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Day 10: Kyoto garden Ryokan Yachiyo

For the evening after the moss temple we had plans to eat in our ryokan. Actually it is customary for people to get their ryokan reservation together with food arrangements for every day there, but we did not want to limit us to one eating place only just in case.

The dinner needs to be reserved in the morning when you go out, so that the inn keeper can buy all the right stuff while you are away.

So we returned into the ryokan and decided to take proper pictures of our room for review purposes. This is being 8-tatami traditional japanese room with a bathroom.

8 tatami room in Yachiyo Ryokan
This is our room in all its glory.


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Day 10. Kokedera Moss Temple

For our second day in Kyoto we had a plan to visit Saiho-ji temple. The temple is also known as Kokedera which means "Moss temple". The reason for that is because the temple grounds are covered with a lot of moss, more than 120 kinds of moss grows there.

The legend says that the moss part was planned way in the past on one of the restorations, but research of a French historian François Berthier found that in fact the temple grounds were filled with white sand and it is only recently during Meijin era (1860-1912) when the temple lacked adequate funds, the grounds fell into disrepair and moss started to grow.

Getting to the temple is no easy feat, you need to send a postcard to the temple in advance requesting a visit and then a reply will come informing you when you can visit, but that's not all. The entrance fee is the highest in Kyoto at 3000 yen, and once you pay it you also must do some (pretty long) sutra writing and chanting before given access to the temple grounds. All this is done since 1977 to limit the hordes of tourists ruining the delicate moss ecosystem.

The visit was actually scheduled at 13:00 so we had some time to walk around hotel some more in the morning and hopefully find a breakfast too.

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Some small shrine near the hotel.
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Day 9. Kyoto. Miyako Odori

On our day 9 it came time to leave Tokyo and move to Kyoto. Unfortunately we were moving in a great hurry, so no pictures from the travel on Shinkansen. This mistake was somewhat fixed on the way back, though.

High speed train from Tokyo to Kyoto takes ~2.5 hours (515 km/320 miles) and while the speed is pretty high, it does not feel like a fast moving train while you are inside.

We arrived to Kyoto in the mid-day and took a taxi to our hotel.

Kyoto Garden Ryokan Yachiyo
Our hotel from outside.


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Day 8. Ginza, Suntory Hall

For our last full day in Tokyo the plan was to visit Ginza in the morning and we already had purchased tickets for an evening performance in the Suntory Hall.

Ginza station
Ginza subway station. Unlike other stations we have see, there are automatic fences that block the way if there is no train.


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Day 7. Evening at the Chidori ga Fuchi moat

In the evening of day 7 we decided to go to the Chidori ga Fuchi part of the moat around the emperor palace. We have  seen some spectacular pictures of beautifully lit sakura trees at night and wanted to capture something like that.

We arrived during a day time, though the sky was overcast and not pretty. Yet right after exiting the subway station the atmosphere looked quite different from the rest of Tokyo. We immediately saw a lot of sakura trees and people with cameras taking pictures.

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Moat during the day.


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Day 7. Harajuku

On Sunday our plan was to go to Harajuku, this is a famous place in Tokyo. People of strange fashion meet there and there are a lot of fashion shops too.
Another of the VOLKS shops is located there so we wanted to visit it too.

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower
This building is near Shinjuku station and it is the second biggest educational building in the world. It's named Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower.


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Day 6 continued. Odaiba at night

After we finished our dinner in Izakaya, it was already dark. Ihara-san and his family headed home and we decided to wander around some more and to take some night pictures.

Rainbow bridge at night
Rainbow bridge at night.


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Day 6. Hamarikyu Garden and Odaiba

The day 6 was preplanned long before we came to Japan. On this day we decided to go to Hamarikyu Garden and then to Odaiba with our friend (and then - coworker) Ihara-san who greatly helped us to prepare for the trip too.

So we met at Shiodome station at 13:30 with him and his wife and daughter and entered the Garden.

Hamarikyu Garden

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Day 5. Roppongi, Mori Tower.

After Ghibli museum we briefly returned to our hotel to pick another camera and tripod and then headed to Roppongi Hills area hoping to get to Mori Tower's sky deck in time for sunset.

Unfortunately we miscalculated the time needed and arrived somewhat late, so no stunning sunset pictures.

Moori tower in the evening
Mori Tower.


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Day 5. Ghibli Museum

On day 5 we had previously acquired tickets to the famous Ghibli Museum dedicated to animations by Studio Ghibli and its director Hayao Miyazaki.

Our starting time was scheduled for 10am so we actually had time to have a breakfast before going. Found some other Udon place this time.

Udon
Udon with an egg.


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