Kyoto, the capital city
Kyoto is possibly Japan’s most important city historically. It was not only the imperial capital of the country for over a thousand years, but also the birthplace of none other than Super Mario. And Nintendo. Yeah, I like Nintendo.
In 2011 I was in Japan shooting the FIFA World Cup of Clubs, which Barcelona F.C. eventually won. I was on my way from Tokyo to Toyota, where one of the matches took place, and stopped for a day trip on Kyoto.
Higashi Honganji Temple 東本願寺
After wandering a bit through the narrow streets in the old part of town, looking for something to shoot I walked into the cutest group of Japanese kids in recorded history. They were on a field trip to temple Higashi Honganji to run around and play with the pigeons.
Dragons in Japanese culture are somewhat of a water god. They are wingless and more like a huge serpent and are said to live in bodies of water close to temples. It very common to see statues of dragons inside temples used as water fountains. For those that like Nintendo, he’s exactly like Gyrados.
The Higashi Honganji temple is headquarters of the Jodo-Shin Sect of Buddhism, one of the biggest in the country. When I visited, they had just covered up two big pavilions for restoration. I heard they recently reopened them.
For lunch I had the famous okonomiyaki お好み焼き. I ordered the one with pork. They cook it right in front of you, so be careful if you're taking your bowl of fish for a walk not to put it on the hot plate on the table (right Commandand Lassard?).
The okonomiyaki was very good and tasty, just like most Japanese food I had. They added these fish flakes that were literally the thinnest slices of meat I have ever seen in my whole life. They were as thin as the skin you peel off your back after a sunburn. I kid you not. They place it on top and it just melts. Just for flavor.
Kosho-Ji Temple 本山興正寺
After filling my belly with delicious Japanese cuisine, I headed to this temple that was built in the late 19th century.
What temple is this?!
From the Kosho-Ji temple I walked south towards the Toji temple. This is before I had a GPS on my camera and I’ve combed through google street walk to find this place. I went through my pics to search for clubes but all I can say is that it was before the train tracks and I took a picture of a green dome that seems to be from some sort of mosque.
Toji Temple 東寺
In the afternoon I headed to the famous Toji Temple, which literally means East Temple. It was built in the late 700s, making it over 1300 years old.
By now the sun was already setting and I had to head back to station because I had a football match to shoot. There is still so much more in Kyoto to see. I didn’t have a chance to visit the royal palace or anything. I need to go back. Soon.
On my way back to the station I peeked in through a stone gate into this peaceful spot. Coincidentally, the character for peace 安 can be seen engraved in the stone block to the right of the frame.