Hiroshima or bust?

Sunday, 22 July 2012

After the luggage debacle we ended up staying another night in a very cheap hostel. By my calculations we still had enough time to get a night bus the next day to Hiroshima, spend a day in the city, then get a night bus back again that same night, in time for us to get on our eight hour night flight to Singapore. I was all set for this but when the forecast showed an 80% chance of thunderstorms in Hiroshima, Barry said no.
So instead we chilled out for a day and spent our last full day in Japan in Kyoto again, which has so much to see you could easily spend a week there.
We narrowed down the options and recommendations and went to Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple up a hill lined with pottery shops. Kiyomizu has a large main hall with a big verandah and other smaller shrines and halls dotted around the temple complex. At one small shrine you can make sure you have success in love by walking safely between two big stones with your eyes closed. Apparently you can have someone guide you but it means you would need someone’s assistance to help you find true love.

Barry needed my help but he made it to the second stone so I think he’ll be alright.

I did not manage to walk in a straight line AND Barry helped me but I missed the stone completely so it looks like I’m screwed.
Barry says it’s a bit silly.
After lunch we went to a Shinto shrine, Fushimi-Inari. The shrine complex is made up of lots of walking paths through the hills and trees. Most of the paths were formed by shrine gates, making it feel like a tunnel. I think there were about 1000 shrine gates along the way. We were there at the end of the day so there were few people, the light was fading and it was very peaceful. Kind of eerie at times too, especially when were alone and found ourselves near a small temple with a creepy statue. Japan does creepy statues very well.
In the evening we headed to Gion, the famed Geisha area. It’s a really pretty part of Kyoto, lots of traditional wooden houses, low street lighting and we even caught a glimpse of a kimono clad Maiko (apprentice Geisha) as she hurried from one tea house to her next appointment.

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