29/01/12 - Kyoto [Picture heavy]Hey guys!
Today I'm going to blog about my day in Kyoto this year. I've been to Kyoto before last year, but I've always liked going back to see the more traditional side of Japan. I wanted to meet up with some friends in Osaka when I was in Japan so we all decided to go to Kyoto together. Because I don't know Kyoto very well, and there were some specific places I wanted to go to which I didn't know the way to.
Woke up early because temples in Kyoto close early. I decided to curl my hair with a new haircurler I bought in Japan (which isn't really good).. and ended up burning my neck with it. Skin started coming up but I thought it was fine, just put some cold water on and left it. As usual, had my coffee in the morning from a vending machine.
We met up first with Asuka and took the train together
Janelle & Asuka
Janelle & I!
I wanted to go to Suzumushi-dera (鈴虫寺) first, so we decided to go to Matsuo station which was the closest station to the temple. Unfortunately while on the train, my neck started to hurt a lot more from the burn earlier on in the morning, so Asuka said first we'll go find a pharmacy to buy some medicine for me.
We arrived at Matsuo station and met up with Miki and Yuta
We spotted a Family Mart convenience store so we went inside to see if they have any creams for burns, but they didn't :(
Walking to the Family Mart~
I was vlogging a lot!
We spotted a hospital nearby so they all took me there to see if they have anything. When Asuka was explaining my situation to the receptionist lady, she looked like she wanted to laugh at my stupidity T_T
So um.. yeah you wanna see my burn? I won't post the photo here incase there are people who don't really want to see it, but click here.
That was when it was looking good, it got a lot worse and looked all scabby a few days later T_T
There were no pharmacys near by, we were in the country-side of Kyoto, and we had to get to the main city in Kyoto to find one. Because of that we decided to go to Suzumushi-dera first since we were already here. Walking to Suzumushi we had a lot of time to look at the beautiful scenary in Kyoto.
On our way to Suzumushi~
For some reason when I'm putting in photos of us walking towards Suzumushi, I have the Pokemon Route 1 music playing in my head lol.
Walked by a temple, not sure what temple it is though.
Vending machines are EVERYWHERE in Japan!
Kept walking to Suzumushi. I'm so glad that I had friends to help me find the temple. This was their first time going (I went last year), but they luckily had maps on their phones to help them find the way. Last time when I went to Suzumushi, I took the bus, which I really can't remember how to do.
We are on the right track!
And you know why it was hard to get to the temple?!?
Not sure if someone was just trolling or they tried to fix the sign.
Turns out that they "fixed" the sign (asked a resident) so we continued.
Annd.... we made it!
Unfortunately we went on a Sunday, which meant it was really crowded in the morning. Last time I went on a weekday, and I didn't arrive until the last session so it was empty.
I just realized I didn't explain what Suzumushi-dera is and why I wanted to go right? It is a famous temple to Japanese but not many Westerners hear about this temple. Well, Suzumushi-dera, it got the name from singing crickets, "Suzumushi" in Japanese. Usually the crickets only come out in one season and sing, however at Suzumushi-dera, they sing all year. They do this by keeping the temperature/humidity in the room at the temple at a constant I think. I'm not too sure. It is believed by the Japanese that if you go to the temple and make a wish, that wish will come true. Many people visit the temple to wish for good scores in exams, to meet a bf/gf, good luck, good marriage etc. The Kofuku-Jizo (a stone statue) is who you stand in front of, and make your wish. Before you make your wish, you have to go into the room where all the crickets are (don't worry, they're all inside a glass box, not jumping around, it costs 500yen for entry), listen to the priest of the temple talk (it's all in Japanese so if you don't speak any Japanese, you might get a bit lost), then you have to buy an amulet (I think it cost 200-300yen? I can't remember), then you go make your wish. Once your wish comes true, you go back to the temple, return your amulet and then you can make a new wish. I've been to the temple twice and have made 2 wishes, they both have come true :) I hope to return back to the temple again soon.
Anyway, so back to what I was saying. Because we went on a Sunday and in the morning, it was really crowded. We had to wait for about 1 hour before we could go in, the room can only fit so many people. It was freezing cold and also snowed a little bit while we were waiting in line.
So like I said, you pay 500yen to go inside the temple. If you have an old amulet, they have a spot for you to leave it at the counter. You take off your shoes first before entering.
You get served with hot green tea and a sweet when you go inside.
Unfortunately you weren't allowed to take photos inside, and I didn't really want to risk it so I didn't take any. The priest talks for about 30 minutes about the history of the temple, and then gives instructions on how to make a wish. It is like I said before, all in Japanese, so if you don't understand Japanese you might get a bit bored. I wasn't really paying too much attention because my neck was starting to hurt a lot again (it was really cold outside so since my neck was exposed to the cold it wasn't so bad, inside the temple it was a lot warmer). There are some things you can't wish for such as eternal happiness, or wish to be good at something (because you have to work on becoming good at it yourself). He also explains that when you wish, you must hold the amulet between your palms, but leave the first kanji sticking out (幸) which means happiness (photo later to explain). You then say your wish in your heart, but you must also say your name and address, so Jizo will be able to find you to grant you your wish. (Can say your wish/address in English).
So after the lecture, you can buy the amulet if you wish (don't have to if you don't want to), but you need one to make a wish.
See the first character on there that looks like this: 幸 ? You hold the amulet in between both palms but don't cover up that character.
So once you exit the room, you walk around to get to the front where you will find the Jizo statue which you stand in front to make your wish.
(not this statue, the one at the front of the temple)
That is the statue you stand in front of, near where the paper cranes are. Luckily by the time we got there it was empty.
About to make my wish!
Photo of the girls in front~
After Suzumushi-dera, we decided to head back to the main part of Kyoto city to have lunch, and also find a pharmacy to find cream for my burnt neck.
Just love the serenity of Kyoto
Inside the train-station. Was super cold and they had a small cubical you can just sit in.
So we found a pharmacy once we got to the main Kyoto city, the pharmacist recommended me some medicine so I bought it and left. From that day on, everyday Janelle had to help me put on a bandaid hahaha.
Finally after I got my burn sorted out, we went to have lunch. Decided to go to a nice little Italian restaurant.
Yuta & Miki
Asuka & I~
My pasta! Was so good at the start, then yeah, got way too oily at the end haha
After lunch, Miki had to leave early so we decided to go take some purikura before she goes
Love how you can hang your bag while you edit your purikura haha.
Miki & I! She had to leave after this :( Hope to see you again next time I come to Japan!
It was starting to get a bit late so we decided to just go to one more temple, Kyomizu Otera, the biggest temple in Kyoto. I promised Sunny. that I would go and buy her a good luck charm for studying, so decided to go and buy one for her there since I knew they sold them.
Was actually quite a bit of a walk, but we made it ~
The sign said that the temple was closing at 6, it was around 4.30 by the time we got there, so we just thought that we had plenty of time to walk around
Walking around at the front still
And because we saw this sign (again)
We just took our time (just says the temple is closing at 6pm).
Finally buying our ticket to go in! Entry was 300yen.
Before you go in, you have to wash your hands.
Was FREEZING cold.
So for 100yen, you can get a fortune. There is a cylinder with sticks inside, you shake it up, and a number will come out. The person will give you your corresponding fortune.
If you get good luck, you can keep it. But if you have bad luck, you can tie it so your bad luck goes away.
But as I was tying it, I ripped it by accident (have it on camera T_T). Great, first I burn my neck in the morning, then I rip my bad luck fortune.
So, it was time to head up to the area where the good luck charms were sold.
Then I saw this...
I came all the way to this temple to buy Sunny the good luck charm, and it said at the front the temple was closing at 6!! Ran up anyway, and turns out that it closed at 5, and we got there at 5.10pm. My fortune was correct huh?!? Japanese people are always on time, so yeap, all the stores were closed so I couldn't get the charms :(
Pissed off because I wanted one myself!!
Sigh, well, since I was already up there, some photos
The "Love Stone" is pretty much 2 stones, one on each side. If you can walk from one stone to the other with your eyes closed, then you will find your love soon. You can read about it from my Japan trip last year
So after that it was starting to get dark, we just walked around the Kyomizu Temple till the end.
After Kyomizu, there are small shops around the place that were still open, so I ended up getting a Hello Kitty goodluck charm for Sunny instead. We weren't hungry since we had lunch really late and it was also a really big lunch, so instead we went into a department store to hang out.
Yuta had to go so I took one last photo with him, hope to see you again too!
Why are we both bending down in this photo? :S lol.
We were all so tired from the day from all the walking, so Asuka, Janelle and I decided to head back.
With Asuka at the train station!
Asuka wanted to meet up again with us the next day, so we split up to go back home.
Wow what a day.