During one of my language sessions with Masako I was interviewed by the local television about my thoughts on a change of the start of the academic year in Japan from Spring to Autumn. Weirdly enough, they indeed broadcasted it and Masako recorded it later (that’s the girl’s voice in the background ).
And just for the content, I basically said that it would be easier for foreign students to study in Japan if they changed it to autumn. I actually said more in the interview, but that stuff has seemingly been cut out ^^
The Buddhist temple Kiyomizudera on the eastern side of Kyoto is a designated world heritage site and one of the main tourist attractions of the city. It was founded in 798 and is dedicated to the Eleven-headed Kannon, as well as serving as a symbol of the unification of Buddhism and Shintoism. The view from the temple’s balcony is said to be breathtaking at the time of the cherry blossom, as well as in the colourful autumn season and back in the Edo-period it was said that he who survives a jump from the balcony will be granted a wish. The practice is outlawed today, but the saying ”to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu” is still used from time to time to describe a foolhardy action.
Other note-worthy sites at the temple are the small springs next to it and the two lovers stones a bit further up the hill. The first one is also the reason for the naming of the temple, as ‘kiyomizu’ stands for pure water. There are a few versions of the effect of the spring going around, from granting wishes to healing powers, but in the end it can probably be summarised as granting good fortune. The lovers stones are two stones standing 20m apart from each other. If one can walk blindly in a straight line from one to the other the wish for a partner will be granted.
So with this small introduction I wish you much fun with the pictures I took on our trip there
Fushimi Inari Taisha is the main shrine of Inari, the Japanese god of fertility, rice, agriculture, industry and worldly success and located in Kyoto on the foot of Mt. Inari. The shrine is very famous for its trails across the mountain, which are mostly covered with countless Torii gates (each donated by a Japanese business) and dotted with many small shrines on the sides. While most people go there in the daytime, Yannik and I decided to visit the shrine in the late evening, to get a special experience that not many people see in person.
Getting there was no problem, as there was a train station nearby and we only needed to walk for 10 minutes from there to reach the main shrine building. But walking the sparsely lit ways up the hill with only few maps in between was a really interesting experience. To me, the area was so full of underlying spirituality that I couldn’t help but marvel at all the things to see.
I hope you can catch a glimpse of that feeling by watching the pictures below – enjoy!
Despite beeing usually seen as the cultural heart of Japan and beeing dotted with temples and shrines everywhere even Kyoto has some spots, which may seem a bit weird from a foreigner’s perspective. At least they do from mine
Kyoto is one of the most famous tourist locations in Japan, if not the most famous. Japanese as well as foreign visitors go there every year in huge numbers to get a glimpse of what is often considered to be the cultural heart of Japan, where a lot of the old traditions and atmosphere is still alive and preserved. Needless to say that I had to go there as well and I finally got around to doing it just about two weeks ago together with a friend who is studying in Osaka right now, as well as meeting up with two Japanese friends
The pictures below are a general overview of our trip and I’ve added descriptions to all of them, to tell the story of these 3 days I spent there. Still, there are a few things that I want to highlight a bit more, so they’ll be getting their own articles one of these days – so stay tuned and pay a few more visits!