Day 5: Kyoto

14th October 2007

Well it was time to head out to Kyoto and part ways with CC as this would be where our plans deviated. I wish I had gone with him to DreamParty >_< !!!!!

The morning was cold and windy, I would be taking the early morning Shinkasen (Hikari) to Kyoto.

Once again I had that feeling again, the dreaded feeling of loneliness. I’m not really afraid of being lonely or sad about, I’m just sick and tired of that feeling of loneliness.

There is a different between being on one’s own and being loneliness, being on your own is your own choice. While loneliness is the result of circumstances, yet here I am going to Kyoto on my own and not because of circumstances but of my own volition . So why in Hell am I feeling lonely? I’m so sick of that disgusting feeling, one that always felt.

I also hate the color green because that has always been the color of Malaysia and it sickens me.

Well I wasn’t really lonely, I had someone following me.

Cold and desolate.

I then took the early morning train to Tokyo station and spent a bit fair of time looking for the shinkasen platform (Oh how I wish CC was there then to help >_<;;)

I was riding on the Hikari 401 which is the second fastest bullet train after the Nozomi express.

My seat where I was the only one sitting there throughout the whole ride.

Soon the train departed and my journey to Kyoto began, I had plan for this day meritoriously detail by detail. Nothing would be left to surprise, all my plans on what to do had been made after running so many simulations in my mind. I was PREPARED! (though after that day all those plans went out window and I decided to wing it in the end hahahahahahaha!).

Here is my first tip, that coffee you see there? Cost me 500 yen (RM15) which is VERY expensive even by my standards and not really that good. So tip here is try and not buy coffee on the train……

After taking some pictures and watching the scenery zoom by I decided to get some shut eye as it would be a while before I got to Kyoto which was the final destination of this train.

Soon I arrived at Kyoto

I then proceeded to the hotel, after spending a while trying to get my bearings I finally reach the station Ryokan Seiki

Once again I was told that check in time was 2pm so I left my bags there (significantly reducing a HUGE load off me) I then decided to go out and do some sight seeing.

Unfortunately, the bus map given to me was very hard to grasp. It’s not that it was complex, its just that there was so much information and I didn’t know what would be an optimal path to take. I realized I would need redo some of my Kyoto plans later on so until then I settled on one play as I was quite tired, the Fushimi shrine which is very easy to reach simply by taking the JR Nara line.

So after a short stroll back to the Kyoto station, I then took the JR Nara line and headed for the Fushimi shrine which opens 24 hours.

A shot of the painting hanging over the exit of the fumi stop.

2 things made that day very bad for sightseeing and photography:

  1. It was a very overcast day
  2. It was 12pm, there were a lot of people………..

When I say a lot, I MEAN A LOT!

At the entrance……too many people……cannot compute……..

So braving the ugliness that comes with huge crowd I went in and in keeping with my style…

A picture of the map of the place! Fushimi is a shrine located at the foot of a mountain where the path is “shade” by all those big torii gates.

After entering the compound, there were a lot of shops selling small items (this leads me to seriously concluded this is a tourist trap…..)

A shot of the Tanukis which are badgers and regarded as lovable buffo0ns or drunken rascals. Here I adjusted the settings in Photoshop lightroom.

The compound was huge, I wish I had used my film camera along with my 17-35mm at the time or at least have a 12-24mm lens for my digital camera, then I could have taken some great shots.

At this point, while the fushimi shrine was considered a very wonderful shrine but I was getting rather tired of taking just temple pics. I made a note to myself, I would go around Kyoto tomorrow after of course I understand how that bus map works!

Hehehe, my love for bokeh knows no bound!

Though the same can be said about Photoshop lightroom and it’s effects list! Tip here, never discard any of your mistakes, a few tweaks with colors can sometimes do amazing things!

For those of you wondering what did I wish for, don’t. Let’s just say it involves vengence and sadly, the rock was so heavy I couldn’t lift it…..

I then decided to hike up the mountain. Though I should have known better then to hike up a mountain with so much gear.

If yo want to get a good clear shot of the toriis without something in the way, I would suggest coming very early as this place is open 24 hours a day although the train service is not so time your visit nicely. But in retrospect I’m glad I took this pic the way I took t as the 2 ladies at the far end gives the pic depth.

Taken using my nikkor 85mm if I recall correctly. I should seriously consider in my future plans to get a FF digital camera but then what would I do with my current film line up?

The hike up the mountain has many rest stops which I graciously made used of to rest my body as the hike up was taking a serious toll on me.

Good thing we ca also drink from these as I saw many people doing it. Thirst can be deadly especially hiking up with the load I was carrying.

I then noted that everyone of those toriis have writings on them, I think they are the names of people who donated the money to make theses? I can’t be sure but would make logical sense. I didn’t see this as I made my way up, the way these thing are facing, you only see the names when you are coming down from the top of the mountain.

A close up look of those writing. Also you may note that my exposure can very greatly, this is due to the insane overcast that day which made it very hard to meter.

A shot of a cute kitty! I was bored by the lack of things to shoot as I hiked up.

It was getting warmer and I really hated that. I wanted it t be cold. Although there were a lot of people, I remember taking a lot shot of this small wayward shrine that was off the beaten track but for some reason I can’t find it anymore.

I also fell into the drain when I took this pic. Note to self, BE CAREFUL! Also consider that an important tip!

After moving a few more flights of stair from this point, I came to a horrible yet very true conclusion. I cannot go on~~~~!! I was too tired by that point, I decided to take one of the many paths leading downward and it was getting late. I could use the rest.

So holstering away my gear, I slowly made the trek back down a different path and I think I was traveling down some a road of smaller shrines when I heard some strange music. At first I thought it was the wind but then I realized where I had heard it before. It sounded like the high pitch flute music (for those who are anime-inclined, it’s usually played at scene involving religious events). I turned a corner and sure enough,

I wonder what was this procession was about. Dang it! Wish CC was there then!

I watched the whole thing as the whole trope made their way into the compound of that temple (the one where the camera guy is standing at). It was quite hypnotic, especially the music. It sounded eerily (especially the fact I always associated it with mystical things), in any event I continued my way down until I came across a bunch of people taking pics of this little thing.

Drinking from one of the fountains. Heheh I wasn’t the only taking pic of this cat, there was another cat watching over this one which I think was the mom?

I then came to another rest stop where I had something to eat, the nice lady at the shop tried to strike up a conversation but sadly I was unable to keep up as I just didn’t know what she was talking about. (Sounds like the conversations I have with my relatives, fortunately I devised a method that generally works, nod your head and smile.)

After which I made my way back to the train station and headed back to Kyoto and “crawl” my way back as I was dead tired. The room was ready by then and I unloaded all my gear and headed out across the street to a curry rice place which brings me to another point, what is with them and curry rice? It’s not really spicey, just really salty. I’ll have some pic of it up next time to show you what I mean.

Then I headed back to my hotel where I then went through all the maps and schedule on how to handle tomorrow. So until then pleasant dreams~!

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