Adventures in the Old Capital

Peter Fitzpatrick
June 19, 2016
Golden Pavillion

Hello everyone! It has been about two weeks since the summer program began and this weekend IES Abroad took us on our field trip to the old capital of Japan, Kyoto! First of all I want to thank IES Abroad for this opportunity, because they planned a lot for us to do in such a short period of time. Because of this, I was able to see all that I wanted to in Kyoto plus more!

Typically, a trip from Nagoya to Kyoto would take about two hours on train, but thanks to the Shinkansen we made it there in only 30 minutes! The Shinkansen is a type of highspeed train connecting most of Japan that uses magnetics to move the trains at highspeeds, giving them almost airplane like speeds on the ground. Luckily this meant we had more time in Kyoto!

The very first place we visited was the Sanjuusangen-dou, which is a Buddhist temple with 1000 statues all throughout which have been preserved since 1164! Unfortunately because of this we were not allowed to take pictures inside since the risk of flash photography may actually harm the paint on the statues. It was so amazing to look at all of these statues since they were all so similar but also unique and also because of the lack of technology back during that time, that meant that each of these were made completely by human hands. Some people say that when looking at the 1000 faces inside you may see one that looks like you. In fact, some of the other IES Abroad students said they found one that looked like me but I didn't see it. I wish I had a picture though!

The next place we went to was the "Golden Pavillion" which was my most anticipated spot in Kyoto! This building was originally purchased by the Shogun, but was then later converted into a zen temple. I was mostly interested in it because of the beautiful scenery surrounding it and the fact that it's right over the water. Fortunately we were able to take photos!

We visited another place that was tied to the Shogun as well! Niji-jo Castle was built originally so that the shogun had a place to stay whenever he visited Kyoto. This place also didn't allow photos due to the fragility of the paint and details, which was a shame since it was so interesting. It was a very spacious castle filled mostly with waiting rooms where feudal lords would wait to meet with the Shogun. There were a lot of figures in some of the rooms showing what certain rooms would look like when the Shogun was present. It was very organized and intimidating! Here's a picture of it's entrance from the outside!

While these places were all beautiful and so full of history, my favorite place that we visited was the Fushimi Inari shrine. I've seen many pictures of it online since it's very famous for having tons and tons of arches, but actually being there and seeing everything together was so wonderful. The shrine was built on a mountain and visitors could very freely climb to the top if they wished to, so I went for it because we were given a few hours of free time. Since it was rainy and humid out, I had a hard time climbing up, but I feel that it made everything much more beautiful. On the way up there are many tea houses and little restaurants, along with shrines. If only I had more time, I would have loved to spend more time at each one of these places, but the trip to the top was worth it! Here's a picture of the arches along with the view from the top.

It was definitely a fantastic weekend in Kyoto, and I really would like to come back in the future! This week I go back to my studies where I have been making a lot of progress! But more on that next time!

Peter Fitzpatrick

<p>Hi! I&#39;m Peter Fitzpatrick. I major in New Media Interactive Development and minor in Japanese at Rochester Institute of Technology. I&#39;m going to be spending a few months this summer achieving my dream of visiting Japan by taking part of the Nagoya Summer - Language and Culture program. I&#39;m excited to experience Japan and it&#39;s language in a natural setting and meet tons of new people. After the program is over I hope to have a much deeper understanding of the Japanese language. When I&#39;m not programming or brushing up on my Japanese, I&#39;m often playing volleyball or reading some of my favorite manga.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2016 Summer 1, 2016 Summer 2
Home university:
Rochester Institute of Technology
Major:
Other
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