We were invited by Satoshi's co-worker, Y, to join he and his wife at Ninna-ji to see late blooming sakura (cherry blossoms).
Unfortunately, Sunday was forecast for rain (again)...
It had been over 10 years since the last time we visited Ninna-ji, so it would be a nice chance to re-connect with it.
Luckily, the rain had cleared up by the time we headed out and it was actually...sunny and hot!
Before going to Ninna-ji though, we stopped at Matsuo Taisha near Arashiyama.
The yamabuki (Japanese rose) was in full bloom...the yellow was so pretty!
Our next stop, Otagi Nembutsuji...a peaceful oasis with 1200 rakan (stone statues representing the disciples of Buddha), made by many people from various areas of Japan, during the reconstruction of the temple between 1981 and 1991, some are humorous, it was nice to look at each face.
Down the hill from Otagi Nembutsuji, is Adashino Nembutsuji. I thought I had written about this spot, but it was probably pre-blog.
Adashino is the name of the area and is also the area where the dead were buried in ancient times.
The temple was founded by Kukai (Kobo Daishi), and it is here that the dead were buried in the 9th century.
Apparently, only higher class people received gravestones back then. Throughout the property there are about 8000 gravestones.
Every August 23 and 24 at twilight, they light more than 1000 candles as offering to the gravestones and the ceremony is called "Sento-kuyo".
Another peaceful area.
From Arashiyama, we then made our way to Ninna-ji.
The grounds were lit and there was also a 4 piece string ensemble playing some melodies.
There were some trees here and there with blooms.
Unfortunately though, most of the sakura had already bloomed and the tree's leaves were coming in.
Still, it was nice to view some sakura.
Dinner was at Jumbo.
And if you look at the picture carefully, you'll notice that the okonomiyaki is "overflowing" on the griddle.
This place has been in business for over 20 years and is popular with families and college students.
When we got there the line was out the door!
And the prices were so cheap!
For 2 okonomiyaki, yakisoba and 3 large bottles of beer, it was only 3780 yen (tax included).
The scary part was watching the staff put mayo and sauce on the okonomiyaki, they don't skimp, I swear the guy put half a bottle of mayo and sauce on...eep!
With all the broadcasts of the recent Kumamoto earthquake, getting out and about was a nice change of pace.
Thanks Y and his wife for a great day.
3 Arashiyama Miya-machi
2-5 Fukatani-cho,Saga Toriimoto
17 Adashino-cho, Toriimoto
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Hours: 11:00-14:00, 16:30-23:00