Sunday, December 04, 2005

京都 2005 - 03 Shosei-en - Higashi Honganji

[141105] Shosei-en - Higashi Honganji

plenty of wooden houses in Kyoto, including those facing K's House hostel. & every house seems to have at least one bucket (& even large mineral water bottles) filled with water at their doorstep:


think Kyoto natives fear fire as much as e Gauls in Asterix fear e sky falling on their heads ;)

to Shosei-en garden, a few minutes walk along e route leading to e nearest #4/17/205 bus stops along Kawaramachi-dori - also to familiarise with surroundings so that e cat can find its way back to e hostel from e bus stop after dark.

entry to Shosei-en is FOC, but small donation is expected. e security guard will explain e need for a donation & look away as you fish out your $. guess he expects to hear e 'clunk' of coin(s) falling into e wooden box before he will hand you e brochure with a map ;)

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not very impressive on first sight, especially with a big group crowding e lawn, but plenty of big fat fish in e pond reassured e cat that it wouldn't go hungry in Kyoto:


more pleasant (& quiet) parts of e garden were found on crossing this bridge:


e 'kyo' in e name of this bridge (Shinsetsu-kyo) sounds just like e Teochew word for 'bridge'....

& then there was this drake (with 3 female ducks in its 'harem') to remind e cat that it has to 'Hello Kitty' e family & bring food back for them:


there would be more reminders to come e.g. whales on a roadworks sign near e hostel....

first red maple was seen =) but still too early for full fall colours, & foilage was rather muted =| e Kyoto Tower eyesore was finally spotted:


didn't see it earlier on as e cat had taken e underground passage out of Kyoto station.

further on was 'Bokakaku ceremonial gate', which seems to attract plenty of bees:

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(photos for little sunshine =P)

& then a 'flower pear' (according to e kanji on e sign that IDs it as Chaenomeles sinensis Koehne) tree, & e little Tairitsu-seki teahouse with a pear fruit left on e steps:

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more of Shosei-en:

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ginkgo! one of e things on e cat's 'to see' list for this trip. had already seen some along Kawaramachi-dori, but all still green.

e garden is famous for this Taka-ishigaki wall, which has been put together with stones/rocks recycled from other structures:

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decided to wander along e narrow streets in e general direction of Kyoto station building. Dakara Life Partner is still being sold in drink vending machines here (think it was first launched when e cat was in Tokyo?):


maybe wushu & taiji people should all drink this to train ping2 heng2?

e lane continued westwards towards Karasuma-dori - & a whole line of yellow ginkgo trees across e road =)

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& e cat found itself at e entrance to Higashi Honganji, with e reflection of Kyoto Tower in its moat:


one of e big fat wooden doors with chrysanthemum & some other flowering plant motif:


e cat had quite a shock at e entrance - that modern-looking steel structure?!


great way to shelter e worksite & workers & craftsmen from e elements =) if contractors in Singapore could do this for smaller worksites, would they save lots by not having to stop work in rainy weather?

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big fat wooden gate:


this place is huge enough to have its own indoor cafeteria.

why pigeon food is sold at e entrance (& why one should wear a hat):

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kuro-neko! & yes indeed we are are tong2 同 lei4 (same species) peng2 朋 you3 (friends) *grin* not sure if that's what e sign really means in Japanese ;) think this cat is really sick of e taste of pigeon, since a man fed him something else.


on to Kyoto-ekimae bus terminal to find out e Kyoto Bus & West JR bus schedules, only to find this pasted at all e Kyoto Bus berths:


underlined in green are e words that e cat understands....which isn't enough to make much sense of what is going to happen to e traffic & bus services over e next 2 days. & e cat couldn't find any Kyoto Bus staff who could say anything more than 'America, Bush' in English, so it took a photo of this, hoping to find someone at e Tourist Info Centre or K's House later to translate.

turned out that major traffic jams in e city center were expected as US President George W Bush would be in Kyoto, & buses might not be able to keep to their schedules. & all e lockers (probably numbering at least several hundreds) in Kyoto station were sealed from today as part of security measures for his visit - which left plenty of locals & tourists stranded.

e cat decided to change its plans & visit Ryoanji & Kinkakuji at e other end of Kyoto only after 16/12, as it didn't want to spend time stuck in traffic. which turned out to be a good idea as Bush went to Kinkakuji, & e police & secret service probably sealed off e area.

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