Monday, August 27, 2007

清水寺 (Kiyomizu-Dera)

AUGUST 11, 2007
After the tiring journey from Nagaoka to Tokyo the previous day and the train problem that night, I had to travel for quite a distance again. This time it was from Tokyo to Osaka. After checking-out from the 'hotel', we took the train to Kyoto which took about 3 hours.
By the time we reached Kyoto Eki, it was already noon. Traveling without planning ahead is definitely a disaster. Having no choice, we grabbed some brochures and looked at the locations of some of the must-go places there like 清水寺 (Kiyomizu-Dera) and 金閣寺 (Kinkakuji).
Before going to any places, we went to find a place to have our lunch. We walked around the city near the eki to hunt for food but to no avail. In the end, we had our lunch in one of the restaurant inside the eki.
I had this soba which was quite common, nothing special.
Then we started to plan our day. First place to go to is Kiyomizu-Dera as it is just within walking distance from the eki. To get there, we got to walked up a road, just like Kek Lok Si in Penang.
The number of people there were quite a lot, as it was a Saturday. When we were finally there, there was this huge red gate.
Red Shrine
I took some time to get this shot as the people walking pass me was never ending. Then we continued walking up until we reached Kiyomizu-Dera.
Again, we saw some more shrines. Nothing surprising to find so many shrines when you are in Kyoto. In fact, you can almost see a shrine every 10 metres you walk in Kyoto. It is like how often you see rubbish been thrown in Malaysia.
Took some pictures and climbed some more.
Then, we tried our luck in one of the shrine. It is just like the Chinese way of doing it. There were hundreds of wooden sticks placed inside a cylindrical container and there was only a hole which fit the size of one stick.
The way of shaking it was a bit different as we got to shake it downwards. I got stick #22 and that old man told me that is the second luckiest. I didn't read the whole paper as it was full of kanji.
Thanks to Kok Hong, he translated the prediction into something like this:
at last at last...
thick clouds spread apart...
look and look at the moon as it brightens...
meet in spring the flower and grass (word covered by his word)...
rain falls and stops...
bamboos stack and turn blue...
Of the four of us there, only Teong Rong got unlucky. So he got to fold the paper and tie it onto the poles.
I noticed there were a lot of pieces of wood tied there as well with pig being the majority of the pictures. Later only I realized that this year is the year of the pig.
Some were wishing to pass their examinations while the others were wishing that their relationship will last forever.
There is also a 3 storey tall pagoda before we reach the main shrine, which is Kiyomizu-Dera.
I found out that the architecture of this pagoda to be quite interesting.
At almost all of the entrance of the shrine, there will be a place to drink water and to wash our hands. At the entrance of Kiyomizu-Dera, it was a bit different as there was a dragon placed there.
I am not going to eleborate much about the history of this temple as I'm sure it will make you bored reading those stuff. Anyway, here are some short facts about Kiyomizu-Dera.
Simple, but you didn't read it as well, right? Or did you?
We continued walking around inside the shrine until I came across this Laughing Buddha and out of no where, I came out with a bizarre idea. I was only with my water bottle and fan that time.
Feeling guilty of trying to make fun of that, I quickly went in, pai pai-ed and asked for forgiveness.
Pai Pai
There was another shrine which was painted with bright colours.
One thing that differentiate this from the rest is that there were a lot more activities for the visitors. You will be asked to pat on something or write down something and etc.
Your Luck
However, the one that caught my eye the most was this Love Stone. There were two big stones placed about 50 metres apart and the instructions are as follows.
Love Stone
I felt like trying it, but in the end, I didn't.
While walking down, I saw this statue with a rabbit beside him. He was wearing such a short skirt-like thing which made me have no choice but to try and picit his *ehem*.
I tried being like the rabbit as well.
Until, disaster struck!
I really hope the messenger from the God will not be angry with me trying to copy-cat it. But if that rabbit uses MSN messenger, I would really like to chat with it one day.
I had committed so many sinful act during my visit to this shrine. It didn't stop there. But before I proceed any further, another random shot inside the shrine.
Later, we continued our activity. This time, Teong Rong joined me in pinching the cheek of the Buddha.
That was the last of our attempt as both of us knew we had done enough that day. Instead of Kiyomizu-Dera, I guess I have been crapping more than showing how does Kiyomizu-Dera actually looks.
As a starter, here is a combination of the scene throughout the four season of the year.
4 Seasons
But I took that from a postcard. The real and un-cetak rompak-ed one is like this.
And this.
From the bottom, it looks like this.
After spending more than 3 hours there, we head back and walked down along the same road. This time, I realized that there were many stalls selling souvenirs, with fans being the most.
It was dinner time and again, we still stick to noodles. I had curry ramen for my dinner.
Although I did mention that Kyoto is all about shrines, there are actually places with the city life scene.
And of course, there was also daerah lampu merah here. But I have gotten used to these places. I didn't mean I do frequent these places though. Just walk by those area only.
Even when we went into one of the shopping mall, there was an exhibition on an Electric Li-ion Battery Car.
After another full day, we found an internet café to spend our night. This time, it was much better than the previous night. And it was just next to the daerah lampu merah.
Looks not bad, no?


michelleg said...

wat a looooong post, forgotten wat to comment. hmm, the love stone i think u need someone to guide u. haha.

insult all the statues there lar, there ur balasan no internet. jkjk =P

are u sure u dun frequent daerah lampu merah? i think u do!! u just dont want to admit riteee? =)

and where's my fan? lolz

Calvin said...

@ michelleg:
you help and guide me through the love stone la, okay?

omg, you don't tembak me again la. i have really learnt my lesson already la. next time, i won't dare to do it again.

i just walked pass those daerah lampu merah. my friend went for lawatan sambil belajar though :P

i'm your biggest fan! i guess that's good enough, right? ^.-

Innocent^^Guy said...

although got a lot shop with souvenirs, wonder if the person got buy any for me or not...

kok hong said...

yes michelle... who knows what happened in kyoto at night...naughty naughty...

michelleg said...

> calvin: see duwan admit! haha =P

> kok hong: yea, who knows man. but i think u shd know better. u were with him for a couple of nights rite? HAHA!

tkc said...

first time comment on ur blog although had been following it since months ago, haha...nice pics, dunno when i will be goin there..haha, maybe i dun hv to since u hv all d pics and explaination for me dy, so i can jz sit back and relax while saving my money for other things
,haha..u hv gotten used to the lampu merah area? HAHAHA :<

Calvin said...

@ calvinsenpai:
i was thinking of getting those love stones for you. but i doubt you will need them :P

Calvin said...

@ kok hong:
kyoto night? i was online-ing the whole nite in the internet cafe la! what else ^.-

Calvin said...

@ michelleg:
confessed :)

although we were together for a few nights (not just 2 nights), as far as i'm concerned, we didn't do anything sinful :P

Calvin said...

@ tkc:
i was wondering who is this but i managed to figure it out eventually :)

i thought you was with the big group touring kansai and tokyo area as well? i meant i have got used to seeing those daerah lampu merah, and not used to frequent them ^.-

lasilasi said...

kiyomizu! i managed to go from one side to another side (lol with my mum's help) - it felt like so far away with yr eyes closed:

and did u go into the 'womb'?

Kelly said...

You know,the 'Nighlife' place you went is called Gion,and there's the street where u can catch the real Geishas and Maiko..Guess you didn't know..

Calvin said...

@ lasilasi:
but i thought you are required to walk to the other side without any help?

what 'womb' do you mean?

Calvin said...

@ kelly:
yea, i never knew about that place. instead of catching geishas and maiko, the rest went searching for chickens. not me though :P

tkc said...

Thanx for figuring out who i am,haha..How u did tat?..Nope i din catchup wit the big group..U must hv visited those places a couple of times to get used seeing them dun u? Geisha n maiko worth seeing once lar but u said those guys were looking for chickens?..haha..

Calvin said...

@ tkc:
you was trying to play guessing game with me ma. so i play with you la :P

the meaning of me getting used to seeing those daerah lampu merah is only seeing the entrance, not the interior.

and yes, both yk and hw went searching for chickens while tr and me sat at one spot to wash eyes. by the way, they found ducks instead of chickens! pity them :P

michelleg said...

wats duck? hahaha

Calvin said...

@ michelleg:
walao! duck also don't know meh? you sure or not?

duck (english)
itik (bahasa)
kamo (japanese)
yak (mandarin)
aak (hokkien)
ngap (cantonese)

i guess that should give you a better idea what a duck is :)

lasilasi said...

haha i wanted to walk w/o help, but then it's tooo difficult so my mum sort of push me from behind =p

and if u look at my entry, there's a few pic about going into a dark hole inside the buddha's statue, completely dark, i think it's just near the entrance of kiyomizu

Calvin said...

@ lasilasi:
haha! you mum didn't want to wait you already ma. like that mana aci. considered main tipu la.

i guess i've missed out on that buddha's statue thing. sigh.