{travel} Day Ten: Kiyomizu Dera, Kyoto Tower, And Other Adventures

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I’m really struggling with this whole category thing right now … I simply can’t seem to develop some kind of logic about them. Like, the last post I put under “daily life”, this one I’m putting under “travel”, but neither of these categories really fit the actual post. Meh, I don’t know. Doesn’t really matter anyway.

I think day ten was definitely the most tourist-y up until now. (…didn’t I say this about another day in another post already?) The day started pretty slow and lazy with me being woken up by the loud noise from that damn construction side right outside the dormitory, but in the afternoon I met up with a couple of my Doshisha mates at Gojo Station (one station away from the big, almighty, superfamous – okay, not really – Kyoto station) and we embarked upon a 30-minute-walk (actually, according to Google Maps, it was 32 minutes, excuse me, where did my German-ness go?) to Kiyomizu-dera!

(Oh lord, so much crossed out in that previous paragraph. So much bad humour.)

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On the way from Gojo station to Kiyomizu-dera!

Kiyomizu-dera is probably one of Kyoto’s most famous Buddhist temples! It is kind of located higher up in the mountains, so the walk there is uphill and a bit steep at times. There are many streets and paths leading up to Kiyomizu-dera, but there is one that is especially nice because it is lined with little souvenir shops, restaurants and cafés. We ended up on some other street on our way up to the temple, but on our way down we went on said main street.

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The area around the temple and the temple itself were super crowded – tons of people from all over the world had come to see it. But still, despite the crowds and even though it was my third time going, Kiyomizu-dera was still as exciting and beautiful as ever, and we had a lot of fun and a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountain and forest area and of Kyoto.

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I love this place.

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On our way back to the city centre, we actually stopped at one of the cafés on the main street. It was super pretty and all fancy inside, but their food and drinks were kind of expensive, unfortunately. But that’s just what you would expect from a café in a tourist-y area, am I right? Anyway, I got a matcha kakigoori (shaved ice) with mochi and red bean toppings, and shared that with one of my friends. Since the portion size was kind of huge and it tasted amazing, it was kind of worth the money, I guess.

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I don’t really know why, but I really like this photo.

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The main street was so crowded!

When we reached Gojo Station again, it was still pretty early – around 6pm – and none of us really felt like going back home yet. So we spontaneously decided to go to Kyoto Tower. The tickets to the observation deck were actually much cheaper than we had expected – for an adult, it was only 770 yen, I believe. When we got to the observation deck (around 100m high), it was already dark outside, so the view was absolutely amazing. Kyoto was completely lit up and just so beautiful. There were free telescopes on the observation deck and when looking through those, I could see people crossing the street or people working in their office or people eating their dinner at restaurants. So creepy and stalkerish, yet so fascinating. I feel that when you go up to observation decks like this, and see that the lights in people’s apartments and in stores and in offices are turned on and lighting up the city, you kind of realize how many lives are being lived in one city… if that makes sense. (Man, lately I really have an English problem, I don’t know what happened. But I really hope you can make sense of my words … somehow …)

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After Kyoto Tower, we were still not ready to go home … so we went to Kyoto Station, literally just across the street, and went up to Kyoto Station’s Sky Garden, where we also got a good view at the city.

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Kyoto Station from high above

After the Sky Garden, we were so hungry (as always, heh) that we just went to a nearby convenience store, got ourselves some dinner and ate it sitting down on some random public bench. After eating and then chatting for a bit longer, we decided to call it a day, and everyone went back to their respective dorms.

And yeah, that’s it for the tenth day in Kyoto! Hopefully you found this post a little more exciting than the last one … I TRIED, OKAY?! Anyways, as always, thank you for reading, and see you in my next post! Oyasumi!

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