Day 5 | Kinkaku-ji

No trip to Kyoto is complete without a visit to Kinkaku-ji. Also known as the golden temple, Kinkaku-ji is quite possibly the most famous temple in Japan. Since this temple is a mere 10 minutes away from Ritsumeikan, it only makes sense that our ‘buddy san’ would want to take us there as part of our first buddy event.

Day 5 started out with a test, but the dread from that didn’t last long. After lunch with buddy san, we started walking there (shocker). We were basically walking along the foot of the hills, on a direct path to the temple. There is an admission fee of 400 yen, but my school had already absorbed the cost.

Entrance of Kinkaku-ji

We didn’t have to walk long before we saw the famous temple glistening in the sunlight. As expected, there were hoards of people (especially with school groups) but surprisingly it was not as crowded as some of the other temples I went to (aka fushimi inari & kiyomizu dera)

It’s so SHINY!

Pretty, isn’t it? There’s even a golden rooster seated right at the top. It’s surrounded by a pond, and if you’re lucky and the water is still, you can see its entire reflection. You’re not allowed to enter the temple (bummer), but you can walk around the pond to get up close to the temple.

you can get pretty close

After taking lots of double tap worthy photos, we continued walking along the path. There are lots of koi in the pond (I know this because every other person that looks into the pond yells ‘EEH KOI!!’), and if you walk a bit more you’ll come across a smaller pond with ducks.

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Koi swimming about

Then we came across one of those fortune bowls, where you have to try and toss a coin into the bowl in order to get good luck. The larger the value of the coin you toss in, the larger your fortune. We all took turns tossing coins (I failed miserably, sobs) and a friend managed to toss it in on his first try (seriously how do people do this)

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It’s much harder than it looks

There was also a smaller path leading to a pond behind the coin toss areas, where there were little ducks waddling about. There’s also a small waterfall there, that has rock resembling a splashing carp. It’s named after the legend of Toryumon, where a carp turned into a dragon after climbing up a waterfall.

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waterfall in the distance

The path eventually leads to another viewing area where you can take more photos of Kinkaku-ji from above.

you can see the golden rooster here!

The path then leads you to another temple area, where you can pray and buy fortunes and tablets to write down your wishes. You can also buy souvenirs from the gift shop there.\

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Have your wishes come true for the affordable price of 1000 yen

Our final stop at Kinkaku-ji was at a little soft serve ice cream shop. They served several flavours such as matcha, black sesame and the very Japanese vanilla. I decided to get matcha (yes, again) and a friend of mine got black sesame. Soft serve matcha ice cream is seriously delicious, you can’t just have one you know.

prepare for your mouth to turn black

After we had our ice cream we parted ways with buddy san. We then decided to walk around the area for a while and get dinner at the nearby Kura sushi restaurant.

Every student’s dream, 100 yen sushi

Kura sushi sells mosts plates at only 100 yen, and the food’s not bad! It’s pretty high tech with touch screens and the usual conveyer belts, and it took us a while to figure out how to remove the plate from its container.

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I love how no human interaction is required

But the affordable prices are not even the best part about Kura sushi. After you are done eating, you slot the plates into the plates return (the green sign with an arrow at the bottom of the picture). Every 5 plates enters you into a lucky draw where you can win a gachapon! The more expensive plates count as more than 1 plate (so a 200 yen plate counts as 2 plates). They play a cute little animation clip that tells you if you’ve won or lost.

I won!

The gachapon I won had washi tape in it, with one piece designs on it. My friend also won something one piece related. Although I don’t watch one piece I was still really happy about it and had to brag to my sister back at home (if you have siblings you would know the great amount of joy you can get doing this)

luck was on my side after all

After dinner some of my friends headed back to our dorm, while the rest of us went to Izumiya (mall/supermarket) to get some breakfast for the next day. It was a pretty fun and relaxing day, I still walked 17493 steps though.

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