Hi Daniela, our journey continues… this time it’s about our pilgrimage to Kiyomizu-dera...
What a special place. The streets are lovely leading you up the mountain, and there are a lot of shops along the way. We were there in February and it was busy!! What really left a mark was going into the belly of the temple: you walk through a dark passage, holding onto a rope because you literally can’t see anything, until you come into a room with a lit wheel that you spin and make a wish. It’s a rebirth of sorts and changes one's perspective when our sight is taken away.
Virtual tour link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9s_GM2YUNg
Next adventure was Otagi Nenbutsu-ji, which is on the outskirts of Kyoto. It's another really special spot. It is so peaceful and reverent of the joy and beauty of human life. There you will see 1500 stone statues: raken, buddhas, disciples, that were sculpted by a Nishimara and his students. He encouraged them to find "people" in the rocks trying to come out. Here people pray and share tea, with folks snuggled together. These statues gives off a timeless feel even though they were sculpted in the 1980s.
Virtual tour link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7CfSOYPfug
Tenryuji Temple Shigetsu was our next stop - we walked through the bamboo forest, which is MEZMORIZING. It's not far from Otagi Nenbutsu-ji. The highlight was the gardens of the temple: elaborate and Zen-ish. We stopped for lunch and OMG, there was so much care and attention to detail, and it was really tasty as well!! It's an experience not to be missed.
Virtual tour link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mq2Ai0nOFM
Entering Fushimi Inari Taisha: I don’t need to mention this, as you will likely go there if you go to Kyoto. This is the iconic site with the red gates. The entrance and exits are also impressive: both the imposing and intricate architecture as well as the cute little houses. A tribute to the fox is also wonderful and, at different shrines, different animals are held in high regard. There are many warnings about monkeys and wild boars.
Virtual tour link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWPdNBi6eEc
Arriving in Ryokan, we found accommodations in the old part of the city. Side note: In the winter time, it is heaven. We stayed at Momijiya Honkan Takao Sansou Ryokan just outside of Kyoto. This hotel is nestled in the mountains, and is so calm and beautiful. It's wonderful walking in the Onsen mountains; the shrines and hospitable locals were all aspects of this rich experience. The peace and attentiveness was unrivalled there. Daniela, I hope you can offer yourself this luxurious experience one day!!
Virtual tour link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uhloYavKBs
Okay, that is all I will share for now… until next week, Daniela and your travel mongers.
Mélissa Simard, owner of Round Table Food Tours
Montreal Event Planner has become the go-to authority in the event planning business, not only because of its reputable success, but also because of the expertise and professionalism of owner Daniela Caputo, who combs the globe on a regular basis to find the best destinations for her clients (and our readers!).