Kyoto Day 2, a Konata adventure, and 30,000 torii gates

August 25, 2008 | Author: | In: Anime Blogs, Everyday Life, Japan, Miscellaneous, Photography

One of the things that I didn’t get to do in Kyoto last time I was here was head out to many of the wondrous locations that Kyoto is famous for. Day 2 of the Kyoto experience took us south towards Nara. So hit the jump to read on about my 2nd day in Kyoto.

Our day started off by heading from the ryokan to Kyoto JR station. I took the opportunity to take photos of Kyoto Tower and the main entrance of Kyoto JR Station. Our main destination was Nara as we wanted to head off to Nara Park, but there was one place I wanted to goto first before anything else. If any of you have watched Lucky Star you’ll know about Konata’s little trip to find Kyoto Animation and take a photo outside. Yep, I did exactly that.

Having done some research online, it was relatively easy to find the exact location. But if you can’t be bothered finding out here are the directions:

  • Take the JR Nara Local service towards Nara (assuming your starting point is Kyoto JR Station).
  • Get off at Kohata Station and when you exit the station, Kyoto Animation First Building is outside the station to the left.
  • To get to the second building, from the exit of the station, turn right until you reach the end (which is only about 100m). Once at the end, turn left and follow the road until you see a brown building with a spiral staircase.

Of course me being the otaku that I am, and that there were exactly four of us here. I got all of us to pose just like they did in Lucky Star. Although my friends were reluctant at first, but I managed to con them into doing it in the end. Funnily enough as we were discussing who poses as who, one of the workers actually walked out of the building and realised what we were doing. I’m relatively sure he picked out that we were foreigners and he also directed us to the shop inside. Once inside we saw that they had a small range of merchandise available. In the end I picked up a CLANNAD postcard set.

It was pretty cool heading inside the building as you can see some of the promo posters hanging on the wall, but most of the inside is an actual office. As for the 2nd building, we couldn’t get to the third floor as it was blocked off. Not that I mind, but all that matters is that I finally got to see Kyoto Animation.

Hopping back onto the train, we headed once again towards Nara. Keep in mind we took the local service as the rapid doesn’t stop at Kohata, it took a good 30 minutes to reach Nara from Kohata. It was a good time to rest from heat. Upon arriving at Nara, we headed off to Nara Park. A reason I wanted to go here was that they had deers here that you can feed biscuits.

Having bought some biscuits, I had a go at feeding one deer. At first I thought they would be pretty tame, but oh no, they are quite vicious. Once you feed one, it tries to take the other ones in your hand. But the other thing is that if you feed one, 3 others will come up (assuming there are any close by). Though the one with large antlers are probably the worst. I notice that some of the deers bow their heads once they receive a biscuit, probably out of mannerism and to say thank you, but when the ones with antlers do it, they just end up hitting you.

One of the more funnier moments was feeding one deer but it kept following me. So I jumped over the fence and deep gutter thinking it wouldn’t follow me. The gap between the fence and gutter was pretty small, but it somehow managed to jump both and follow me. I got a friend of mine to distract it with his biscuits but after one biscuit, it simply attacked him by trying to snatch the biscuits from his hand. Even though he ran out, it kept following him. So be wary, those deers are vicious.

We started at one point of Nara Park and worked our way through some temples and shrines as the place certainly wasn’t short on any of them. There was also a museum with a collection of old Buddha statues and various other Japanese artifacts from many centuries ago. Of course no photographs are allowed in there. Continuing on through the pathway we came across a small lake with a great view and sat there for a few minutes to rest and absorb the scenery.

Moving on we came across another lake and a pagoda sitting over the lake. Later on we came across a small rest stop and I took the opportunity to eat some strawberry shaved ice. Shaved ice is the best thing to have when dealing with any kind of summer heat.

Eventually we came across another shrine, bought some fortunes, and started to head back to Nara station. We came to realise that we’ve only covered 40% of the park and that it was getting pretty late. Instead of walking back we took a bus, though we should’ve done that in the first place. Oh well. Hopping onto the train I still had one more place left on the day’s agenda to visit: Fushimi Inari Shrine.

I read up on this place thanks to reader Punynari as well as reading about it in the guide book. All I can say that this place is truly amazing. It’s awesome seeing a torii gate and all, but when you see a whole bunch (according to the guide book, there are 30,000 torii gates) that make a path is exciting. We got there just as an overcast was approaching and it was about 5pm. Walking through thousands of torii gates at night time has that eerie feeling where lights would only appear once every 10-20 torii gates. If anything I was hoping to see a wedding convey just like in ARIA.

According to the sign, it was estimated that the trip around the mountain would take about 4 hours. But alas since my feet took a beating due to improper shoes, I literally died at the last leg of the main stretch to reach the top of the mountain. I seriously at that point could not go on and decided to stop and rest as my friends continued the final leg of the journey. As I sat and waited for my friends to return, others came to the rest stop as well but realised how much of the mountain was left to climb, so they all turned around.

Eventually I came to sitting there by myself which in itself is kind of eerie (still kept thinking that foxes were going to wish me away, lol), but I at least got a good view of parts of Kyoto from the mountain. My friends eventually returned bearing souvenirs. They explained that at the top of the mountain is a small shrine where a guy would writ you name and date of when you conquered the Inari mountain. I do regret that I never made it to the top but next time I will. So for any of you readers who will be going to Fushimi-Inari shrine, make sure you reach the top.

Returning once again to the ryokan, and very much exhausted, we rested up before heading out to dinner. What was on the menu for that night was okonomiyaki. I knew of this okonomiyaki place near the ryokan before but never had the chance to try it out. This time I made sure to go. Though stupidly we each ordered an okonomiyaki and it was quite a bit to finish. Unfortunately I had a little bit left over from my share but damn was I full.

In the end it was quite an intensive day of traveling and walking. Still I can only blame myself for being so weak for dying before reaching the end of the Inari mountain (well I am a fat and lazy programmer, lol) but I do recommend people not to visit Nara Park and Fushimi-Inari shrine on the same day, unless you are fit for a lot of walking. Well at least I got a charm from the Inari shrine before they closed up. However at this point I don’t even remember what I bought nor do I remember where I’ve placed it. Next time I plan to conquer 30,000 torii gates!



14 Responses to Kyoto Day 2, a Konata adventure, and 30,000 torii gates

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Panther

August 25th, 2008 at 2:03 am

Vicious deer probably stem from the fact that they know by now regarding feeding rules, and thus they are liable to just want more food since they know you will feed them.

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Dancing Queen

August 25th, 2008 at 4:44 am

the pictue in front of Kyoto animation is priceless! I’m totally doing that whenever i end up going to japan

Dancing Queen’s last blog post..Bunny Girl Haruhi

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Punynari

August 25th, 2008 at 5:19 am

I hear ya about that Inari Shrine. Me and my brother tried to make it to the top, but in the middle of the day with triple digit heat. Not the brightest idea, I know, but he was only here for about a week and he couldn’t wait lol. We made it probably about half way, a little ways past that small lake. There was elderly people climbing it as well and I was a bit concerned for their health as they look like they were really suffering. Next time I go, I will make it to the top and hopefully it will be a bit cooler. (:

Thats a awesome picture(Lucky Star one). My brother and I tried to do something similar but were very embarrassed. And a security guard was gawking at us. In all our nervousness we both dropped the camara and broke it (combined effort). Very embarrassing.

Thanks for the heads up about the deer. We never made it to Nara as after Uji my brother had enough of the heat but it is on my to see list while I’m in Japan. Look forward to reading more of your posts!

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lu-k

August 25th, 2008 at 8:02 am

Lovely batch of pictures, thanks for sharing :D
The one in front of KyoAni is priceless, indeed! Great job guys ^^ an awesome souvenir :D

lu-k’s last blog post..FigmAction Special

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Rin

August 25th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Jealous as ever!!!!!!!
I want to go to Kyoto Animation!!!!!!

Rin’s last blog post..FanExpo Day 2

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AS

August 25th, 2008 at 1:41 pm

The next time I go Nara I need to visit Inari Shrine and take pictures, hopefully finding the fox spirit while I’m there lol. Need to make sure I don’t get taken away :P. The squid looks good, but I’m wondering what is the first food picture that you posted? The deer are aggressive xD, I was surrounded with them and I got quite the poking from their horns ;P.

AS’s last blog post..A LOL moment

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Larein

August 25th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Oh man, I would have loved to go to Kyoto Animation. Those torii gates sure are neat. I probably would have gone picture crazy there. >_>

Larein’s last blog post..California State Fair 2008

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oTAKu

August 25th, 2008 at 6:00 pm

LOL to the worker at KyoAni who recognised what you guys were doing. Total WIN! Awesome.
Adun, it looks like you were about to have a Tsukasa moment (aka when savage deers almost mauled the poor girl).
Thanks now I want some strawberry shaved ice, but in Sydney right now, it’s freezing…

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KイKイ

August 26th, 2008 at 10:58 pm

love that Lucky star pic! I sooooo want your camera~~~~

KイKイ’s last blog post..The Greatest Bishojo Art Exhibition in History @ Akiba!

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Adun

August 27th, 2008 at 12:12 am

Punynari: We had it better as an overcast was over us at the time so it was cooler than it was during the daytime. But next time I will conquer 30,000 torii gates. The Lucky Star picture was the best part for the throughout the day but it really works when you have 4 people there.

Rin: I know how much you want to go there. :P

AS: Are you referring to the pink item? That’s strawberry flavoured shaved ice. but if you are referring to the one with lettuce, it’s chicken yakitori sticks.

oTAKu: Actually the person posing as Tsukasa was the one who got attacked by the deers.

KイKイ: I should really go around and take more pictures as I haven’t taken that much since I came to Japan.

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meronpan

August 28th, 2008 at 9:14 am

the lucky star pic is uber! i should stop buying figures and save up for another trip… ^^;;

meronpan’s last blog post..(H2O)^2

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dice

September 4th, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Gosh now you’ve done it! LOL. – that KyoAni one’s a classic!

I’m so gonna go to Inari Shrine end of September! Thanks for all these wonderful pictures and posts!~ Really helps researching easier! :D

dice’s last blog post..GT5P Pod

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September 18th, 2008 at 11:21 pm

[...] to not go on the hiking trail as we were all suitably equipped with warm clothing, and after 30,000 torii gates in Kyoto, we’ve down enough climbing. Perhaps another time I’ll trek up Mt [...]

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November 29th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

[...] I bought this from the Kyoto Animation studio in Kyoto itself, the same place where I did the Lucky Star photo. My friends still curse me about doing that, [...]

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