I’m big in Japan: Kiyomizu-dera (2005 May 16)

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Started our day with another hearty breakfast of tasty breads from Sazuya (818¥) before heading off on a walking tour. The Higashiyama walking tour from Kyoto Lonely Planet seemed promising; according to the guide, a bus could get us to the starting point, but I believe we managed to find a suitably close subway stop (600¥) to use instead. Memory is a bit hazy… curse me for not keeping up the note taking!

The first leg of the walking tour took us up a long hill towards Kiyomizu-dera; the path up was crowded with people making their way to the temple and shopping at the myriad stores lining the way. On our way up, we had our first close encounter with a geisha; Jm was keeper of the camera at the time but was reluctant to take her picture. I goaded her on until finally she broke down, ran down the hill to catch up with her, and asked to take her picture. The geisha was kind enough to pause, and the picture came out fantastic. Jm thanked me for strong arming her into taking it.

The temple required a modest entry fee (600¥), and we stopped just inside to give our feet a bit of a rest. A group of schoolgirls approached us and asked if we would answer some questions for them as part of their field trip assignment. How could we say no? They asked us a few questions, had us sign their guest book, and went away no doubt with tales of the two strange gaijin they interviewed. Perched high above the city, the view from various points in the temple was spectacular. Looking through our photos, I find them sparse and wish we had snapped more. Might have been due to the crush of people moving through, but still… wish we had taken more photos.

Graveyard close to the temple