It was the day off, and I’m a bit crazy: my intention was to make a circuit that started at my hotel (below the map), went up to shimohamo-jinja, went back down to the temple of Jishu-jinja and ended up in Gion, in whose theater I wanted to see a show. About 19 km in a straight line, not counting that I go inside the buildings, the detours when I see something curious or what I go through when I get lost.
The first stop was the spectacular Higashi-Hongaji temple, which is next to the hotel. It’s great, and incredibly big but you have to take off your shoes and the floor is frozen.
Then I walked to the international manga museum. I was excited, but when I arrived, although it was supposed to be open, I found it closed.
Then I went to the Imperial Palace, where, unfortunately, you can’t enter, but you can walk through the gardens, enter the temples and see it from the outside. It’s a beautiful park, it’ll certainly improve in autumn and spring.
The next stop is a very cool temple called shimohamo-jinja. It has an area where the girls make up some wooden faces with their products and hang them to ask for beauty, and another wider area to pray and with many amulets of love (the temple is associated with marriage…).
From there, of course, it was time to go down again and, unfortunately, I didn’t find anything noteworthy until shortly before reaching Pontocho: an old canal with a typical boat. I can’t say much about the neighborhood of Pontocho, except that it’s expendable, expensive and very narrow.
I walked to the temple of Yasaka-jinja (which I visited yesterday) and I went down to the Kodaiji temple, touching all the statues on the street, as the posters said.
From there, I went up the long hill (which is much longer when you have been walking non-stop for hours and you begin to feel the pain in your feet) to the temple of Jishu-jinja, although I didn’t find what was said to me that it was so hot. By then my feet were already hurting, luckily it was all downhill. I bought a small maneki-neko cat and daruma on the way down.
Then I went through the Kenniji and Yasui Konpiragu temples on the way to Gion and chatted with some people from my group that I came across but, even so, the early morning and the disappointment of the manga museum had its consequence: that I stood at the Gion theater an hour before the box office opened. And on top of that I was an idiot because I waited in the wrong queue and entered the last one: I ended up sitting with a column in the middle.
Gion Corner show
They made a mini-winter sale, in addition, the main theater was under construction and everything was represented in a room with horrible visibility, but it was still worth it.
The first was to see a tea ceremony while playing a koto zither and a flute. Then they performed Gakaku (elegant music) with a man in disguise dancing. The next thing was Kyogen, a comic theater act: it was understood pretty well even without knowing the language and it was what I liked the most. The final was the spring dance of a maico (kyo-mai) with whom we were allowed to take pictures at the end because in winter there is no representation of floral art or the puppet show. The latter is a pity because it was what I was most excited about.
When it was over, I went straight to the hotel by bus: everything hurt. Luckily, the journey was relatively short.