As we had visited the Tsuruma Park the day before, we requested the driver to take us to see the Nagoya Castle as Additional Tour. Nagoya Castle (名古屋城 Nagoya-jō?) is a Japanese castle located in Nagoya, central Japan.It was built between 1610-1619. During the Edo period, Nagoya Castle was the heart of one of the most important castle towns in Japan, Nagoya-juku, which was a post station on the Minoji road linking two of five important trade routes, the Tōkaidō and the Nakasendō.
Our group really likes shopping for groceries and they are so fun to see because they buy whatever I recommend. :)
Some buy the Starbucks Kyoto tumbler. Each different city in Japan has different Starbucks tumbler. This plastic one costs about 2400 yen. Metal ones cost around 4500 yen.
After shopping, we went to the famous Kiyomizu Temple. Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺), officially Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺), is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site. It was one of 20 finalists for the New7Wonders of the World. Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period.The temple was founded in 778 by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu.There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.
There is some reconstruction works going on during our visit, but below is a clearer picture of what it will look like before the reconstruction. The reconstruction will only be completed in 2020 for the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.
The street leading to Kiyomizu Dera is full of tourists!
On our way back to the bus, I bought some yatsuhashi for everyone to taste. Yatsuhashi (八ツ橋 or 八橋) is a Japanese confectionery sold mainly as a souvenir sweet (miyagegashi). It is one of the best known meibutsu (famous regional products) of Kyoto. It is made from glutinous rice flour (上新粉 jōshinko?), sugar and cinnamon. Baked, it is similar to senbei. Raw, unbaked yatsuhashi (Nama yatsuhashi) has a soft, mochi-like texture and is often eaten wrapped around red bean paste (餡an), and may come in a variety of different flavours.
After our Kiyomizu Dera visit, we head down to our Gion Hanamikoji Street and Gion Corner to see the old Kyoto street and the Japanese Tea Ceremony and Geisha Dance.
Tea Ceremony: This is the stylized tradition of steeping and serving tea to guests. The Corner performs the “ryurei” style of the Tea Ceremony, seating on stools, for visitors from foreign countries not used to kneeling on tatami.
Flower Arrangement: The art of creating and enjoying arrangements made from flowers and other materials.
Gagaku Court Music: Gagaku is the name for indigenous Japanese music and dance performed at the Imperial Court, shrines and temples. Gion Corner offers maigaku performances accompanied by dance.
Kyogen Theater: Kyogen is a form of theatre that portrayed life as it was in a comical manner.
Kyo-mai Dance: Originating in Kyoto, kyo-mai is an elegant and dazzling dance performed by maiko and geiko (in Kyoto, “geisha” are called “geiko”) dancers in beautifully ornate dress. Kyo-mai performances by maiko can be enjoyed at Gion Corner.
Bunraku Puppet Theater: Bunraku, Japan's traditional puppet theatre, was put on UNESCO's list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003.
Our bus had applied for a special pass from the Kyoto Police and was the only bus allowed to go through the historic Kyoto street leading to Gion Corner. :)
After the enjoyable show, we had our taste of real Japanese Izakaya (Bar).