My theme is arranging in Japanese taste to welcome a friend from New York.
My theme is arranging in Japanese taste to welcome a friend from New York.
There is a project in Japan: Sakura for Tokyo Summer Olympic 2020.
Sakura is a symbol of Spring in Japan.
Therefore, it is impossible to admire Sakura in Summer.
There is a group of people to make this idea possible.
It is still an experiment.
We are lucky to have an opportunity to arrange Sakura with Summer flower.
I joined a 10 days tour package to visit Rose Festival (once in a year event) in Bulgaria and Romania.
I departed Narita Airport for Sofia, Bulgaria by Austria Air.
This is my first time traveling by Austria Air.
Austria Air started operation again after a year and 8 months absence.
Austria Air stopped the operation between Vienna and Japan because the number of Japanese tourist dropped due to active terrorist attracts in Europe then.
I quickly walked through immigration because I had shopping to do.
I usually get my supply of cosmetics at Narita Airport.
It could be cheaper to buy cosmetics in overseas duty free shops but the quality of cosmetics are better in Japan because the stores always get new supplies due to the large number of shoppers to visit the shop.
I learned this through my experiences.
I bought cream eye shadows at the overseas duty free shop but when I open it, one of them was cracked and others are firm though it’s Chanel cream eye shadows, these must be already dried.
The shop is too far to complain or ask for replacement…
This time, I get mascaras (Chanel one’s in gray. I look forward to wearing it) and nails.
I didn’t have much time to rest at the lounge, but it’s okay.
Austria Air shares the lounge with ANA so I’m already familiar with their food and facilities. hahaha
Then time to board!
The facilities are nice: thick blanket, nice headset, beverages, food, desserts, even COFFEE!
These are in a bag of amenities.
I had lamb as my main dish for dinner.
I also enjoyed Austria dessert wine (a blend of Chardonnay and Welschriesling) with cakes.!
I was amazed by the coffee; there are so many varieties.
I tried Maria Theresia: an exclusive Wiener Coffee which is black coffee with delicious orange liqueur!
I enjoyed watching movies with a nice headset and sleep on a comfortable seat.
Look what I found at the laboratory.
I found stain remover for clothing; how thoughtful they are!
I kept them in case I need them.
I had roasted chicken breast broccoli potato pepper gratin for breakfast.
I love having my breakfast with a glass of champagne. hahaha
I enjoyed my flight and safely arrived Vienna, Austria.
I still had to catch a connecting flight for Sofia, Bulgaria.
I haven’t visited Vienna yet so I will make sure to return here.
It is international flight, but it took few hours to reach Sofia, Bulgaria.
I had snacks on the flight; we can choose from either sweet and salty.
By the time we reach Sofia, it was already dark; of course, we landed at 11 pm.
We finally reach to our hotel: Hilton Sofia.
I soaked my body into a tub to relax.
It was a long day due to long journey and time zone. Zzzzzzz
The theme was arranging it as a paint.
I felt like arranging it as Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
I replaced sunflowers with Dahlia because it’s not the season of sunflowers yet.
The other night, my friend introduced me Inaba Yakushi.
This temple is known for preventing cancers.
Since my family is cancer family, I could have it in my genes.
I decide to go for praying.
This temple is located conveniently nearby the hotel (Kyoto Karasuma Hotel).
At all temples and shrines, first, we need to purify ourselves by washing our hands (gargling mouth is excluded today due to the hygiene reason).
It brought peace in my mind when I saw flowers floating on water.
It’s simple action but memorable.
Then I prayed.
We returned to hotel to check out and proceeded to Kyoto Station with our luggage.
Left our luggage at coin locker (JPY 700) which is located nearby Shinkansen (bullet train) exit: Hachijo Exit.
Then we took JR Abiko Line to Ohtsu Station.
Went to Enjo Ji (Enjo Temple) or commonly known as Mitsui Dera (Mitsui Temple).
There are many places to visit and pray in the premises.
Shaka-Do (Buddha Temple)
The area is so green and large; I enjoyed walking the premises.
I hit the Kane (bell) to bring peace to ancestors.
Kane weights 2 tons.
At Kindo, we could prey to three special Buddhas at the period of 28 April to 20 May 2018.
Akai Ya (Holy Water House)
Today, this temple is commonly called Mitsui Dera; based on its Chinese characters, it means Three Wells.
However, it originally meant Holy Well (Mii).
The water from this well is offered to Buddhas.
The dragon was engraved by Hidari Jingoro to calm Biwako (Biwa Lake).
I can see fresh water welling out.
There are many more to visit and pray.
Benkei Sho (Benkei’s Bell)
There is an interesting omikuji (fortune slip).
This is the instruction.
Pick a bell shaped fortune slip from a pot; float on water to read the number that appears on it; go back to the shop to get the numbered slip to get fortune/advise/lessons.
I pulled No. 42; it’s Kichi (good fortune).
Issai Kyozo (Storage for Sutras)
Some Japanese movies are taking here.
I can understand that because the premises are well kept.
I walked through its gate and looked back;
it looks nice.
Even from the path way.
There is a small paths.
There is even a half ruined bridge.
According to the map, I’m still half way.
Bimyoji (Bimyo Temple)
Shuho Kannon (Goddess of Mercy for People)
There are still many more to visit and pray.
Finally reaching to Mitsui Dera Kannon Do (Mitsui Temple’s Goddess of Mercy Temple/the Main Temple).
We need to climb these stairs.
Hondo (the Main Temple)
We could meet the special Buddha today.
The temple has a nice Japanese garden.
There are many more to visit and pray in the area of Hondo.
Noh Butai (Noh Dance Stage)
Hyakutai Kannon Do (the temple for 100 Goddess of Mercy through out Japan)
Shoroh (House for Bell)
Mani Guruma (Prayer Wheel)
If you turn a stone once, it means you recite sutra once.
We can take a break overlooking Biwako (Biwa Lake: Japan’s largest lake)
Finally, the last place: Suikanji (Suikan Temple)
It was a nice day to walk through the temple.
It’s cooler compared to Kyoto because the wind from Biwako lower the temperature.
I took a train back to Kyoto to catch Shinkansen back home (Tokyo).
We had Lundi (Lunch and Dinner) at Japanese Restaurant Kurama, Kyoto Station.
Though I stayed at the hotel in Kyoto, I visited Shiga (Ishiyama City twice and Otsu City once) three times and Hyogo (Akashi City) once.
For next trip, I will plan to visit temples in Kyoto.
I had these for breakfast.
I, again, visited Ishiyama, Shiga this morning
to visit Ishiyama Dera (Ishiyama Temple).
It’s guarded by Nioh (guardians).
It’s Spring so Temple is so green.
Walked through old aged stone for fun.
On the way to Hondo (the main temple), there are many temples to visit and pray.
Daishi Do (Kobo Great Buddhist Priest Temple)
When I look up from here…I see…
At Hondo (the Main Temple), I prayed to Nyoirin Kannon (Goddess).
After visiting Hondo, there are still many places to visit.
And the path are beautifully decorated by azalea.
This is the map of Ishiyama Temple.
You can see that there are many places to visit in the premises.
We are half way now.
We continued walking down the path.
Then we reached Kodo (Light Temple)
The door for this temple is opened specially from 28 April – 20 May 2018, allowing us to meet three special Buddha.
We are so lucky to be here today.
The first Japanese lady love story writer, Murasaki Shikibu used to visit this temple to get inspirations to write Genji Monogatari (Mr. Genji’s Story).
There is Kanro Daki (Kanro Fall).
And nice Shobu En (iris garden).
I cannot enter, but there is a path to the sacred place looking mysterious.
There is a holy stone.
According to the signage, it says Ooyuya, meaning a big bath…?
I also prayed to the very important God: Daikokuten (God of Wealth).
At last I prayed to Kinryu Ryuoh (Golden Dragon King) for preventing bad luck and bringing good luck.
After visiting Ishiyama Temple, we took a breath at tea room, Kanou Shojuan, to enjoy Ishimochi (stone rice cakes).
Ishimochi presents strong stone foundation of this temple, wishing for prevention of bad luck and establishment of strong tie.
These are delicious.
I had dinner appointment with my old Kyoto friend.
She took me to a nice Japanese restaurant Izama at Mitsui Garden Hotel Shinmachi Bettei, Kyoto.
I absolutely enjoyed food, drink and chatting!
Kyoto Local Beer (Dark Beer)
Three Types of Kyoto Local Sake
After dinner, I went to Bar Islay Mojito with her to continue girl’s talk without Mom. hehehe
Based on calendar, it’s still spring, but it’s been hot, changing calendar of flower as well. Hummmm