Landscape

Kyoto Autumn Walk 2014

I joined an autumn walk around Kyoto last year and we saw some really nice places. We all met first in Arashiyama and walk all the way central Kyoto.

We passed by several temples and shrine but unfortunately, I lost the list of names that I made. So please enjoy the tour.

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The mountain and river in Arashiyama Kyoto.

On our way to the Golden Temple, we passed by this area

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The sun and the maple leaves

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I think this is the Saga-Arashiyama railroad.

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The maple tree and the train station.

Near the Golden Temple , we passed by a parking area and the trees are around it were very beautiful.

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Yellow !!

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Red!!

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More red maple leaves!

We stopped at nearby local park for lunch

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Ginko Tree.

After lunch we continue our walk to the next shrine. It was a small one , mostly local tourist but it was beautiful. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can remember how to get there too.

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The entrance to the temple or shrine(?). Unless you get inside the main hall , you don’t need to pay to enjoy the lovely trees outside.

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A close up.

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Another close up.

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The fallen leaves.

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The maple tree and the gate.

We continued our walk and on our way we passed by another big temple.

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Let’s check it out.

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This area is not open to the public but they opened the door, to allow visitor to glimpse at the garden.

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It would be nice to have a picnic under these trees.

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A small treat while walking along the Kamo River.

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The Sunset.

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Attempted night shot using iPhone.

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Another one.

We walked more or less 20 km around Kyoto that day. The weather was great, the company was great. It was an amazing day.

Categories: Landscape, Life In Japan, Temples, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Kamo Adventure

Kamo was the the capital of Japan from 740-744.  It’s not really a major tourist destination in Kyoto but a really nice place to see some old cultural heritage and a good place to maybe get lost 🙂

Last Autumn 2014, I missed the first walking event organized by Mr.RB but he was very nice to do it again. Some of the leaves were gone already but we got the place to ourselves. We don’t have to compete with local tourist to see the places. It was cold but the walk warmed us and we saw some really interesting stone carvings along the way.

Our first destination is Gansenji(岩船寺). From Kamo Station, we took the community bus bound for 加茂山の家行き. It was the last stop and the temple was just 1 minute walk from the bus stop. It’s 600 yen to get inside.

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The Pagoda.

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The Pagoda again with the remaining maple leaves.

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The temple ground.

You can go inside the main temple of Gansenji and see old Buddhist relic or ring the small metal bowl for good fortune.

After we left Gansenji, we went to another temple but this one is free unless you go inside the main hall.
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The panoramic view of the temple.

But before that we found a pottery store and the two girls who were with got so excited and started shopping 🙂

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Pottery ?

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More?

We walked around as saw some really cool stone sculpture/statues which no ones really knows when it was made

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Like this Buddha statue carved at the side of the mountain. We could not get any closer so this was taken across from it.

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The Laughing Buddha. I guess these carvers or stone masons just randomly start to carve whenever they saw a big stone.

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This one has seen better days. But the outline is still there.

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Can you see the little statues on top of the rocks?

Another thing I like about places like Kamo, is that you can find small unmanned vegetable store. You buy local produce but instead of paying the owners, you put your payment in the box.

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Local farm store. The lady here is really nice, when saw me kept looking this:

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She gave me one. It’s called “Fox Face”. Its not edible and is only used for decoration.

When I came home, my backpack was really heavy. And this is one of the reason.
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In the Philippines, we call it Sayote and yes I made some really nice Chicken Tinola(Stew) with it.

It was a really nice walk. Thanks to RB the whole group had an amazing time at Kamo.

Categories: Landscape, Life In Japan, Temples, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Siquijor , Island of the Witches or Hidden Paradise?

Growing up, I always here about stories of witchcraft about this Island. Unbeknownst to me and this island is also very beautiful.

After I saw pictures of my former co-worker who is  local of the island and some bloggers, I made a decision to visit it when I have my vacation and last April I finally had that chance.

At first, I was discouraged to find out that transportation to Siquijor from Cebu takes more than 12 hours by boat and will arrive in the island around midnight.

I found out later from a friend that you can either fly to Dumaguete City and take the boat from there or take a bus from Cebu City to Dumaguete (direct) via Oslob and take a slow or fast boat from there.

If you are planing to take a bus from Cebu, you need to go to South Bus Terminal. Take a Ceres Liner that goes directly to Dumaguete City.

We left Cebu City around 7 am in the morning and finally got to Siquijor around 1:30ish pm.  As of this writing, bus fare was about 205 pesos + 75 pesos for the ferry. You can ask the bus conductor to drop you off the port so that you don’t need to take a trike from bus terminal to port again.

From Dumaguete, the fast boat is about 200(economy seat) pesos and will take only 40 minutes and the slow boat is I think about 120 pesos and will take about 1.5 hours – 2 hours.

We had a little problem with our accommodation but that is another story.

After we got settled down, it’s time to see the beauty of Siquijor.

Majority of the Resorts and Guesthouses are located in San Juan area.

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Early morning at beach front of San Juan.

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The Sunset and the boat.

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My not-so-little cousin and the sunset around San Juan

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A panoramic view in front of our apartment.

There are two ways to see the Island, follow the coastal road and go around or take the mountain road and explore the inner Siquijor.

Our group decided to do the coastal tour instead. We rented a multi-cab for day, which is 2000 pesos for the whole day, including driver who was supposed to be also our tour guide but a dear friend from college who is currently working there and who I have not seen for the past 15 years, became our tour guide.

Our first stop was the place called Enchanted tree, which a very big Banyan tree. At the foot of the tree there is a pool of water with fishes that can eat away calluses. Each person has to pay 5 pesos to enter.

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Beautiful Big Banyan (BBB)Tree

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BBB Tree and it’s guest.

Next stop is the beautiful Cambugahay Waterfalls. There is no fee but you need to pay the parking fee for all vehicle.

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We can already see the very blue waters.

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Very very blue. Everybody or the boys took their sweet time swimming here, while me and my friend were just chatting and catching up. There are no cottages or places for rent to leave your things.

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The upper part of the waterfalls, and the last area accessible to the public. The more higher part is closed to the public.

An hour or so later, after we convinced everybody to move, most were getting hungry, we arrived to Salagdoong Beach.

I think we paid about 25 pesos each, to get in and you can rent a cottage if there are available ones. There is also a restaurant but I find them really pricey and the waitress snotty. So if you have your own food, just rent a cottage or two.

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T went to the highest jumping area, and then just jump. It was me who screamed and not the jumper.

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We stayed for most part of the day here. You can also rent a Kayak for 150 pesos/hour. T and my friend had there snorkel so they were out of the water most of the time. By the time we left, everybody have sunburn.

My friend took us to the marine preservation site, free too, but the tide was so low and we found several sea urchin so we decided to call it day and go home. We did found many interesting sea creatures just along the shore.

There are lots of fresh fish and is cheap but unfortunately, the San Juan Market barely had any fresh veggies or fruits. We tried going to the other town of Larena but it was still very expensive.

Majority of the local have their own little farm and use it for there own and the rest of the things they need is bought from Dumaguete City, hence the expensive price.

I was expecting the Island to be abundant with fruits and veggies and more cheaper, but it’s actually more expensive than Cebu.
There are still some areas that are still unexplored and maybe good for snorkeling or diving. So if you plan to visit Siquijor and is staying in one of those apartment-style inn where you can cook, just make sure you get ingredients first in Dumaguete.

It was fun, and I’m glad I went. 1 island down , 7000++ more to go. 🙂

Categories: Landscape, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Late Summer Escapade in Shirahama

Every time T and I planned a trip to Shirahama we always end up somewhere else. Last October since it was still hot we decided to finally head to Shirahama no matter what.

Yes NO MATTER WHAT, because the weekend that we are schedule to go there was a big typhoon scheduled to arrived in Japan too. A big one.

Fortunately the gods smiled on us, the typhoon was delayed so T and I were able to enjoy our weekend at the beautiful Shirahama.

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No typhoon yet. Enjoying the lazy afternoon at the beach.

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Panoramic View of Shirahama. No crowd. We have to beach to ourselves.

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ahhh… Sands on my feet.

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A family watching the waves crash to the shore.

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A bit grainy but night view of Shirahama.

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The coastline of Shirahama.

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A lady from the Nihonshu shop directed us to a free Foot Onsen where we can enjoy the view of this Rock Formation with a hole in the middle.

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Some interesting Rock formation and of course the visitors decided the carve their name into it.

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Love the sound of the waves.

I was really worried about the typhoon but it turned out to be a lovely weekend with a perfect weather.

Categories: Landscape, Life In Japan, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Summer 2014: The Dam Adventure

The next morning during breakfast we finally met with Miss I who arrived in Matsumoto a few days ahead of us. After a few minutes of discussion, it was decided that we will visit Kurobe Dam, which is considered to Japan’s highest dam.

Miss I drove us around and took a really great route to Kurobe Dam. The parking area were full so we had to park a few minutes away , where we could take a bus to the top. Then from there, we well take the electric operated bus all the way to the entrance of the Dam.

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The electric operated bus that will take you to the entrance of the dam itself.

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Noticed the electric cable attached to the back of bus?

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We took the route that will take us to the top to have a better view of the dam and it’s surrounding.

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Even on summer, the nearby mountains still have snows on them.

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The dam.

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We were able to get closer.

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Watching it on top, we saw a rainbow.

Y and I took a short walk around the dam, while Miss I and Mr.G decided to take the cable car to the top.

Took a panoramic view of the place. It was really beautiful.
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A view from the dam itself.

If you ever find yourself in the area, I definitely suggest visiting the dam itself. It was great work during the time in Japan where technology was still in it’s infancy. A real work of Japanese ingenuity that will hopefully stay on and continue for future generations.

Categories: Landscape, Life In Japan, Structures, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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