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金閣寺&平野神社 Kinkaku-ji & Hirano Shrine – April 15th 2012

So there was an open invitation by a Japanese student to go to Kinkaku-ji together. Since I had nothing planned and also wanting to hit up Kinkaku-ji at one point, I quickly secured a spot for myself. Our meeting place was at the subway station and on my way walking there in the middle of Spring…

…there is no better reminder that you are in Japan than the surrounding breath-taking scenery created by these Sakura.

Before heading out to a day of a lot of walking, we needed to fill our stomachs first. スシロー, possibly the cheapest place for kaitenzushi. Only¥100 a plate, delicious and highly recommended! I mainly had these 3 kinds of sushi, and I had 7 plates in total.

金閣寺 Kinkaku-ji

Map of the area surrounding the Kinkaku-ji. You get to see the Kinkaku-ji pretty soon, but then there is a longer walk trying to get back out.

Your so-call ticket is this slip.

Kinkaku-ji!!

There was a lot of people and quite crowded, so it was pretty hard to get a nice spot to take photos.

Then I got distracted when this bird (a stock?) showed up. Perhaps a little bit hard to see, but it’s right in the middle of the photos above.

Now back to the Kinkaku-ji. Perhaps the first shot was better?

Bird, island, pond, Sakura. This shot is perfect! (`ω´)

There were some other buildings here besides the Kinkaku-ji.

Close-up on the gold plated walls. You can also see the rooster statue on top of the temple.

How the temple blends into the natural greenery and water surrounding it is really beautiful.

Moving onto the other things in the area.

Last look at the Kinkaku-ji.

These statues do a better job of asking for money than I do.

Upon exiting the Kinkaku-ji area, there was a spot for people to take a break and drink tea.

A shrine? In front of it is a place for you to burn incense and then pad your head with the smoke for good luck. People also hung up their wishes to be granted by writing it on wooden plates.

An omikuji vending machine, which kind of ruins the feeling. An omikuji is a slip of paper that tells you your fortune. Here is my go at it.

So after 2 long minutes of failing to open the slip while on camera, I get a 大吉 (daikichi), which is Big Luck, one of the best. Not even the Japanese student had gotten one before. I sure didn’t felt lucky, nor did the luck really persisted. Maybe I used up all of my luck to get this slip. (;-ω-)

Some shops on the right side, and one last little shrine right before exiting the area.

平野神社 Hirano Shrine

We didn’t plan to come here, but since we had time when we stumbled upon it, why not?

Sakura, and what seems to be a festival going on. Perfect!

(I missed out on some of the food here. I never got to try some りんごアメ (ringo-ame) candied apple. (T^T))

The shrine grounds was a really beautiful place. Of course, it took my breath away when I first aimed my eyes its way. There were a lot of things going on, but sadly, I didn’t take as many photos as I should have taken. No doubt that I was tired by around that time.

More beautiful sakura. You will miss it once it’s gone.

There was a really long line to pray, so I passed on it. And later on, it was time to exit the shrine grounds.

Afterwards, we slowly headed towards the Japanese student’s apartment, where I got to eat some delicious homemade cooking (which were almost identical to the cooking I had in Tokyo) and watched some Japanese TV while sitting at a kotatsu. Was a nice, although tiring, day. ^^

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