Being a lover of all things green-tea/matcha-flavored, I was in absolute heaven when I went down to the Kansai region, especially in Kyoto. I stayed at a friend's place in Osaka and visited Kyoto on one of those days. My friend took me to a Buddhist temple called Kiyomizu-dera. To get to this temple, you pass through this road that is lined with endless shops filled with food, souvenirs, and handcrafted goods. The atmosphere bustled with excitement and the smell of outrageously awesome-smelling sweets. I swear I had never seen so much matcha-flavored food in my life. Smelling the scent in the atmosphere was enough to make my mouth water. Mmmm….anyway…moving on from my unhealthy obsession (YET healthy) obsession with green tea….
The first thing I had was matcha-man, which is basically green-tea flavored buns. They were absolutely delicious! I would have another…but there was too much to try on this bustling street.
This was dessert (before dinner, of course! That's how it is supposed to be done). This was beyond delicious. It is quite an elaborate ice cream cone. There is matcha ice cream, with white and match mochi, and red-bean paste, another one of my favorite things. This was just heaven in a cone! Really.
This was, of course, my favorite store of all the shops on this street. They had quite a bit of traditional snacks stamped or shaped in the form of Hello Kitty. I mean…it really does NOT get better than that. Come on…I was tempted to buy it all, but I restrained myself. It was quite difficult.
This is the Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple in Kyoto. It was absolutely beautiful and probably my favorite of all the shrines and temples I have gone to. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the breathtaking view you had from the temple and just the spectacular surroundings. See for your yourself!
This is the view from the veranda of the temple. The view of Kyoto is just…totemo sugoi! (excellent, basically, duh).
This is the view OF the veranda from the other side…to show you how crowded it gets at this temple. It attracts a lot of visitors.
My favorite part of the Kiyomizu complex is probably the Jishu Jinja (shrine). And apparently it is the #1 tourist spot, which I guess makes sense if you take a look at how crowded it was from the picture of the veranda above. The Jishu Jinja is a love or matchmaking shrine, which makes it very interesting.
There were 2 "love stones". It is just as the sign says: if you can walk from one stone to the other with your eyes closed, you'll find love. If you get help, you will need help in order to find love. Something like that. An interesting concept. I thought it was cute. Many people just touched the stone, as if they will give them good luck in love. No cheating! You can't just touch it and not do the challenge of walking blind! There are no shortcuts when it comes to finding love. (Too cheesy? Perhaps. Oh well).
I would highly recommend coming to visit the Kiyomizu-dera if you are in Tokyo. I think girls would especially love visiting the Jishu-Jinja for that "love thing". They have really adorable and famous omamori sold here, so I suggest buying that if you come. Everyone needs luck when it comes to love, right right?
Okay, enough of that lovey-dovey business. That pretty much concludes my trip to Kyoto. It was less than a day and I realized that it was simply not enough. I had so much to explore. I did not even have sufficient time to browse all the shops that I wanted to look at along the way. Next time I come back, I will extend my stay for at least 3 days I think. It was nice to visit Kyoto and get away from the bustling chaos of Tokyo city life. And more green-tea than you can ever want! Go!