We all somehow managed to get ourselves out the door at 8am for our last full day in Kyoto. There were 4 main things on our agenda for the day:
Kiyomizu-Dera Temple– By 8:30 am this place was already packed full of tour buses and tourists like ourselves. But I can see why people enjoy coming here. This temple is built up on a hill which offers fantastic views of the Kyoto valley in the distance. The temple is surrounded by a few pagodas and offers a lot of shaded areas which helps with the heat. The main draw here is 11 face 42 arm Kannon, who is the God of compassion.
**We ended up spending more time here then we thought mostly because the streets running up to most tourists places are packed full of souvenir shops. So of course I had to get my fill!**
From here we jumped in a taxi and went to Sanjusangendo but we weren’t allowed to take any pictures. However, this might have been all of our favorite places! It’s a temple with a 1001 Kannon’s inside..the biggest one has 1000 arms and 11 heads. The whole building is dimly lit with incense burning which adds to the spookiness of it! Go if you can!
Fushimi-Inari Shrine- Up to this point in the trip we had mostly been visiting Buddhist temples. Fushimi was our first experience in a Shinto setting in Kyoto. Shinto is the indigenous religion in Japan. What makes Fushimi great is that there are over 3000 Torii gates that line a hiking path up to the top of a mount Inari By the time we got to Fushimi it was swarming with people, and with the sun beating down we weren’t in the mood to hike to the top of the mountain. But it was definitely worth the visit.
After we had a much needed lunch we went to see a Geisha show! We were able to snag some tickets to a Pontocho Theater performance. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed Boo! Depending on what month you visit Kyoto depends on what kind of performance is happening, if any! The Pontocho theater is located in the red light district of Kyoto..which is nothing like the red light district of Amsterdam don’t worry! I have to say it was cool to be in the same room as real live Geisha’s but given the fact that everything was in Japanese left us feeling a little clueless when it came to the story line. I can’t speak for Mikes Dad who fell asleep during the performance but I enjoyed it!