Autumn Kyoto, day 1: Tofuku-ji, Tenshi-no-Sato.

So next day came and we headed to Kyoto. Getting there from our hotel was an easy 23 minutes train ride (that set us back for something like 540 yen/person).

The day in Kyoto was preplanned in a way, it's when we planned to meet a friend that we have met at SC'10. He lives in Kyoto and also has Suigintou that Ksusha and our Hina-chan wanted to see very much, yes, Hina-chan also came with us to Japan ;)

Anyway we've got to Kyoto and the first stop was at Tofuku-ji temple, a famous zen temple. It was established in Kamakura period, about 750 years ago. The name was taken from two major temples in Nara: Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji.

Center outer gate
Central outer gate.

Just outside of Gekka-mon gate of Tofuku-ji
And this is just outside of Gekkamon-gate from where we headed to a covered bridge.

View to Tsuten-kyo bridge
And this is a view from that bridge to inside of the Tofuku-ji, afar we can see Tsuten-kyo bridge.

Line to ticket booth of Tofuku-ji
And now we are inside. This is a line to the ticket booth, but granted it was moving pretty fast.

Kyozo
Belfry and some other building as we stand in line.

Tickets to Tofuku-ji
Finally we've got the tickets (400 yen per person) can see the entrance gate in front of us.

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji
Inside we see a sea of yellow and red, though some islands of green also appear. November 26th is considered to be the peak of fall color season, so huge crowds were around us.

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors and crowds in Tofuku-ji
A bit of crowds.

Huge crowds in Tofuku-ji, Tsuten-kyo bridge
It was particularly bad at Tsuten-kyo bridge.

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Huge crowds in Tofuku-ji, Tsuten-kyo bridge
To get here took me a while and quite a bit of effort.

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji
And this is the other bridge we went to earlier. ;)

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji
Somehow these two pictures are very pleasing

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Moss garden

Moss garden
After some walking around we get into Kaisan-do hall which seems to have it's own bordered territory with a moss and a zen garden.

Zen garden
This is the zen garden.

Kaisan-do hall
And a view inside of the Kaisan-do hall.

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Huge crowds in Tofuku-ji, Tsuten-kyo bridge

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors and crowds in Tofuku-ji
Finally we broke free from corridors, but even outside there were a lot of people.

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ii

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Crowded Tsuten-kyo bridge

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors and crowds in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors and crowds in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Fall colors in Tofuku-ji

Taking pictures in Tofuku-ji
People taking pictures from below ;)

All these huge crowds were drawing away from all the joy, so we decided to exit the temple without even seeing a quarter of it. :(

Hondo
Hondo (main hall) is surprisingly located outside.

Ceiling decoration in Hondo
Hondo ceiling has this great picture of a dragon.

Inside Hondo
Inside Hondo.

After Tofuku-ji a friend of our friend wanted to go to Funda-in (also known as Sesshu-ji temple) which was very nearby.

The temple was build in 1321 as a family temple of Ichijo family. A famous Muromachi period artist Sesshu Toyo used to stay here and also laid the garden.

Inside Funda-in

Funda-in garden

Inside Funda-in

Wall painting
This is a painting in the style that Sesshou was famous for.

Wall painting fragment
And the closeup.

Room with wall paintings
Entire room with pictures looks like this.

window to the garden
View from a tea house to the garden.

Garden in Funda-in

Funda-in

Funda-in
Modern drawing practice room.

Next we decided it's time to have some lunch and decided to return to Kyoto station for the best selection (and we actually did not have any breakfast yet).

Sake tasting

Sake tasting
First on the way we saw some sake testing ;)

Buta shogoyaki
Buta shogoyaki

Shrimp and pork katsu set
And assorted katsu.

And then we headed to the place that we could not miss. Tenshi-no-Sato!

Inside Tenshi-no-Sato

Hina-chan and Suigintou under a Christmas tree
Here's the first appearance of Suigintou, Hina-chan's oldest sister ;) (See Rozen Maiden for more details).

Hina-chan and Suigintou under a Christmas tree

Hina-chan and Suigintou

Hina-chan and Suigintou

Hina-chan and Suigintou

Hina-chan and Suigintou

Suddenly a Welcoming Ceremony was announced and then started. It was all in Japanese, so we did not understand anything (at least there was nice music), but in essence it's like a bonding ceremony to welcome the doll to its new master and to make them both share life from now on.

Welcoming ceremony

Welcoming ceremony
Two candles are blown out in the doll direction, this symbolizes giving life to and sharing their life with the doll.

Welcoming ceremony

Welcoming ceremony

And more dolls of people who happened to be there on that day.

Victorica
Victorica-san giving orders to Kujo, as always. (See Gosick for more info)

Visitors' dolls

Visitors' dolls

Visitors' dolls

Visitors' dolls

Visitors' dolls

Getting ready for pictures

Visitors' dolls

Visitors' dolls

Visitors' dolls

And our girls again.

Hina-chan and Suigintou

Hina-chan and Suigintou

Hina-chan and Suigintou

Visitors' dolls
We also met some old "acquittance".

Hina, Suigintou and Visitors' dolls
A group photo to commemorate this occurrence.

Visitors' dolls

Hina, Suigintou and Visitors' dolls

And then we went into the garden, such a relief when there are no huge crowds ;)

Hina-chan, Suigintou in Tenshi-no-Sato garden

Suigintou in Tenshi-no-Sato garden

Suigintou in Tenshi-no-Sato garden

Hina-chan in Tenshi-no-Sato garden


Hina-chan, Suigintou in Tenshi-no-Sato garden
They are so gorgeous together, aren't they?  At that time outside of the frame Ksusha looked something like this

Tenshi-no-Sato garden

Hina-chan in Tenshi-no-Sato garden

Hina-chan, Suigintou in Tenshi-no-Sato garden

Tenshi-no-Sato garden

Visitors' dolls

Suigintou and t_dragon_2000
Suigintou and her daddy.

Tenshi-no-Sato garden

Tenshi-no-Sato garden

As all good things, our visit to Tenshi-no-Sato came to an end eventually.

And we went to have a dinner. Unfortunately we could not find any Japanese place to have a dinner at, so we settled for a French restaurant very nearby to the ryokan we used to stay at during out first visit to Kyoto.

French restaurant in Kyoto

Unlike Japanese places, the food took a real long time to be prepared and I developed a really nasty headache that totally prevented me from enjoying the food.

fish in French restaurant in Kyoto

Appetisers in French restaurant in Kyoto

Appetisers in French restaurant in Kyoto

Appetisers in French restaurant in Kyoto
Appetizers.

Steak in French restaurant in Kyoto
My beef steak. As you can see the "French" cuisine is pretty symbolical ;)

Steak in French restaurant in Kyoto
And some pork steak.

At the end we headed back to the station only to learn that all rapid trains already left, so we jumped on a shinkansen and got back to Osaka in 15 minutes (but 3 times the price).

And this concludes the day.

Categories: