I spent the day in Kyoto in a sort of religious manner: I visited the Ryozen Kannon, the Yasaka Shrine, and the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
I first saw the Ryozen Kannon. It is a Buddhist shrine, with a 24 meter tall statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion), that is dedicated do those Japanese who died in World War II. Additionally, at the shrine, is a memorial for the more than 48,000 foreign soldiers who died on Japanese soil, and in front of the shrine, is a place where one can leave incense to honor the death of the Unknown Soldier. Though I could have gone up into the statue, I felt that I shouldn’t (and it was too hot!). Behind the shrine are two “Buddha’s footprints”, carved into a great stone slab.
From there, I waked to the Yasaka Shrine. It is a Shinto shrine, that respects the Shinto deities Susanoo-no-Mikoto, Kushiinadahime-no-Mikoto, and Yasashira-no-mikogami. (Shinto mythology can get a little complicated, so if you don’t want to research who/what these deities are, that’s perfectly fine.) July is when the “Gion Matsuri” festival is held and when I visited today, it was during “Eki-jinja nagoshi-sai” which means “Citizen purification”. There was a long line waiting for the purification (if I am incorrect about this, please let me know), so from what I can tell, that religious tradition still exists.
From there, I walked down the Shoji-dori and up an alleyway to see the Nishiki Market. It has been operating for centuries (though I couldn’t find out how many) and there are families who have sold goods there for many generations. I took some general pictures of the market, as there were stalls where they had signs indicating no photography.
From there I continued on and took a right on Karasuma-dori all the way up to the Kyoto Imperial Palace Grounds. Alas, I didn’t exactly do my homework and didn’t realize that in order to gain access to INSIDE the palace, I had to have had a reservation. Instead, I walked up the grand way to the main gates and took a few pictures along the way. These pictures looked probably somewhat similar to how someone, in the Edo period of Japan, would have seen the grounds.
After that, I walked past the Kyoto Manga Museum. I could have gone in and see the cosplayers in the mini-courtyard, but I didn’t think hard about it and I couldn’t take pictures for “commercial purposes”. While this site isn’t commercial, I figured it would be safer if I left my options open. So, I can only tell you that Japanese cosplayers make most international cosplayers look like they are playing dress-up.
Later on in the day, I went to Co Co Curry for dinner. Amazing stuff. It’s not Indian or Thai curry, but it was still delicious. It had two different kinds of meats and I really don’t know what they were, but they were good!
My day in Kyoto ended with me crashing out after drinking only one can of something called Chu-hi. It was grapefruit flavored, but it was STRONG!