveling buddy #2 Peter. Peter is our friend from pharmacy school, he happened to be in Japan for a wedding so we met up and traveled together.
We first headed to the bamboo grove in Arashiyama, Kyoto. There is something about these bamboos that strongly appeals to Christine so we decided to go lol.
Bamboo grove rickshaw
Walking distance from the bamboo grove was Nonomiya Shrine, where people send prayers regarding love and academic success.
People write their wishes on ema at Nonomiya shrine.
Next we headed to Tenryuji Temple, also located in the Arashiyama district.
Drawing hall at Tenryuji Temple
Our next destination was Kiyomizu-dera Temple, one of Japan’s most celebrated temples. But remember I said we had something special planned? Kimonos! We were not going to leave Kyoto without dressing up in kimonos.
We rented kimonos here at Yumeyakata. They were extremely busy when we went so it’s good to call ahead and make an appointment. There were a lot of kimonos to choose from and they will also do your hair (make-up is extra cost). I was very happy with my experience.
Yumeyakata website: http://www.yumeyakata.com/english/
Walking towards Kiyomizu dressed up in kimono
Kiyomizu was under construction / restoration when we went so I didn’t get a good picture of the temple. Here is a picture of one of the halls.
Ta-da! I picked a kimono in pastel colour.
we got green tea ice cream
In front of a souvenir store at Ninenzaka
We then walked along from Kiyomizu-dera and visited Nanzenji Temple and Ginkakuji Temple.
Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion)
Peter is trying to hide Christine’s DSLR camera in his sleeve lol
We then walked down Kyoto’s Philosopher’s Walk. The Philosopher’s walk is lined with cherry trees and in the spring it is a lovely location for sighting cherry blossoms. However there was not a great many things to see otherwise. We got a bit lost in this area and couldn’t find a bus station to get back.
Teas’ Tea – was very fruity, light, and refreshing. I would totally buy a huge bottle if it was available over here .
Teddy bears at Philosopher’s Walk