Saturday, April 25, 2015

wanderlust: fushimi inari shrine & nara

On my second day, my first stop was  Fushimi Inari Shirne. I was lucky because the sun came out for few hours (finally!). This is my favourite place of interest in Kyoto so far.

train platform

You can get to Fushimi Inari Shrine by JR Nara Line or by Keihan Railway. Since I have purchased 2-day JR-west Rail Pass - Kansai therefore I took the JR Line to get to there.

Map of Fushimi Inari

fushimi inari entrance
Entrance of the Shrine

fox statue
Fox statue

Foxes are associated with Inari therefore you will see many fox related items such as fox-shaped trinkets, toys, amulets, cakes and cookies.

torii gate charms

inside torii gates

Torii gates

This is the reason why I love this place! Thinking back, I should have bought a torii charm as a souvenir.

cherry blossom

cherry blossom 2

It was really great to be able to appreciate the cherry blossom in such good weather. How lovely they are, don't you think?


After spending couple hours in Fushimi Inari (well, here is a little confession; I did not go all the way to the top of Mount Inari due to time constraint), I headed to Nara. Again I traveled to Nara by JR rail or train. Once I reached Nara, the first I looked for is the tourist information center to purchase Nara day pass. 


 I purchased one day bus pass (normal) at 500 Yen. The pass comes a with map. 

map 2

First stop in Nara was Kohfukuji Temple. Take note that the main hall is presently under construction.

kohfukuji temple
Eastern Golden Hall and Pagoda

temporary golden hall
Temporary Golden Hall

main hall reconstruction
Central Golden Hall (under construction)

Next, I hopped on a bus heading to Todai-ji Temple.Todai-ji Temple is a must-see for all visitors. The main point of Todai-ji is the Daibutsu-den (Hall of the Great Buddha), which houses a 16-meter-high Buddha statue.

map 3
Map of Todai-ji Temple

entrance to todaji temple
Entrance of Todai-ji Temple

Along the way to the temple, you will be greeted by many deers roaming freely and looking for generous tourists to feed them with deer biscuits which can you purchase at 150 Yen per stack.

todaji temple great buddha hall
Daibutsu-den / Hall of the Great Buddha

buddha statue

Buddha statue 

Next on my to-see list was Kasuga-taisha Shrine. From Todai-ji Temple, I walked pass Nara-koen Park to enjoy more cherry blossom. 

cherry n deer


close up cherry blossom

kasuga taisha shrine entrance

Entrance of Kasuga-taisha Shrine

Kasuga-taisha Shrine is the most important Shinto shrine in Nara.The path heading to the shrine is a world of mystery filled trees, pathways, lanterns and not forgetting wandering deers. As I arrived quite late and the shrine was about to close, I did not explore the shrine. I walked back and took a bus to JR Nara station.

kyoto tower
Kyoto Tower

Back in Kyoto just in time for dinner and a little window shopping at Isetan Kyoto station before heading back to the guesthouse to rest and call it a day. Day three will be an exciting day as it was a full on sight-seeing around Kyoto!

Stayed tune and have a good weekend everyone! 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

wanderlust - uji, japan

Last Easter, I went to Kyoto, Japan for a holiday; mainly to see the lovely cherry blossom. Upon my arrival in Kyoto, my first stop was Uji. Uji is located between Kyoto and Nara. The city is famous for its green tea and few UNESCO world heritage sites. 

statue of murasaki shikubu
the statue of murasaki shikubu

uji bridge
uji bridge

byodoin temple phoenix hall
byodoin temple - phoenix hall (UNESCO world heritage site)

cherry blossom n phoenix hall

close up cherry blossom

cherry blossom n phoenix hall 2

cherry blossom n phoenix hall 3

cherry blossom uji river
uji river

boats uji river

stone pagoda
stone pagoda

cherry blossom path

ujicha (soft ice cream green tea flavoured)

The easiest way to get to Uji is by JR Line train from Kyoto station and alight at Uji Station. The journey is about 20 minutes. At the station look out for papers/guides on how to get to Byodoin temple. This guide is written in English. 


Uji is a lovely small city, so laid back and less crowded. Or perhaps, it was the bad weather that made it less crowded? 

Till my next wanderlust post, stay chic and stylish!