Day 7: Kyoto part 3

16th October 2007.

I decided to today that I would again travel to the Eastern are near Gion and the slowly make my way to the Western side of Kyoto as I wanted to see the life and culture here. Though I would first go to that Tower and get the perfect sunrise shot! That would HAD made my day.

I woke up again at 3am in the Morning, all was quiet, so I began once again the ritual of cleaning up and the cleaned up my gear and set up to go at 4am.

My plan today would go like this:

  1. Go back Shijo Kawaramachi point. But this time walk south ward on the until Kujo street.
  2. Then make my way to Toji temple
  3. Then finally head to Kinkakuji Temple.

Not a lot and it seems very weak, I could have gone to some other fancy places like Iwatayama Park or maybe even Nijo castle but I wanted to see the place. Not be another regular tourist. This would force me to wonder around the place a lot.

Also, the night before I heard from one of the other people staying here that Himeji castle is completely filled with tourist and that none of the Koyo were there yet. So I’ve changed my plans to go to another place on that day which is Takayama.

so at about 4:30am I reached the station to grab something to eat, Melonpan and some curry puff as well as some drinks for the long walk ahead. I took this shot when I was heading to the bus station behind Kyoto central station

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A shot of the central station and the sepia setting and voila~

I first decided to get up the Kyoto Tower before sunrise hence why I left so early this time.

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What a wonderful way to start a day! With a beautiful sunrise! wait, what? It’s locked!


I neglected to check ONE DETAIL! The time it opens. It doesn’t open until 9am………….damn

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I looked back at the central station. I then decided to move ahead with my plans and take a bus to Shijo Kawaramachi point.

I then took the bus and headed to Shijo Kawaramachi point and got off and headed towards one of the many bridges crossing over the Kamo River.

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At Kamo River. I then decided to cross to the Easten bank and just follow it south till Kujo street.

But just as I was about to get onto that brigde, I heard ducks. Thinking there were duck gathered under the brigde, I thought this as a good chance to get some good shots. So I easily found my way down to the Kamo River and saw this.

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Ducks in a cage and there were more animals.

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It was some sort of animal shelter? Or maybe a place they would keep them to train them. I’m not sure. There was a sign but I was unable to read it.


Here was the guy helping to clean the cat’s eyes.


And here was this guy giving one of the dogs some training or exercise.

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I stayed for a while as I watched them clean and check the health of each animel. I wonder what would have happen on a heavy downpour day which would have made this riverbank full.

It when I looked all around, I notice a lots of people were walking about in this river bank. Some were fishing and some were walking their dogs. I then spotted something….

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Not wanting to miss this chance, I switched out my 17-35mm to my 70-200mm and zoom in all the way. But a last it was in the middle of the river sitting there and even my 200mm wasn’t enough.

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It soon flew away and I then spotted something closer to me. A crow


The sun had started to rise over the buildings so I knew I had missed my chance of a perfect sunrise but I continued on.

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This river was VERY wide.

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I then decided to climb back up to the bridge and follow along the Kamo river on the streets instead.

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Spotted these 2 here. They were taunting something.

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They were taunting these 2 cats to get food. The cats were fending the birds off.

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I slowly made my way across the bridge.

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Another shot of the Kamo river from the bridge.

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This shot here was actually very flat and colors, completely washed out. I the adjusted the contrast, an color in order to bring out any details. Though I must say it a pathetic attempt. Tip here: unless you are using film, review the shots you think are keepers. So if you got them wrong, you can try again with a different setting instead of fixing them later.

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It was 6am, surprisingly traffic was very low and yet there were a lot of people walking about. Some going to walk, some going to the market and some going to school. I started to get a lot of odd stares. I didn’t take notice at first, but soon I did. I wondered why.

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Heading south on the Kamo river, why did I do that? Well the sun’s light would be shining on everything on the west side of the river and I wanted to get some great town photos.

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Like these, as I said there were people fishing down in the Kamo river. Well I guess it makes sense for them, it wasn’t exactly dirty and it seemed life managed to survive in the water (fish, hence the many cranes and crows). Unlike the dirty water of Malaysia which are found along any river that goes through a city.

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Another one, I simple just used the age photo settings in lightroom and then increased the vignetting setting to get this. Not bad as I wanted to create a timeless photo. Though I think it could have been made better if there was a car crossing or someone (like school students) crossing the river.

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With those 2 shots, I continued on for a while but then I notice some down by the river. A beautiful white crane! I wanted to get down ASAP but I was smacked in between 2 points of bridges and I worried that by the time I did get down, it would be gone. So I made the decision, I climb down from the side which was pretty safe for me.

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The pigeons were definitely surprised to see me. You can see the wall I climb down from.

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Life here seems very peaceful although I think for them, the sight of a fat gaijin climbing down from the site with a HUGE camera is not one of their many usual daily sights. So after getting down there, I took out my 70-200mm again placed my bag nearby and approached my target quietly. On another note, since coming here I noticed that even if you leave things out in the open it doesn’t go missing if you don’t keep an eye on it unlike some places (cough cough home).

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Be very very quiet, I’m photographing a crane.

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There she was, slender, white and absolutely alluring! I had to climb onto a very narrow patch of concrete to get this shot. I then made my way across the bush.

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Heh, finally some good shots. She was still grooming herself, unaware of my close proximity (actually I was quite far enough to be not be noticed or to be perceived as a threat).

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This was the definite keeper of the day, here I increased the saturation in lightroom to make the colors punchy!

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After a while in that pose, she started to move around in the water. I tried to get more shots of her but it was obvious she thought I was getting to close for comfort and after a while flew off.

I then packed up and continue on my journey. It was 7am by then and all this chasing bird business left me a bit tired.I got out of the kamo river at the next bridge and found myself I believe at Nanajo street.

I then slowly made by way to Hachijo Aburanokoji.


I had to cross a number of sky bridge.

Can’t be sure where this is, but I saw it along the way. I was now heading toward Toji temple.


Following along the Kintetsu Railway I think. At this point I was pretty much following the map on faith. I couldn’t read a single sign.


Spotted this along the way, I noticed how in Japan everything is so……organized.


I soon reached Omiya street (Dori).


I them set out to look for the entrance and it took me a while. I also had to watch all the way to the end of the block just to find the entrance to Toji temple.


So to not drown you in boring talk I’ll let the photos do most of the talking


It was 7:50am by that time, it was still a long way before I could get to my final destination.


This was one of the 3 main central temples there, I did go win and viewed many of the great statues there. Sadly photography was prohibited. I spent a little while praying there, but then something caught my attention after a while. Some of the temple staff came to empty out the donation boxes and it was an amazing sight as they empty the box full of MONEY!


The temple grounds also had it share of magnificent statues but I think it would have been better to come take them here at night as I noticed a lot of spot lights about which would provided some great lighting effects.


Here is a shot of the tall pagoda which is the symbol of Toji Temple. I had hope to gain entry so I could get a high vantage point but it seems entry was not allowed. Bummer….


I next went into the museum that housed many of their relics as well as artwork. Sadly at this point I was getting rather tired and tried to take some photos. Bad mistake as I was told by the staff there no photos. DRAT!


Next I proceeded to over a bridge that brought me over to another place of interest


Thinking this to be another temple I proceeded where I was met by a pleasant surprise to find it not like any other temples and was more like an authentic old style japanese home @_@.


It even had the authentic feel of a zen garden. I believe entry cost about 100~500 yen. I can’t remember


It even had that bamboo water fountain. I actually stared at it for quite a while, but then I realized something. I was in a part of the structure where entry was not allowed! YIKES! I quickly left that section before anyone saw me


I spent quite a while trying to get this shot right.

It was 9:30am by then and I realized I had spent so much time there. I decided to get a move on

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I decided to take a bus to the Nisshinoyo en machi point. So the walk to Kinkakuji wouldn’t be so hard.


I then decided to have lunch after reach there, it was 10:30am and I was hungry.


After lunch I then headed to my final destination for the day……though it wasn’t evening yet.


I had a bad feeling there would be a lot of people……


The usual map shot


I had finally reached the entrance……@_@ boy it was a long walk!


Here is the shot of the ticket. Cost? 1000 yen if I’m correct.


I slowly walked with the crowd…….


You may not know it, but this was one of hell of a shot to get! There were a lot of people especially students! They kept getting in the way, so I had to wait patiently till it had cleared enough for me to take this shot.


Like I said, quite a lot of people. This was after they had cleared out a bit.


I wish the leafs were red…..


Tip here……if you want to avoid this, suggest that you come during offpeak.


Another fortune coin toss.


It was time to to head back.


The main crowd was moving in and I did not want to get caught.


I had contemplated buying a kimono for my sister as a gift but then I didn’t know what was her size. CC later told me that he had bought one for his niece.


Film vending machines @_@?!

It was 1:30pm at that time, so I then decided to kill the rest of the day checking out some manga shops. No photos sadly as they didn’t allow it, I wonder how do other people get their shots of the manga shops…. In any event, headed back at about 5pm (a long gap which I spent going through the whole area). I had dinner and rest up for my next destination tomorrow, Nara.

So until then pleasant dreams

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2 thoughts on “Day 7: Kyoto part 3

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