Temples

Katsuoji

Katsuoji Temple (勝尾寺) was formerly written as “勝王寺” (meaning “temple that surpasses any kings”) because it was said that Buddhist prayers exceeded the Imperial power of the time. Later, since “王” (king) was replaced with “尾” (a kanji character with the same sound as “王”) to show constraint, the temple has been referred to as Katsuoji Temple “勝尾寺.” Supreme rulers in various periods in history had worshipped in Katsuoji Temple to pray for fortune in war and it is still known as a the temple of good luck at games.

It was a surprise that I have never found this place and thanks to a friend’s event I ended up here after several hours of hiking.

What’s amazing is the dolla of sizes found all over the temple.

It’s a little out of the way but definitely worth a visit.

Let’s take a tour 🙂

Katsuoji ( 勝尾寺)

Let’s get inside. Katsuoji ( 勝尾寺)
The dolls waiting for you at the gate.

Katsuoji ( 勝尾寺)A small temple in the middle of a small pond. Katsuoji ( 勝尾寺)
It’s all over the place.

Katsuoji ( 勝尾寺)Even on this branch. Katsuoji ( 勝尾寺)
On top of this signboard.

Katsuoji ( 勝尾寺)This stone sign. Katsuoji ( 勝尾寺)
And of course in front of this shrine.

Katsuoji ( 勝尾寺)

It comes in every size.

Unfortunately though, I was really tired after several hours of hiking that when I found these area where all the dolls are, I decided not to go all the way to the top. It seems you can actually buy the Daruma dolls on the temple on the top of the mountain. Prices vary depending on the size.

Entrance to the temple is 400 yen.

Categories: Life In Japan, Temples | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Hiking through Mt. Jubu

Early autumn Mr.R organized another fun hike from Ujitawara going through Mt. Jubu all the way to Kasagi. Well that was the plan, let’s find out if we made it all the way to Kasagi.

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Approaching the entrance to the mountain through this little temple.

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The name. Can you read it? Sorry I can’t.

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On our way to the summit of Mt. Jubu.

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The back of the “Golden Fetus Temple” based on our literal translation of the Kanji.

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A small pagoda, with Miss K 🙂

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These two were supposed to be my temple models. Can’t seem to get a good shot of them.

A few minutes later we got to the summit had our lunch and short rest.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbmcONnisEU Here is a short video taken by Mr.RB (outdoorholic) of Mt. Jubu’s summit

After lunch it was decided that we will take the “interesting” way down to the mountain. It was an exhilarating experience that made my knees weak and shaking.

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We ended up at the end of the trail and all I could see is this boulder of rock. Mr.R told us that the waterfall is just below this cliff but I could not find a way down until he pointed this ..

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This is the way down. As soon as I saw this, my first thought was “I’m too young to die.” Okay, I’m exaggerating but I was scared to hell but it do our turn around alone.

I could not take some decent picture of our decent as my hand were busy grabbing the roots and rock and holding out for my dear life 🙂 but as soon as I reach a more safer area, I was able to get a shaky picture of these two , having fun. Boys 🙂

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As soon as we reach the bottom , Mr. R lead us to this boulders of rocks and we are supposed to pass through it. Don’t worry I did not have any problem passing through it 🙂
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Of course Mr. R was there to lend a helping hand so nothing to worry about.

We finally reached the “Thousand Hands Waterfall”.

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At this point my knees were like jelly, I was really surprised I did not fall on my face. It took a lot of control and concentration to command each part of my body not to give up on me.

A little later, we reach Tea Planet again 🙂

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So the question now, did we reach Kasagi? Well, the 3 girls did not through walking but by train.

After we reached foot of the mountain, S had a big blister, P had to go back to Osaka for some other appointment. So the group decided to just walk to the bus stop passing through the tea plantation and catch the bus to Kamo Station.

On our way we took a short detour and admire this very old tree.

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Sorry I forgot the name of the tree or how old it was.

When we reach Kamo Station , the boys decided to call it a day and us girls decided to travel all the way to Kasagi and enjoy the onsen.

All in all, it was a really great adventurous day. Going back if we decided which route to take again, I definitely will still choose the route we took. Of course, it will depend upon the group but with this group, definitely.

Thank you guys for a great day and to Mr. R for organizing and help. 🙂

Till the next adventure.

Categories: Life In Japan, Temples | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mt. Tomi(鳥見山) to Lake Murou(室生湖)

Long time no hear/read. Been busy with my so called Life 🙂

Anyways, I join this hike on my last day of Golden Week Vacation here in Osaka. A lot of first and I saw another side of Nara that I really like. A bit far from where I am currently located but definitely worth the trip.

Our group met in Hasedara Station, which is about 1.5 hours train ride for me.

Sign post for Hasedera in Nara
The tall stone saying Hasedera Temple , just outside Hasedera Station.

I have never heard of Hasedera Temple before so I was really happy to find this place.
The group arrived on time and so our hike began. We are supposed to follow one of the Tokai Nature Trail in Nara Prefecture.

We had a short stop at the Yoki Tenma Jinja, since our organizer have this fascination with it.

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A small shrine near stairs with small cute foxes(Inari) inside.


Let’s start the walk up to the Shrine.

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The moss covered stairs going up. On our way up, we met some university students busily sketching the scenery. I envy them since I can’t draw a thing.


The Cow. If you ever been to Tenmangu Shrine, you will notice that there is always a Cow sculpture/statue inside which is a familiar god in Tenmangu Shrines.

After our short visit, we proceed with our hike. There was not much around Hasedera Station but as we were approaching the main Temple, there peony beautiful blooming at the side of the street, vendors giving us free taste of their products. I have never heard of Hasedera so I have never visited this place. A few weeks after this hike, I was reading the book called “The Pillow Book” that I realized the historical importance of this place. Of course entering the Temple is not free and unfortunately, we still have a long way to go so I will have to go back there soon.

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The Front Gate of Hasedera.

After we left Hasedera, we were following the highway and a few minutes later we found our marker.
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Our next stop is Hase Dam.

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Front View of Hase Dam.

As we were heading back to the main road. We noticed this very interesting sign.
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Looks like Guns are not allowed.

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It was beautiful. The peacefulness of it all.

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View from the top of the Dam.

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Forward march. Yup we are crossing this bridge.

More walking along the highway and we found another marker leading to the mountains.

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Watch out for your head.

It was a steep climb and we are supposed to find Takatsuka Castle on top but unfortunately this is what was left of the castle.
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Suffice it to say, we did not get to see a castle or any of its ruins.

We also found some interesting plants along the way.
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The red mushroom. Any idea the name of this mushroom?


It looks like a pitcher plant.

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Wee!! another sign that we are almost to the top of the mountain.

We took a short, 1 hour break , for lunch and chatted a good while. Then we checked out the view. It was amazing.


I’m not sure if this is Nara Prefecture or Mie Prefecture already. But it looks really nice.


A Panoramic Shot.

The Azaleas were also blooming so it was really beautiful up there.

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I like this shot of the Photographer seriously taking some pictures surrounded by this beautiful foliage.


And another one.

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A close up with the Azaleas.

A few minutes walk we found another place where we can see more of the view.
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one more 🙂


And one more.

We wanted to stay there and just enjoy the view, but we still have a very long way to go till we reach our final destination.

We found several interesting areas including this very small waterfall.


Rice fields that looks like a small version of the Banaue Rice Terraces

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It looks like that the farmers just started planting rice in this area.


Farmers busy planting. I hope you have a great harvest soon.

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I love this view.

Our next goal was to look for the Grave site of Yamabe Akihito a poet during Nara Period and a few hours later we found it.

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The lone grave of Yamabe Akahito(山辺赤人)

Our next goal was to reach Murou Dam which according to the map was not that far, but next marker we found said that Lake Murou is 8KM away and the Dam is still a few km away from that.

We thought that there was a mistake with the marker but we thought wrong.

When we got out of the mountain and was going to the lake it was already after 4pm, the sun was already starting to set.

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Part of the Lake closer to the highway. We are just entering the Lake.


It was really beautiful.


So peaceful.


Akahito’s Bridge.

We decided to check gps how far is the Dam, and it looks like it was still a good 5-6 KM away and unfortunately nobody was carrying flashlight or what not. All of us still have classes and work to do the next day. So we all decided to take the shortest route to the next station following the side of the Lake.

We found some wild deer which scampered away as soon as they caught our smell. All we could see where the white spots near the butt :).

It was a nice walk beside the lake, dirt road, smell of summer breeze , earth and forest all together. When we finally got out and back to the main road , this is what greeted us.

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We still have a 2 Km to walk till we get to the train station but we got there safely and catch our train. We were all tired, but I was very satisfied to join see this amazing places.

till the next adventure:)

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

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