Day 9 – 26 Nov 2008
Started off with the Toji Temple, then went to Tofukuji Temple. The Toji Temple was quite “normal” nice. The Tofukuji Temple was however swarmed with tourists all the way from the main road. There were traffic marshals to ensure all the visitors kept to the side of the road and there were even “lanes” for incoming and outgoing visitors to follow!
It was quite a big temple, but we quickly skipped it as most of the sights within required additional entry fee. (Typically 400 yen per adult.)
We headed towards Fushimi Inari Shrine. This was our original next stop from Toji Temple. We took a bus to Tofukuji Temple as we initially though it was close enough to walk. We soon realised after checking the lonely planet map that it was far enough to warrant a train ride (1 stop). Thank God for our JR pass 🙂
Practically every temple/shrine we visited was filled with visitors and required an entrance fee, but the Fushimi Inari Shrine was really nice and free. (It was also out of the way and probably not on the itinerary for most travellers.) It was also interesting to see young children dressed in kimonos, going through the rituals. According to what we heard, Japanese children will have to go through some ceremonies at the age of 3, 5 and 7.
After visiting the shrines and temples, we made our way to Osaka. Osaka is very much a city, with skyscrapers all around. And interesting nightlife too. Our hotel was at the Namba area, next to the famous Dotonburi Shopping Arcade. Dinner that night was very fun and interesting. We actually had to fish for our dinner! 🙂 We went to this restaurant where we could pay 200 yen for a try at fishing. The rule was that you would have to buy the fish that you catch and they would cook it in the way you wanted. This was PG’s first try at fishing and it was an exciting experience. When you managed to catch a fish, the staff would actually announce it to the whole restaurant. 🙂 We opted for sashimi for the fish we caught. Coupled with hot sake, it was delicious! 🙂