The cherry blossom season or the Sakura season is the most stunning time to be in Japan. To all the international visitors and everyone wishing to see Kyoto during Sakura, here I share my experience of a one day trip in Kyoto along the pink and white beautiful flowers leaves.
Generally for a one-day trip, an unlimited Kyoto sightseeing pass is recommended, which can be used at all subway and buses. I took that and set out for the first destination which was the Kiyomisudera Temple or the Temple of pure water. The temple is a walk up the colourful and vibrant streets of Sannenzaka and Nanenzaka. Turn left and one can see line of little shops with Hello kitty souvenirs, dark blue Kiyomisu pottery, Kimonos, little purses, Omiyage of Kyoto(edible souvenirs), intricate crystal glass and Pearl Jewellery and of course the World Famous Matcha Softy Ice Cream. Turn right and you get the same view, cute little shops, the chatter of all enthusiastic tourists, people queuing to get the Matcha Ice-Cream, matcha cream puff or the matcha parfait.
After walking up around these streets, the magnificent entrance of the Kiyomisudera Temple completely Fascinated me. I could see the Sakura blooms in their full Glory and Beauty. People moving under Sakura trees was also a visual picture that couldn’t be erased from my mind as a painting inspired from a fairy tale dream.
First I went to the Niomon or the tall orange Deva Gate, which led me to the premises of the Temple. Later I headed towards the Jishujinja or the “match making” shrine which is believed to be the house the God of love, ‘Okoninushi’. People take their Omikuji or fortunes and also write down their love life related wishes on wooden planks hoping to be fulfilled soon.
Beneath the Main Hall, I saw the Otowa waterfall where 3 channels of water flow for health, longevity and career success. The water can be drunk and is believed to have wish-granting powers.
In the end, I stopped in the beautiful Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion), a world heritage site by UNESCO. A dazzlingly gilded Buddhist shrine shone brilliantly under the bright sun. The temple is closed for visitors, but yet a walk around the magnificent structure, kept me glued to it for long.
After Kinkakuji, I took a walk through the famous Gion area and then the Tera Machi Dori street, the shopping street where Geishas wearing bright kimonos can be spotted.
While going to my last stop Maruyama Park, I passed through the Yasaka shrine which looked divine in the twilight, with all the lamps and lanterns lit.
Reaching Maruyama park, I had the opportunity to admire the Sakura trees lit up with hanging lanterns. The park was full of people partying, picnicking, savouring the traditional Shyojin Ryouri(Temple feast), singing and having a fun time.
Sitting in a city with over 2000 temples, with spirituality and Buddhism all in the air and the blooms of Sakura bending and blessing the city made me feel immensely peaceful, serene, calm and satisfied.
Kyoto in Sakura season, its lip smacking Matcha Ice-Cream, colourful shops, enchanting temples and the complete old world vibe of the city made my experience very memorable!
So for all the readers, pack your bags and head to Kyoto during the next Sakura season, or if you can’t wait, then straight away land in the city of temples and have a fun-filled day trip in Kyoto.