|Last delicious Japanese breakfast set from Ryukan Kikori - Fuefuki-shi, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan|
Two days were spent beautifully at Fuefuki-shi - Yamanashi Prefecture area, a small town full of grapes. It was time to move back to city area. The breakfast was beautiful and delicious as usual, one of my favorite things from Ryokan Kikori. Thank you for your wonderful services that had been rendered during our stay.
|Bye bye Isawa-Onsen. Hope to see you again one day... :D|
There was a shuttle bus provided by the hotel to send the guest to the Isawa-Onsen train station free of charge. We took it there and waited for our train - first to Tokyo station, then to Kyoto (there was no direct train from Isawa-Onsen to Kyoto, that was why we had to go back to Tokyo first).
|Assorted character bento at Tokyo main station, Japan|
In Tokyo, we waited for about an hour before continuing the next train journey to Kyoto and while waiting, we purchased our lunch bento box and other snacks. There were so many varieties available. However, I preferred to go to the Character Ekiben corner and chose the special bento box. I was hesitating to choose the Shinkansen box or cartoon character box. Too bad there was no Doraemon, my favorite cartoon. Therefore, I chose something else :D
|Celebrated my special day on Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto :)|
Dadadada.... hehehehehe... :D At the end I chose Hello Kitty bento box instead of Shinkansen one simply because of the shape. It was more practical to re-use the Hello Kitty bento box for the future packed lunch rather than the long shape Shinkansen, and also it was rather cuter :D Kawaiii!!!! ;)
|Anpanman - Another Japanese cute cartoon character bento box purchased by my travel mate :)|
I had it with a Daiwa can (world's first premium wines in new bottle can technology launched in Japan back in year 2008). The company - Monde Distilleries, Ltd., at Yamanashi Prefecture - also developed a matching drinking cup, which attached to the canned wine. I saw it first from inside the JR-East (East Japan Railway Company) catalog. And when it was also available at the shop where I bought the bento, I thought of trying it out :) I chose the white wine and it tasted good, was very happy with it. Both the bento and the wine really made my day!!! Thank you SB! :)
|Shinkansen N700 from Tokyo to Kyoto - Japan|
It took 2 hours and 17 minutes from Tokyo to Kyoto by the Shinkansen Nozomi N700 (the fastest train service running on Shinkansen lines in Japan with a speed of 300 km/hour). It cost 10,480 yen (S$130) per single trip.
|Beautiful scenery along the Shinkansen ride from Tokyo to Kyoto - Japan|
It was supposed to be autumn, but the weather was still quite hot and sometimes it rained. The fields were yellowish from afar while trees were still in green. Once reached Kyoto, we walked to our hotel (located within walking distance from the Kyoto train station), checked in, put our luggage in, and we went out again (as not to waste our precious time) to our next destination - Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
|Kiyomizu-dera - Kyoto, Japan|
Kiyomizu-dera was one of the must visit places in Kyoto. It was very crowded, but the day we went was even more crowded as the day after was coincidentally Tsukimi or Otsukimi (moon-viewing day as it would be a bright full-moon day) or also called a Mid-Autumn Festival.
|Nio-mon (main gate), Zuigu-do Hall, and Sai-mon (west gate) of Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Japan|
The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site. It was founded in year 778 but the present building was constructed back in 1633. Many tourists wearing kimono visited this place. Too bad we came too early. If we came a month later, the leaves surrounding the temple would have changed color beautifully (autumn red-yellow leaves). You had to purchase ticket to enter. Each ticket cost 400 yen (S$5) for adult and 200 yen (S$2.50) for child.
|The deity Kannon-san - Goddess of Mercy/Compassion - Kiyomizu-dera Temple (Pic source: Kiyomizu-dera website)|
The temple where Kannon (Kwan Im) - the Goddess of Compassion or Mercy with eleven faces and forty-two arms - located was still under renovation, but devotees were still allowed to enter, to convey their wishes and prayers. She was worshiped by pious people who wished for worldly benefits, such as: good health, success, and romantic relationship.
|Inside the Hondo (main hall) of Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Japan|
Devotees queued in a line passing by the altar praying for deities, then sitting towards deity Kannon-san, conveying prayer in kneel-down position, and hitting the open metal container that produced bell-sound like. After that moving to the next place, continued with prayer and you could drop a coin as offering to the deities.
|Otowa no taki (Otowa Waterfall) at Kiyomizu-dera Temple - Kyoto, Japan|
Beneath the main hall there was the Otowa no taki or Otowa Waterfall, where the three streams of water fall into a pond, where you could catch with ladle, drink the water, pray for purification of your six senses, and make your wishes come true. The clear gushing waters "Konjiki-sui” (golden water) or “Enmei-sui” (life-prolonging water) was deemed suitable to use in purification.
If you want to find out more about the origin of this sacred temple, click here.
|Snack and shops at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto, Japan|
Once done, we walked back towards the main road. We passed through many shops selling local snacks (mochi or Japanese rice cake, green tea/black sesame ice cream - a must try!!!, pickles, sesame/ chili powder, Japanese whiskey, etc.) and souvenirs. The famous world's first tatami style Starbucks Cafe was also located in the area (Nineizaka street). It was closed by the time I reached there, too bad!
|Ramen Iroha for dinner - Kyoto, Japan|
We went back to Kyoto main station and had our dinner there. We went upstairs all the way to level 10 to have our Japanese ramen. There were so many ramen shops, also other cafe and restaurant available. Some had a very long queue. We chose to eat at Menya Iroha. They used to win at the Tokyo Ramen Show back in year 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. We had the spicy ramen this time, but after having it, I preferred having non-spicy with more cashew (sliced pork meat) on it. The noodle was chewy and springy though, to my liking. Next time maybe ;)
|My Birthday cake this year - a very delicious chocolate Nutella (hazelnut) cake!!! Yayy!!! :)|
After dinner, I went back to hotel. I was given a surprised Birthday cake by my travel companions. Thank you very much for the celebration!!! I was very grateful for your effort and time given to make my day memorable, and the cake was really delicious!!!
|With my loved ones - the reason why I joined the trip :)|
Yeah, let me reveal some of my travel companions for this trip!!! :) Both of them were the reason why I joined this trip. Actually all of them had planned it in advance and I was the last minute participant who joined the group. When I knew that the travel period and my Birthday would fall concurrently, I thought it was a great opportunity to spend my special day with my both dear parents. As a youngest in the family, I felt proud and happy to be able to spend the day together with them, also with the rest of the people whom I knew very well throughout my life.
The fact that I supposed no longer young would not change who I am. I think, I am still the same silly childish woman as I was many years ago, except that I have gone through more things in life, experienced various life events, which forced me to learn to be better and wiser (hopefully so).
|My heartfelt gratitude to my both parents. Thank you Pa and Ma!!! Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! :)|
(Pic source: Google.com)
Well, thank you once again Pa, Ma, for asking me along to this trip, and for raising me up since I was still inside Mom's stomach. I would never be able to pay back what you both had done for me in this lifetime. I still often made you both angry or unhappy, but I would do my best to give back what I could with my time and effort. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! :)
So, this was not the end of our journey yet, I would come out with few more posts. Stay tune lah!!! :)