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Friday, February 10, 2017

JAPAN Summer Trip DAY 3 Pt.1 | Natto, Shinkansen, & Kiyomizu-dera

Alright, continuing this Japan travelogue. Here's what happened so far:
Today we're onto Day 3. 
And moving from Osaka to Kyoto. It was, afterall, my first trip to Japan, so the Golden Route it is. Let's start from the beginning of the day.
Breakfast spread. I've professed my love for Hotel's breakfast buffet again and again, and I think Sheraton Miyako Osaka serves one of best breakfast buffet among the hotels we stayed at during this trip (we stayed at a total of 5 different hotels). Though I will say that while in Japan, I prefer to just eat from conbini rather than paying extra for hotel's breakfast. Conbini just has so much to offer and the choices are yummy af. Only in Japan I would refuse a breakfast buffet lol.
And by the way, these orange slices are THE SWEETEST orange slices I've ever had in my entire life. No exaggeration. I distinctly remember this because that was what made this particular breakfast memorable. Oh, and this:

A video posted by Lily Zhen (@lilyzhen168ii) on

Tried natto for the first time. I agree, it's an acquired taste.

I tried to acquire it.

Twice.

Failed miserably both times. At least I managed to finish the second one (with the help of a bottle of water).

Here's the thing. People say tempeh is an acquired taste. Well, I love tempeh, it's something I grew up eating. I figured that natto would be sorta like tempeh, you know, it being fermented soybeans and all, so I thought I would take it just fine. Well, NOPE. It does kinda taste like tempeh, but in an over-fermented, putrid, and spoiled kinda way.

Maybe I'll successfully acquire it someday. Maybe my tastebud need to level up or something to appreciate natto 😅. Next time, next time~
I think this is the ticket for the shinkansen we took to go to Kyoto from Osaka.
Tried to take one of those artistic water droplet thing. Failed. Oh, well. Side note, I love shinkansen ride, so peaceful and quiet 😊

There are a lot of souvenir shops at the Kyoto station, so we did a bit of look-see. Most of the souvenirs are sweets.
Like these.
And these.
Also this.
And I bought this. Also at the station.

It's from Yojiya, a Kyoto-born company famous for its high-quality oil-blotting papers, which supposedly are very popular souvenir from Kyoto.

It's a bit expensive for oil-blotting papers, around ¥500 or more I think, but okaylah as a novelty gift.

Is it better than the regular oil-blotting paper? I don't know. People say it is, they say they use less papers per use with this brand. But I'm the type of person who's too lazy and can't be bothered to bring my own oil-blotting papers, so I haven't really given this item a chance.
Look at what conbini has to offer. Rows of different sandwiches. Egg, Katsu, Ham, Fruits. Don't even get me started on the onigiri section.



Our first destination at Kyoto was Kiyomizu-dera.
We had to walk uphill through rows of shops to get to the temple. We weren't allowed time to stop and shop, so it was a challenge getting through it 😛
Mandatory ticket photo.
This is the gate I think. Eh, don't quote me on anything related to this temple. I don't do my research.
One of the pagoda there. Not the best photo since you can't see the sky, but good enough for this lame blog.
Erhm, the prayer place, I guess?
There are shops selling charms and whatnot at the temple.
I tried omikuji, which is like a fortune-telling type of thing. You basically shake that cylindrical thing and a chopstick will pop out. There is a number on the chopstick that corresponds with the number on rows of drawers. You get the fortune paper inside the corresponding drawer.
At this temple, a kind-looking ojisan will get the paper for you, but there are some temple where you have to look for the drawer yourself. The numbers are written in Japanese, so if you're not familiar with the characters you just have to play image-matching.
I got the second-highest luck if I remember correctly 😏 And what do you know, the second half of that year was indeed a great, lucky, awesome months. How I wish my 2016 were also like that 😒.
Anyway, if you got the unlucky fortune, you can tie it in this thingy. The monks of the temple will pray for it.
There's this pagoda located quite far from the temple. Okay, I just did a quick research 'cause I wasn't really sure what to write lol. Turned out the Kiyomizu-dera is really spacious, comprised with different halls and pagodas. I only went to the deck area, which is the main hall (Hondo). There is also a hall that has hundreds of Jizo statue too (I love Jizo), a hall where you can experience total darkness like in a womb, and many more!

That obscure pagoda in the photo is Koyasu Pagoda. A visit to this pagoda (which is quite far from the main hall, with uphill terrain I imagine) is said to bring you an easy and safe childbirth. Okaylah, next time I'm preggi I'll go here.

Now that I know how much of the temple I hadn't explored I kinda feel cheated lol 😂 The tour guide didn't give us any pointer about the temple and halls there. He just let us roam around on our own without any information whatsoever. Err, isn't the point of a tour is so that we don't have to do extensive research and the guide will, well, GUIDE us?

Although I guess given that we only had an hour at Kiyomizu-dera, we couldn't really explore all of Kiyomizu-dera anyway.
So instead, here's a photo of me looking far into the Koyasu pagoda. Longing for the day I get pregger and finally go there 😅

Oh, it was also pouring rain, which made it even harder to explore the area. SILVER LINING tho! I got to take photos with the famous cute clear umbrella. Like that photo above.
And this.
Also this.
And this one.

Lazy caption is lazy caption lol.

By the way, in that last one, I was actually walking up to Jishu shire, located behind the main hall. Jishu shrine is dedicated to the deity of love and match-making. Of course I didn't know at the time, but I remember there are a lot of couple type of souvenr in this area.
Bought omamori -that little angpao-looking things in front of the obasan- as a gift for Sam from the main hall shop. Omamori is an amulet, like a good luck charm type of thing. I love the idea of omamori because it reminds me of cheesy romantic moments in manga where the boy/girl will give it to person they like and that person will blush to no end 😆💕 Okay, it doesn't sound romantic at all from my explanation, but it's really romantic when you read the manga.
Last photo of this post. This place for ema.

Ema is the little wooden board hanging with writing on it. You basically purchase the ema, then you write your wishes on it and hang it here. After that the monks will pray for your wishes to come true.

But I'm too stingy, so if I purchase one, I'll probably bring the ema home with me instead of leaving it hanging here 😂

Okay, end of this post. There will three parts of Day 3 because I realize writing super long post bored me. Till then,

take care,
xo

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