Journey in Kyoto Japan, 25th June 2015

Basu de Gion ni Ikimasu (Bus trip)


In the grounds of Rengeo-in, Sanjusangen-do

Wakey wakey, rise and shine, too early

I slept from 22:00 Japan time until 03:00 in the morning, then I snoozed.

I decided that laundry must be done even though I had a new shirt to wear.
The hotel will have this done for you but alternatively you can do it yourself on the second floor; this I chose to do.
I went down at 06:00 and they were already doing breakfast on the same floor.

Laundry was a quick affair, I cleared the dryer of a lot of lint, and finished my laundry at the same time as I had my breakfast.

Off to Gion

Our bus trip today was to take us to Gion, famous for Geishas, and written up in "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden.

On the way we stopped at Rengeo-in, Sanjusangen-do.(San ju san is 33 in English), where there are a thousand Kannon Sama statues. Kannon Sama is the Japanese version of the Goddess of Mercy, aka: Chinese Kuan Yin, or Kwan Yin.
She/he is a diety who removes tears and helps people with her many arms.
It's said she appears as a women to girls, and a man to boys, but is usually portrayed as a woman.

The thousand statues of the Kannon Sama Bodhisattva were interesting, they took more than ten years to carve by many artists all striving for the identical portrayal.

We were not allowed to photograph these statues.

The temple itself is the longest wooden structure in Japan.
The grounds were known for archery competition through the ages and stray arrows had damaged the building in places. This damage has been repaired but the evidence of removed damaged wood is display inside.


Waiting for the bus from Rengeo-in, Sanjusangen-do to Gion
When it arrived it was packed, so we skipped it and
caught the next packed bus instead


A newly wed couple pose for the camera Click for larger image

We walked around Gion for a while, looked at menus in the small restaurants and considered their prices.
Not cheap but not too over priced either.

I walked across the main road beside the river and looked down to see a large fish basking just off shore.
In Japan people are careful to wait for the
green crossing indication before they step into the road, even if there's not a single car to be seen.

No Geishas to be seen

I'd read that Geishas find it an annoyance when tourists harrass them with cameras.
As it was, during midday they are rarely to be seen and so I did not see any.
I was not in Gion in an eveeing when they could be spotted running to appointments.

Gion is a quant place however, it's one which provides newly married couples with a photographic background.

Gion preserves old Japanese architecture with houses close together.
Fire is a common theme in the history of Japan as it has devastated Kyoto and Osaka a few times in the past.


Click for larger image


I couldn't stop smiling

We headed along a stream sided path towards a bridge that would take us to Nishiki Market and came across a chocolate shop with the name Cacao Market...
The shopkeeper did not look at all like he was Japanese, and this was explained by the fact that he was from Finland, drawn by marriage to a Japanese girl to Gion.

His dream is to play guitar, but in the meantime he looks after customers with both excellent English and fluent Japanese.

This shop is interesting, tastefully decorated and very very naughty, with chocolates galore, and terribly good ice cream...
And it turned out that there was a secret library underneath where one might be fed.
We were given the secret entry code.

What a cosy delightful place to be, sitting in a comfy library while being fed excellent food.

I like quiche; have you anything to say about that?
Best to keep it to yourself... In any case it has my name on it!


Click for larger image

Even the plates are book shaped... Someone went to a lot of trouble to create this fascinating place.
After Quiche we had a very very naughty pudding, me ice cream and my companion Tiramisu which always sounds Japanese to me. (It's Italian, I know).

While crossing the bridge to Nishiki Market we looked down to see a big fish stationary against the current.
At the other side a group of monks were sauntering along in their brown attire, chanting under their round straw hats.

There's a lot of shopping for a woman to do, and why not buy a Yukata to be cool on a hot summer's day?


Remember to have exact change, 230 Yen, or a one day pass 500 Yen
We bought our one day passes from the hotel reception

On to the final part