Kyoto Prefecture holds the status of a World Cultural Heritage site as it offers many historical sites, temples and shrines that labelled Kyoto as world-famous tourist city. Kyoto once served as the capital of Japan and was the political and economic center. There is so much to see and do in Kyoto! I am very lucky to be part of Jenesys Kyoto Group; I must say Kyoto is truly mecca for tourists.
Toji Temple (East Temple) it is a five storied pagoda depict as the tallest pagoda in Japan. Every 21th of the month they put up a flea market, by chance it was 21st of April when we’ve visit the temple. I witness the crowd full of life, roaming around and full of vendors actively dealing. The market has a wide variety of products like plants and some beautiful flowers, street foods, some shoes, clothes like kimono, sculptures and pottery.
Although I didn’t have chance to buy some goodies because of our limited time it was really nice to be there and see the temple. Looking on these pictures make me wanna go back and hope I tasted it but at least I took a photo on it (It makes me feel hungry now).
We’ve experience the Yuzen stencil dyeing process which is the traditional dyeing practice. We’ve made our own souvenir a string bag. It was a very unique experience and I enjoy it so much. In the gallery, I was amazed with the outstanding work and with impressive colors and patterns and several designs of kimonos which was actually about 150 years old. Also, at the detached house "Yuzen-yashiki," sliding doors and wall panels bearing exquisite Yuzen paintings of Edo period evokes a picture of the old capital, Kyoto.
We end up our visit on a souvenir shop where I bought a Yatsuhashi (Kyoto sweets) and craft of Japanese waving cat. Here goes my lucky cat I named it after our Japanese Coordinators Sohma-san and Yoko-san.
|We've pass through this wonderful place, Kyoto Imperial Palace.|
We drive through a beautiful castle named Nijo Castle it was built by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu for his residence in Kyoto. You can grasp a part of the life of samurais by seeing the inside of the castle and the magnificent garden.
Nijo Castle and Kinkakuji are both well-known tourist destinations. They have been designated World Heritage sites as Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. A number of other temples and shrines have also been designated.
Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) is a Zen (One of the schools of Mahayana Buddhism) temple whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Hokuzan Rokuonji, it was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408.
It has an impressive golden structure topped with a golden Chinese phoenix, it was built overlooking a large pond where Koi fishes could be found, it is the only building left of Yoshimitsu’s former retirement complex. It has burned down numerous times throughout its history including twice during the Onin War and once again when it was set on fire by a fanatic monk. The present structure was rebuilt in 1955.
Next Stop, visit to Ritsumeikan University.
This is our last night in Kyoto, we had a wonderful Dinner at Kyoto Nagomi Kan – its restaurant structure is somehow like western. But we actually had a gorgeous Japanese dinner.
|Our scrumptious Lunch. (Sorry, I forgot the name of the restaurant)|
|Sharing a green tea ice cream care of our supervisor.|
Next Stop, visit to Ritsumeikan University.
University visit is one of the activities I’m pleased to enjoy during the whole program. We’ve visit the Kinugasa Campus which is surrounded by historical places like kinkakuji temple and the like. Kyoto is a city of learning, culture, and arts providing a serene environment for research and education. We were tour around by two English men before starting our exchange program with the students of ritsumeikan university. At Kinugasa Campus, they’re actively pursuing a fusion of social sciences and humanities. Kinugasa Campus is home to six colleges – the College of Law, Social Science, International Relations, Policy Science, Letters, and Image Arts and Siences – as well as research facilities including the Art Research Center, making it an integrated education and research center for humanities and social sciences. The College of Letters have the most number of students followed by the College of Social Sciences. We’ve learned that the word ritsumei comes from a passage in the Jinxin chapter of the Discourses of Mencius. This passages states that “Some die young, as some live long lives. This is decided by fate. Therefore, one’s duty consists of cultivating one’s mind during this mortal span and thereby establishing one’s destiny.”
|Bicycle parking area, well I guess most of the students own a bike.|
Exploring around the campus was a great opportunity, we saw their cafeteria which offers wide variety foods, different buildings of each college, and not to mention their advance technology like providing a campus-wide wireless Internet access, and the kiosk machine we saw which actually gives service like assistance where you can get a copy of your grades, good moral certificate and the like in just a minute – it is being paid through their accounts in Co-op if I’m not mistaken. The university Cooperative (Co-op) offers everything from food, books, CD’s and evens a travel services. The exchange program with the students has been remarkably a fascinating talk concerning environmental issues, I’m glad to meet new friends and thankful for the souvenir they’d gave us.
Thank you so much for such a wonderful experience and learning. How I wish to get a masters degree here, somehow I’ll try my luck if fate would allow me. Well, I hope to see you soon Ritsumeikan University.
It was also sheila’s birthday! So, our dear supervisors arrange a surprise for her. We sang to her a birthday song and had brilliant toast or in Japanese “Kampai”.
And lastly here's a random picture around the city at night ..
Cute bunnies (Sidewalk barriers I guess?)
Smallest canned coke I saw. and Japanese style canned coke (below)
Dorayaki for midnight snacks, we were happily eating doraemon’s favourite food that night.
Kyoto as a world famous city is one of the wonderful places I've been the rich arts, culture and tradition I have experience is very unique, Although the experience was just a short time I felt that my heart got closer to the Japanese culture and people.