Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kinkakuji, Setsubun Matsuri, and Shinkyogoku: The First Trip to Kyoto

So on Friday we were placed into small groups to go on a day trip to Kyoto with some Japanese students of Kansai Gaidai. A friend and I went with three Japanese students on our first ever Japanese train ride to sightsee in Kyoto. Once we figured out which train to get on, it was a very nice ride. On the limited express train, the seats shift back and forth so you can sit facing your friends. I just happened to meet with my speaking partner earlier in the day, and I showed her pictures of Harry Potter world in Universal, so unfortunately I carried my tablet around for the entire trip.

The first place we went to was Kinkakuji: The Golden Temple. The temple is literally made entirely of gold. We took many pictures. I am very excited to go back to the shrine when the cherry blossoms bloom. I also bought an γŠγΎγ‚‚γ‚Š、or an omamori. This is a charm for luck that lasts one year. There were many amulets there for 'traffic safety.' I bought one for 'dreams come true.' Then I promptly dropped it. But I also threw a coin directly into the rock bucket a la throwing a coin into a fountain, so I guess that would cancel out that bad sign.

I also had the pleasure of forgetting my tissues; so we had to pay 30 yen for tissues to use the Japanese toilet.

Don't ever use a Japanese style toilet.

Afterwards, we went to a festival at a shrine celebrating setsubun, which is a Japanese ceremony that happens in February. Families throw beans to ward off evil demons; you are supposed to eat your age in beans. I ate two; they look like they should taste like a peanut but they really do not taste like anything.

However, the festival was fantastic. I ate so much food from random stalls I cannot even remember what I ate. It was all so delicious.

We also then stopped at Shinkyogoku, which is a giant mall of stores and arcades. We did purikura and played the Taiko game. We also went to an anime store where I bought a phone charm.

It was very fun; I will put up pictures soon!



  1. Sounds like a good time! Too bad you didn't win tissues. You could of used them in Kyoto.(lol) Inquiry minds want to know what's wrong with the Japanese toilet? Important much needed info. Take Care. Love Ya!

  2. Mom, it is probably a squatty potty. I am used to using them so no problems for me.