Tuesday, March 07, 2006

京都 2005 - 29 Kameyama-koen - Rakushisha - Hokyo-in

[251105] even more Arashiyama....coming out of Okochi Sanso, two NHK TV station trucks were spotted down e road (below left). e curious cat followed e trail of wires leading from one of them to e end of e road & into Kameyama-koen, & all e way along an uphill path to a viewpoint occupied by NHK cameramen & sound crew & their equipment, watched over by a park warden (below right):


a section of e Torokko scenic railway that runs along e Hozu river & gorge can be seen from this viewpoint, & e signboard (above right) indicates e timings at which e trains make their appearance.

what e NHK cameras were trained on:


e very spot on e opposite bank of e Katsura-gawa where e cat was standing earlier in e day! =P so glad that it wasn't nuts enough to try climbing all e way up to Daihikakuji temple - it is really that high up above e river!


very fairy tale-ishly beautiful =))

a mutant branch of red (below) in a tree of yellow:


retracting its steps back past Okochi Sanso, e cat continued deeper into Arashiyama past Jojakkoji temple, & to e-place-with-e-very-poetic-name, 洛柿舎 Rakushisha aka. e House of Fallen Persimmons. Kyorai Mukai, e 17th century haiku poet who lived here, had wanted to sell e ripe persimmons on e tree, only to find that they had been blown to e ground by strong wind during e night, hence e name:


[2, 4] e vegetable fields directly in front of Rakushisha [3, 7] Rakushisha, with e persimmon tree standing at e entrance, & e bamboo hat & straw raincoat hanging outside e house, as if Kyorai were still at home [5] a restaurant near Rakushisha [6] roof tile shop [9] Cosmos flowers


[2] tourists gathered outside e entrance to Rakushisha [3] Cosmos flowers nodding in e breeze [4, 6, 8] a beautiful place to work in [5] ceramic persimmons with 'Rakushisha' carved on them for sale [7] a thatched roof house [9] masks for sale - Japanese can make their goblins & demons look so cute =P

more wandering through e neighbourhood to get to 宝筐院 Hokyo-in temple, another of Arashiyama's momiji spots. unlike e many big fat temple complexes visited on this trip, Hokyo-in is a really small & cosy place, & not mentioned in most English language travel guidebooks (kinda impossible to list most of Kyoto's hundreds of temples & shrines anyway). e cat had come across photos of e maple-lined path through e temple grounds on e temple's homepage, & decided to check out e real thing:


e main temple building:


e maples:


interesting plant:


cat instinct at work:


it was late afternoon, e sun was starting to set (sunset at ~16:45PM), & e cat was starting to think *tweet* about dinner options ;)

Hokyo-in at dusk:


walking along e north bank of e Katsura-gawa in e darkness, e cat came across a big fat brightly-lit omiyage store with one of e most complete selections of Kyoto souvenirs, both edible & inedible. across from it was a large 定食屋 teishoku-ya (e type of restaurant that serves e standard Japanese set meal fare) running on e coupon system common in cafeterias here, where you place your order & make payment in exchange for a coupon before hunting for a seat & waiting for your food to be ready.

e restaurant was so huge it had two separate identical window displays of plastic food models, one at each of its two entrances, which gives you an idea of e size of e crowds it packs in at peak hours:


e restaurant & omiyage store appear to be run by e same company, & are strategically located directly in front of e coach park to catch e flood of tourists pouring out of e tour buses.

cat food:


it was long after dark when e cat headed off in e general direction of JR Arashiyama station (roughly eastwards, parallel to e river, & then roughly northwards, perpendicular to e river, based on e cat's 'internal sense of direction') thinking that would it work out e way there somehow in e dim yellow street lighting....

but on turning away from e river, it found itself walking through some residential area without any street lighting. & realised that it had left its Maglite behind in e hostel. & that while cats can see in e dark, reading maps & tiny unfamiliar Japanese font is a challenge when there isn't even moonlight to help....*oops*

but there were little kids on e street, which made e place seem a lot safer, & e cat crossed a set of railway tracks (Keifuku? there are 3 railways in this area, all with tracks running roughly east-west) that seemed to agree with what e cat had seen on its maps earlier on....& then street lamps appeared again *YAY* & e (by now) familiar washi paper stationery store that e cat had popped into on e way to e JR station ~9 days ago (after visiting Tenryuji temple) came into view =)

just as it was about to walk on, e cat spotted a toy store across e street that it had not noticed before....& kooning on a glass shelf in e store window was a furry 4-pawed whiskered counterpart with a tail & ears e colour of slightly burnt toast....couple of minutes later, two cats walked out of e toy store & down e street towards e JR station, stopping only for a quick sniff at e BBQ-ed sanma fish impaled on sticks stuck around a pile of hot coals in a wooden bucket of sand at a roadside stall, before travelling by JR train back to Kyoto station on a single ticket ;)

back in e 6-bedder dorm room at K's House, complete with pink Hello Kitty towel belonging to a room mate:


e cat's bunk:


now occupied by e its new friend from e Arashiyama toy store:


e 6-bed dorms have lockers inside them, but you hafta bring your own padlock or buy one from e reception:


guests in other room types hafta use e lockers at e reception. e interiors of e rooms in K's House are all done up in blue - e cat's favourite colour =))


*mrrreoww* kooning is serious business for cats, hence e brows furrowed in deep concentration ;)

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