Japan – Gundams & Kiyomizu temple!

Gundam paradise!!

Today I had to teach lessons in central Kyoto (Shijo) at 1pm, so I headed off early to try and tackle a mountain first, not a traditional mountain, but a massive superstore known as Kyoto Yodaboshi!

Kyoto Yodaboshi is massive!! It has around 6 floors which contain everything from electronics, to clothes to food, each floor is larger than most small towns and they are each packed with a huge amount of cool items!


I spent some time looking around through the electronics, computers and tvs, really interesting to see the Japanese ranges and the quality of some items.  Heading into the cookware section I tried to hunt down a takoyaki maker, but was unable to decide on one.  Ascending the floors I eventually stumbled into my childhood dream, a store packed with a bucket load of Gundams and mechs!!!


There were rows of action figures and model kits, everything from basic toys to Perfect Grade ranges, I had always wanted to build one of these as a kid! Through the store there were rows and rows of built models all arranged in cool poses and ready for combat!  I even managed to find some Patlabor mechs!


One display in particular which caught my eye was one that contained five of the Gundams from Gundam Wing (say what you want about the series, the Gundams were still really cool looking!)

I have no idea how long I spent drooling over all the cool kits, but eventually hunger called and I was in need of food, so I headed out toward Shijo in search of something to eat.

Now I love Japanese food, and so far have been avoiding western foods while I’m here, however today I had a real craving for a burger, so finally gave in and headed to Maccy D’s!


Opting for the Big Mac which had four burgers in I was actually surprised when I eneded up with a nice looking burger that stood tall and looked like the pictures.  In the UK Maccy D’s you end up with some squashed thing which could be a burger if you squint a bit from a distance!

Kiyomizu temple during Hanatouro!

Fuelled with food I headed back to teach my classes for the day, after I had finished my lessons I ended up passing by a classroom on my way out and overheard the class talking about anime, intrigued I poked my head in the door and ended up helping out with the class, mostly talking about 90’s anime!


Finally leaving the school I decided to head toward Kiyomizu temple and the southern area of the Higashiyama ward to finish exploring the rest of the illuminations from Hanatouro.  On the way there the sun provided a great backdrop behind me, setting over Kyoto perfectly between the buildings down the long street from Shijo.


As I approached Kiyomizu-dera there were huge crowds of people around, the narrow streets were packed full!  After making my way through the series of windy uphill sidestreets and steps I finally arrived at Kiyomizu-dere just as the sun went down.  The sky had turned a really cool dark blue, and the red shrines and pagodas shone up against the background.


Walking through the main gate there was a brightly lit red pagoda, which looked magnificent against the dark.  Around the grounds were a series colourful trees and the height of the temple allowed for a view over Kyoto, the bright light of Kyoto tower standing out in the distance.


One section of the temple was shining a concentrated bright blue beam into the sky, it looked like a really impressive laser, this could actually be seen from a long way away from the temple grounds!


After going through the temple and along a really high viewing platform the paths wound around to opposite the main building, giving a great view of the temples woodwork.


The wooden beams looked incredible and at night the temple is certainly a sight to see!


It is a really amazing place, sadly the Sakura had still not fully bloomed here, that would have made the trip even more stunning.

After Kiyomizu I made my way back through the rest of the lit sidestreets, eventually I found a udon place for a late dinner.



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