Autumn Story In Japan 2013 – It’s UNESCO World Heritage – Ginkakuji ^^

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From Shijo Takakura Bus Stop (the same bus stop that we alight for Nishiki Market), take Bus No. 203 to Ginkakuji-michi Bus Stop. We encounter changing of Bus Driver half way through the journey. Hur. It takes about 30 minutes from Nishiki Market to Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion). πŸ™‚

Once alight at the Bus Stop, turn left and walk till a junction, and we see the signage pointing the direction to Ginkakuji. Just cross the road and walk towards it.

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This is the Philosopher’s Path leading to Ginkakuji. The walk to Ginkakuji is quite long and probably takes about 10-15 minutes. But we manage to skip the walking by taking a rickshaw to Ginkakuji and it is so so fun! Oh and look at the blue plastic bag, it actually contains my loots from the super huge drugs store at Nishiki Market. πŸ˜›

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That’s the rickshaw man for us! He’s quite cute, very funny and super friendly. He can speak a little English and somehow, we manage to communicate with him throughout our 10 minutes ride. Oh and he’s really strong cos he can pull the rickshaw with us on it, run like super fast and talking at the same time. Haha.

It’s my first time on a rickshaw and I really love it. Especially when he runs fast, and the cool wind blows against our face, with great passing scenery. I thought it’s a good cultural experience though an expensive one. We chose the 10 minutes ride which will go one short round and then ending at the entrance to Ginkakuji, and cost around 3000 yen for 2 pax.

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The entrance to Ginkakuji.

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We need to purchase entrance tickets which cost 500 yen per pax. Again, I thought the tickets look nice. Heh.

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Ginkakuji is a Zen temple along Kyoto’s eastern mountains (Higashiyama). In 1482, shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa built his retirement villa on the grounds of today’s temple, modeling it after Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), his grandfather’s retirement villa at the base of Kyoto’s norther mountains (Kitayama). The villa is converted into a Zen temple after Yoshimasa’s death in 1490.

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Despite its name, Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) is never covered in silver. Instead, it is believed that the name arose as a nickname more than a century after the building’s construction to contrast it with the Golden Pavilion. Alternatively, it is explained that moon light reflecting on the building’s dark exterior (which used to be covered in black lacquer in the past) gave it a silvery appearance.

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There are many tourists when we are here and everyone are fighting for a chance to capture a photo with Ginkakuji and so am I! πŸ˜€

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From Ginkakuji, there’s a walking path that takes us through its moss garden, which features ponds with islands and bridges, little streams and various plants.

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The path then climbs a hill behind the buildings from where there are nice views of the entire temple grounds and the city beyond.

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And I like this photo that I take of the sun, the red and green leaves and a glimpse of Ginkakuji. πŸ™‚

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Outside of the entrance to Ginkakuji, there’s this ice cream store which sells great Vanilla Milk Ice Cream! The milk taste is so strong and fragrant.

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On the walk out to Ginkakuji-mae Bus Stop to take a bus to Gion, our next stop! Though Ginkakuji is not as grand as Kinkakuji because it’s not silvery, but I still like it. πŸ™‚

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Autumn Story In Japan 2013 – Munching munching @ Nishiki Market

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First post of 2014, Happy New Year! Feeling lazy to continue on my travelogue until I decide that I need to continue before I forgot everything. Heh!

From Nijo Castle, we took bus no. 12 on the same side / bus stop that we alighted for Nijo Castle to Shijo Takakura bus stop which is in front of Daimaru Department Store. Turn right and walk till the first small alley / road on the left side (If I did not remember wrongly, the small road is next to Mizuho Bank) and turn in. Walk all the way in and Nishiki Market is on the right.

It’s just 2 minutes walk. Initially, we did not really know the way in cos there’s no signage around. So we asked a pretty γŠγ°γ•γ‚“ for direction. πŸ˜€

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The first store we spot in Nishiki Market is this super super big, newly opened drug store and I tell you, it’s so big that we gone crazy shopping in it, coming out with a super big bag of loots. And since it’s newly opened, there’s this geisha at the entrance for photo taking. Omg, she is so mini besides me, small size desu ne!

Also, the price are relatively cheaper than the drug stores in Tokyo, the items / merchandises are more complete and come in greater variety. If it’s not for the concern that I may have difficulty carrying my loots to Tokyo, I would have bought so much more. Hu!

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Nishiki Market is a narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than 100 shops and restaurants. It is also known as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’, this lively retail market specializes in all things food related, like fresh seafood, produce, knives and cookware, and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi.

The stalls here mostly specialize in a particular type of food, and almost everything sold at the market is locally produced and procured.

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This is Tofu Doughnut which is famous in Nishiki Market. It’s really small and cute! The tofu taste is strong and it is fluffy and soft. I love this cos it’s not sweet. πŸ™‚

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δΈ€ζœ¨ιΈ‘ε΅ is famous for the Tamago and I really love this kind of egg! Whenever I am in Japan, I will get egg overdose because I can eat a lot of it! The Unagi Tamago (Egg roll with Unagi wrap in it) is sold out so I just make do with the original plain Egg Roll. I finish the whole roll by myself for breakfast on the next day (review will come later). Hehe.

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Maybe it’s a Saturday, so it’s really duper crowded that we are squashed in between, even taking a nice photo with food is difficult. Start from the left 1st photo, this is grill scallop and squid with glutinous rice in it. The sauce is perfect, and the scallop is so so sweet! The squid is not bad too but the limelight is overwhelmed by the juicy scallop.

The 2nd photo, this is Octopus. It’s not just a normal Octopus, there’s hard-boil bird egg wrap in the Octopus head. Believe it or not, Japanese are such creative and smart people. How yummy!!! The Octopus is not hard or chewy, and when I bite of the head, the egg and the Octopus just match so so so well.

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Sashimi on a stick is also one of the famous ‘must-try’ at Nishiki Market. I bought the salmon and tuna stick with lemon juices on it. Hmmm… I find the sashimi too thick and after 2 bites, I kinda get a little scare of it. But it’s fresh, just too thick! Just probably me. πŸ˜›

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This is fish cake, super juicy fish cake that the juices spurge on my face when I bite it. Good!

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Onigiri! Salmon flavor. Yummy!!!

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This store is probably famous cos the queue is super long and the food are not consider cheap. BUT hey, it’s damn good! These are my favorites at Nishiki Market! The grill squid is so fresh, fat, crunchy, juicy and totally matching with the sauce. The other stick is fried fish with sea salt sprinkle on it. The fried outer layer is thin but crispy, and the fish meat inside is thick and juicy! Coupled with the sea salt sprinkle on it, it’s just too delicious. πŸ˜€

If I have 2 stomachs, I would have eaten more. If I have a chance, I will choose to come back here again. Next stop, Ginkakuji!