South Higashiyama Sights, Sweets and Inoda Coffee

Our first stop on our 5th day in Japan was Kiyomizudera. It’s probably the most well known temple in South Higashiyama, and looked pretty much the same back on our first trip in 2009 as now, just with a heap more tourists.

20150318_120103

We took the bus to Gojozaka passing by the Minamiza Kabuki Theatre on the way, where locals and tourists go to catch a Kabuki show.

IMG_1922

The uphill path to Kiyomizudera is lined with souvenir shops. One of our favourite to browse through is Kyoto Glass Factory. They sell kanzashi (hairpins), jewellery and other accessories made out of different types of glass, which make for a great gift (or personal treat!).

IMG_1924

IMG_1925

IMG_1926

IMG_2026

We followed the throng of tourists up through the main gate of Kiyomizudera.

IMG_1928

IMG_1929

IMG_1942

IMG_1944

IMG_0716

From the top, there are great views of the temple grounds below as well as Kyoto city.

IMG_0708

IMG_0727

20150318_115346

IMG_1952

Tourists line up to drink from the Otowa waterfall, which is believed to have the ability to grant wishes. The sight of the queue from above was quite amazing.

IMG_0758

20150318_115321

IMG_1957

IMG_1965

Many tourists also headed to Jishu-jinja, a matchmaking shrine…

20150318_115504

and of course, for views of the Kiyomizudera’s famous veranda.

IMG_0743

IMG_0747

Just outside the main gate of Kiyomizudera are rows of souvenir shops, including a must-visit sweets/cake shop by the name of Malebranche.

IMG_1986

IMG_1989

We bought matcha biscuits, butter and chocolate castella spheres, and mini chocolate and caramel nut slices. All the snacks were delicious, not to mention beautifully packaged – perfect for gifting to friends and family.

IMG_2030

There are shops that rent out kimonos to tourists, so that they can enjoy wandering the streets around Gion in traditional dress.

IMG_1985

IMG_1992

We mostly followed the JNTO walking route through the narrow lanes of Sannen-zaka and Ninnen-zaka, stopping to browse the plentiful cute and unusual shops along the way.

IMG_1993

IMG_1998

IMG_1999

IMG_2000

IMG_0776

IMG_0777

IMG_0779

IMG_0780   IMG_0781

We did manage to catch a glimpsed of some Maiko, who graciously posed for a photo with a group of kimono-clad tourists.

IMG_2002

We didn’t stop by Ryozen Kannon, a war memorial, as we had been there in 2009. It’s worth a visit though, and when we went was quite peaceful, away from the bustle of tourists.

IMG_0792

IMG_0794

IMG_0791

IMG_0789

We ended up back near Kodaiji temple and headed to our lunch destination, Hisago, which I had researched to have one of the best oyakodons in Kyoto. When we reached there the queue snaked all the way around the side of the shop.

IMG_2006

About 40 mins later, we were called into the tiny shop (hence the wait). The oyakodon came out with a small side of ginger and smelt delicious. The egg was runny and the chicken tender, but I was a little disappointed at the size of the serving, especially given the price. Unfortunately I think the shop might have overcapitalised on its popularity, as I actually had oyakodon which was as good as, if not better elsewhere and for better value.

20150318_142302

We headed for Jouvencelle, a café in the vicinity of Hisago, which I had discovered through my internet trawling to be highly recommended especially for their matcha fondue. Unfortunately, when we went there around 3pm there was a 2 hour wait, so we decided to try our luck another time.

IMG_2005

We meandered through Maruyama Park, revelling at the numerous animals that inhabit Japan’s immaculately maintained grounds.

20150318_145041

IMG_1984

IMG_0811

20150318_145117

We also climbed the steps up to Chion-in and took some snaps of the massive 70 ton bell housed on its grounds.

IMG_2012

IMG_2016

We started heading back through Yasaka shrine, up Shijo-dori and through Nishiki markets. Unfortunately Grenier D’or was closed, so we stopped at Inoda Coffee, a nice place for a refreshing iced tea and French toast.

Inoda Coffee

20150318_164048

As was our routine, we then went to Takashimaya department store’s food basement to takeaway dinner and admire the pretty displays of sweets before going back to the hotel.

20150318_154351

20150318_154409

20150318_154523

20150318_154552

IMG_2042Y692

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s