Saturday, March 10, 2012

temples temples temples

Vinnie finally didn't have to work so we headed over to Kyoto to check out the Hagishiyama District. Vinnie wore a kimono because she heard that you could get free entrance to some places if you wore one. NOT TRUE! Still she looked really cute in it. There were people asking her to take pictures with them. I'm wondering if they thought she was a geisha or something. It was funny cause a girl asked me in mandarin for permission to take a picture with Vinnie. I answered yes cause you know Vinnie's mine to pimp out as I please.

1. I allowed Vinnie to take this pic with this girl. ALLOWED
2. Huge torii in front of Heian Shrine
3. Kiyomizu-dera. The view is pretty awesome - but imagine if all the cherry blossoms were in bloom
4. Love the architecture of the buildings around the Kiyomizu-dera
5. Went to the Gion Corner where we saw traditional Japanese arts being performed - maikos dancing and bunraku puppet theater were my faves! 
6. Hanatoro which means flower and light road is an illumination event that is held in Higashiyama District in March. There were dance performances and the temples are lit up. I think because of Hanatoro we got free admission into Kiyomizu-dera. Score!

Not pictured were some of the other temples we visited that didn't allow pictures to be taken.
Sanjūsangen-dō is known for having 1000 statues of Kannon. There is a sign that states that cameras will be checked for illegal picture taking - that didn't happen. Really wanted some pictures... The next is Yogen-in which is on the same block as Sanjūsangen-dō. Yogen-in is known for its ceilings. Fushimi Castle was a place where thousands of soldiers died and some committed ritual suicide which soaked the floorboards with blood. When the castle was dismantled these boards were sent to temples like Yogen-in to be reused. You can still see the prints left by the dead bodies on the boards. There is a tour guide who brings you around this very small temple. Tour is only in Japanese and some of it is done with an audio tape. Because of this people have talked about being refused entrance if you look like a foreigner. Good thing Vinnie can speak passable Japanese and we fit right in looks wise!

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