l'isle joyeuse

Archive for the ‘shrine’ Category

backlog : 2010.05.22

the next day, i woke up around 6:00, got myself ready, and left the hostel at 7:00 to catch an early train to 高野山 mount koya, which is located in an 800 m high valley amid the eight peaks of the mountain. it took a really, REALLY long time to get there from kyoto, which is to be expected considering it’s in another prefecture… it took me no less than 3 hours to get there by train!

on the train to mount koya. i was so sleepy… the weather was cloudy and cool, and there were not many people on the trains so i managed to get a corner seat ❤

on the way there, i spotted a train station with a really amusing name and couldn’t resist getting off to take a photo!

all my reflection photos turn out really unclear that day 😦

so in the end i settled for a shot of my clothes and shoes on the train platform

there was also a buddhist priest on his way back home XD

in the cable car on the way up to mount koya. let me proclaim my love for the surutto kansai pass once again : it covers EVERYTHING on my trip, and i mean everything – even the cable cars! there were a lot of french people in the cable car though… they were chattering excitedly in french and snapping photos every single second.

my first stop was the 奥の院 okunoin, a huge maosoleum with graveyards and memorial tombs for famous (and the not so famous as well) japanese people. it’s a bit unnerving to see the japanese taking photos of the tombs and even making double peace signs in front of them, because back home in malaysia everyone’s mother and grandmother would totally get on your case for taking photos of graveyards 😀

a super cute gecko. it ran away after a small boy went too near trying to get a photo of it… i wish i could have taken a closer one too, the focus is all off in this one

one of the many tombs at okunoin. i lost count of the number of tombs and gravestones i photographed. this one belongs to the kaga family, which is really well-known in japanese history!

hiro at mount koya! the cedar trees were so tall and provided ample of shade for visitors… it helps that the weather is cool too!

amulet and charms on temple pillars

i found this really cute – the signboard next to it says “ひとりぼっち地蔵 hitoribocchi jizo” which means “lonesome jizo” 😀 he was pretty lonesome, all by himself!

the whole maosoleum was surrounded by cedar trees!

most of them date back to 2000 years ago…

origami cranes along the way

my everlasting love affair with inari gates

an intricate wooden carving of a beam supporter… really interesting!

i went to most of the important unesco sites, but i’m trying not to post photos of every single temple simply because they all look the same in photos! do not ask me why is that so, it just happens 😀

finally, reflective surface!

i love red

when in mount koya, eat traditional buddhist vegetarian food!

the amount of greenery at mount koya is so refreshing!

根本大塔 konpon daito, a pagoda that (according to wikipedia) represents the central point of a mandala covering not only mount koya but all of japan, according to shingon doctrine. it was HUGE D: i couldn’t fit myself in the photo…

still waters at the gardens of konpon daito. have i mentioned how much i love red?

like arashiyama in kyoto, mount koya is also very famous for autumn foliage

it’s so bizzare to see red leaves in spring/summer. i suppose these are the maple leaves that are red all year round?

hiro on buddha‘s right palm

a most appropriate typo

i. love. red.

after walking around in mount koya and refreshing my body and soul, it’s back to the city again…

and i headed straight to 祇園 gion for some shopping, despite being knocked off my feet

gion at night. always magical.

dinner 🙂 i love this place! this is my second time here. the sukiyaki is heavenly!

gion shines and sparkles at night 🙂 it’s so misleading because even though all the lights are on, the shops close really early, around 8:30 or 9:00 D: i want to do more shopping!


yesterday i went to meet up with jin, shereen and solera who are here on holiday! we planned to meet at shinjuku and i brought them to akihabara after that, because they wanted to have a look at how it looks like 🙂

after much fangirling (and fanboying) in animate, we headed off to 浅草 asakusa to meet up with tsu.

the pretty wall decoration at asakusa station depicting the 三社祭り sanja matsuri

a traditional trader at 仲見世通り nakamise st 🙂

jin and solera

shereen and i 🙂

it was quite a good day – fair weather, but quite cloudy… thank goodness it didn’t rain when we were out!

the mikoshi for the festival

the theme colours for the festival seems to be purple and gold… very luxurious!

i went up close to the mikoshi and peered up at the torii, and i saw little people peeking back at me!

🙂 hi there

where there is a festival, there will always be yatai, or roadside stalls! this one might be nostalgic to some people – have you ever tried fishing for games, toys and goldfishes?

guys in traditional attire cooking downtown specialties

the overwhelming painting of a huge golden dragon in front of the main hall

some girls are already dressing up in informal summer yukata >w< i can't wait for the shops to start selling them so i can buy tons of them!!! i intend to spend my days (out of university) in them!

the main hall 🙂 a lot of metal, but still beautiful

they went to osaka last night by bus and hopefully they’re enjoying their time!

🙂 i love my wooden apple necklace from osaka!!!

i went to the 目黒寄生虫館 meguro parasitological museum today with tsu 😀 it was a windy day out so it was really lucky that i decided not to go out in kimono! i actually had almost everything on already but in the end i decided not to and took everything off hahah!

note : if you are squeamish about worms and stuff i think it would be wiser to skip this entry hahah!!! i’ve tried to put in as little as i can but then it looked a bit boring so… :p

meguro shinbashi on the way to the museum

the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom!!! it should be in full bloom next week >w< i'm looking forward to it!

:O hard donuts. i like my donuts soft and fluffy…

the building is not red, captain!!! *smacks fondly*

hiro doesn’t like worms, to tell the truth…

i thought there wouldn’t be a lot of people but i was wrong…

they’re all lined up neatly in glass bottles

this is actually in our body. i am weirded out yet amused at the same time ‘_’

there were a lot of couples. a parasitological museum is a pretty odd choice for a dating spot >w<

hookworms. how are male and female worms different?! o_o;;

the pride and joy of the museum : a tapeworm from some guy who loves eating sushi that measures 8.8 METRES, which is INSANELY LONG.

a close-up of the tapeworm. why does it not look like a worm at all! it looks like some kind of expensive paper ribbon D:

it’s really really long… i am kind of impressed by it XD

we arrived around 4pm (it closes at 5pm) so most people were leaving

the old crusty research papers on parasites :p

on the way back to the station, we went in to 大鳥神社 ootori shrine to have a look.

hello 😀 i finally found a bright yellow parka ♥

on the way back

i hope the weather will be good next week! it will all be in full bloom then!

for captain ♥ ♥ ♥

i’ve been putting this off for way too long hahah! it’s difficult trying to narrow down the amount of photos to use in my blog =w= but here you go, the first day in kyoto! we took the night bus from shinjuku and arrived in kyoto the next morning. it was actually snowing the night we left so it was a good thing i decided not to bring along the suitcase or it would have been soaked >w<

breakfast at the only place open at 7 in the morning – starbucks! a donut and hot soy latte for me =w=

we dropped off our luggage at the hotel and because we could only check-in at 3pm, we decided to explore first, even though it was drizzling… it was colder than tokyo!!

🙂 my passport is useful

first stop : 金閣寺 kinkakuji, the golden pavillion

next stop : 二条城 nijo castle. it’s pricey 😦 600円 per entry… but the inside was really pretty *O* the paintings on the walls, ceilings and sliding doors are breathtaking! i want to live there and spend my day sitting around in luxurious silk kimono

it stopped raining for a bit when we were here

i was glad the sun came out because i could finally take this photo!

it’s been a while since i’ve seen blue skies! all my kyoto photos were really gloomy… overcast skies and dark clouds!

we made full use of the town busses! i think it was probably the most i’ve ever been on a bus in a single day :p

contrasts. outsiders and locals. and dark skies hahah!

katsudon for lunch

third stop : 清水寺 kiyomizu-dera. coming to all these places reminds me of my beloved nehs!

more dark skies. but at least it stopped raining.

10 points to anyone who knew the real reason why i took this photo! >w<

yes i do!

we went to 祇園 gion after checking in… it was REALLY cold by then!!!

fourth stop : 八坂神社 yasaka jinja.

the lanterns were all lit up, with all the geisha and maiko‘s names painted on them >w<

the gion crest/emblem on the lanterns in gion advertising the annual 祇園をどり gion odori – three circles connected on a vertical line!

being a wednesday night, gion was really quiet!

i want to live in kyoto!

our awesome dinner!!! we found this place by chance after receiving a flyer on the streets >w< kyoto vegetables in my sukiyaki!!! it came with rice as well – extra helpings are free of charge 🙂

on the way back to the hotel. i fell down the stairs trying to take a photo of the posters hahah!!! so embarassing…

the next day, we went to 伏見稲荷大社 fushimi inari shrine! i wanted to go all the way up because i was expecting something up there…

took the train there after leaving out bags in a coin locker at the train station

^o^ i can’t get enough of this place!

at the purification fountain. for foreigners who might take it as a drinking fountain :O

the view from halfway up the mountain 🙂

the top! you can see all the moss >w<

i was so disappointed when we reached the top T_T

the only thing up there is another shrine not unlike all the other shrines on the way up…

so we went back down again hahah!

at least it was warm! i was sweating! it was good exercise but was really tough =w=;; shows how unfit i am!

i thought it would be cold so i brought two parkas, but my fears were unfounded -_-;; it was really hot!!!

>w< hi!

and from here, allow me to fangirl XD i couldn't help it!!! it was right in front of my face so i couldn't ignore it :p

this one was really unexpected >w<

it’s a bit sad that i couldn’t complete the whole set ;w;

we wanted to go to arashiyama as well initially but there wasn’t much time left so we left kyoto after leaving fushimi inari.

next stop : osaka!!!

the weather was really good on thursday so i finally went to ueno zoo! 🙂

and since it was warmer than usual, i went out in kimono!

hiro in front of ueno zoo!

entrance fee of 600円 for adults. the picture on each ticket is random… i wanted one with a red panda…

like this!

so adorable!!!

hiro likes zoos! the date changes everyday, as you can see

i love the idea they had here – this water tank is connected to the otter’s enclosure and visitors can have the chance to look at them upclose. it’s too bad though, that they were sleeping when i was there hahah!

lots of kids at the zoo

eyelashes that vivi would die for!

footprints that leads the visitors to different animal enclosures! this one leads to the tiger’s den

i like the blurry effect of this shot!

a clear shot after almost a dozen tries hahah

lots of families too! i wonder if the parents don’t have to work… it was a normal weekday after all…

polar bear 🙂 i like how they sit down all hunched over, and when you look at them they look like a triangle XD

prayers and messages for the giant panda that passed away due to heart failure

japanese monkeys!

the other side of the zoo 🙂 the west and east gardens are connected by a bridge, but you can also take the monorail. it costs 150円 but you can actually just walk to the other side hahah! it barely takes 5 minutes!

lots of preschool kids on field trips too! i don’t envy the teachers who have to keep 50+ kids under control in a place filled with animals..

the lake 🙂

BABY HIPPO *O* he looks just like hiro!!! >w< so cute!!!

photo of hiro with real hippos hahah 😀 too bad they’re sleeping!

i had a random guy take this for me ^o^

ueno toshogu shrine!

hanazono inari shrine! i’ve been visiting lots of inari shrines lately huh…

since the weather turned warmer, some sakura trees are actually in bloom!

plum blossoms

really pretty blowing in the wind

scattered petals on the ground

one of the trees in (almost) full bloom!!! really pretty!

the famous statue of saigo takamori =w=

kiyomizu kannon-do temple

the bright blue sky 🙂 the weather was really good! and now it’s gonna rain for the next few days…

i ballotted for a ticket to aibachan‘s stageplay today as well… crossing my fingers! >w<

today, even though it was reported to be really cold today, i thought i should probably start making use of my spring break, and went out today on a walk >w< looking through my lonelyplanet, i remembered that i haven’t actually been to 靖国神社 yasukuni shrine, so i took the train to 市谷 ichigaya!

random flowers on the roadside

they were lilies!

法政大学 hosei university against the blue, blue sky

the wind was really strong after i got off the train! i THINK this is the 神田川 kanda river (not too sure since everything flows into everything here lol)

the sun was out but it was so cold… and windy! i couldn’t walk properly because the wind was pushing me back and i actually had to hold on to a lamp post so i wouldn’t fall over lol i bet i looked like some evil spirit because of my hair

i love taking meaningless photos like these

i’m so happy this turned out so well! ♥

hiro arriving at yasukuni shrine!

the main inner shrine. you can still see hosei university in the background lol

there was snow on the ground. i wonder if it snowed here the previous night?

another shot at the main hall

close-up of the snow! it looks just like ais kacang =w=

yay! the wind was messing up my hair real bad hahah!

somehow the sky seems limitless…

when you walk further down, this is what you see – the huge stone torii gate

it was still fairly early (earlier than i expected, actually) so i decided to walk around a bit :3 i ended up at 九段 kudan after a while, after walking past the 武道館 budoukan

the letter K reminds me of many wonderful things – kevin, kagurazaka and of course, kazunari

shochan poster at able! ♥

i love the reflections on the buildings. why are japanese buildings so shiny?!

this was really random, a shrine-like thing at a cross junction hahah

>w< ♥ what other countries have names like this on their highway signboards hahah! i love japan! ♥

another huge poster of shochan spotted, this time in kagurazaka!

my heart did a little skip-hop-jump at this but as i was getting off the train, i couldn’t get a clearer photo of it >w<

the shrine near my dorm, all new and sparkly

the police box at the corner beside the shrine. number of deaths and casualties from today’s traffic accidents ‘_’

i saw the plum blossoms at someone’s house starting to bloom!!!

the evil patisserie around the corner that tempts me with the awesome smell and sights everytime i walk past 😦

i also received the 5×10 charm from nagoya that i traded with someone on lj in the mail today! it’s super pretty!!! ♥♥♥

went out to harajuku with tsu at 8:30 to get a time slip to enter the johnny’s shop and was rewarded with this =w=

it was so bizzare to see nobody at harajuku. but of course, it’s too early and all the shops are not open except for the idol shops…

after buying my photos, we went to 明治神宮 meiji jingu for a third new year’s visit lol

it’s weird how normally people never wash their hands at the shrine, but all of them crowd around to do so during their new year’s visit haha!

it was already the 8th day of the new year and yet there are so many people visiting!!!

amulets, good luck charms and the like

i think one of the reasons why so many people came to visit today was because the weather was so good

as you can see, i really like this outfit ♥

^o^ hi there

in line to toss my coin into the coinbox and pray for what i pray for at every shrine i go to

yet another line. people lining up to buy their fortunes

wrote my wishes for the year and dropped them into the box

bad luck? no worries, just leave them at the shrine to be purified!

i bought two pairs of shoes today as well ♥

today’s happiness. i need an album now. they used to sell albums at previous concerts, but not anymore, why T_T a 5×10 album would be AWESOME ♥

i’m actually watching 最後の約束 saigo no yakusoku right now as i blog and it was just revealed who the terrorists are. i am beyond shocked right now, my brain is not working and i have no words to say o_o

oh well maybe i do have a few words :



slice-of-life entries of my life in japan as an exchange student :) feel free to comment... they're my daily pieces of happiness!

to read my travel posts, please click on "voyages"

thank you for dropping by, and have a nice day ♥

i ♥ nino

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i ♥ ohchan

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