Hey, guys! It's Christina. I was missing Kyoto and my friends who live there, so I planned a trip back recently and came back to my home base in Kyoto, which is The Limelight Kyoto. Last time I stayed here, I felt like staying in the hostel (more on my experience there in another post!), but, this time, I stayed in my own private room on the third floor of The Limelight Kyoto -- The Apartment Hotel. It was perfect for me because I could set the air conditioner as cold as I usually like it. :)
I had some free time one day before I went to meet up with my friend, so I thought I'd take a walk around the neighborhood to see what hidden place I could find. I noticed this poster outside of the building, which was apparently for a festival happening at a shrine:
Then, just after I started my walk, I was surprised to find the shrine that was in the poster is about a two-minute walk down the street from The Limelight, which is called Imamiya Shrine (Imamiya-jinja).
As soon as I walked through the torii gate, I noticed:
1. There were absolutely no people
2. There was a holy spring
3. There were beautiful pink hydrangeas in bloom
I walked over to the spring first. At these kinds of springs at shrines, you're supposed to wash your hands and mouth to be clean inside and out for when you're praying to the gods. Even if you're not praying (like me), it's something uniquely Japanese to try.
The shrine is in a peaceful neighborhood with the occasional local passerby who probably walked from their home nearby. The hydrangeas, the architecture, and
the whole ambience was very soothing on a cloudy, fall day. I wish I could've been around to see the festival!
Imamiya Shrine was originally built in its present location in 1001 but -- after it was burned down in a fire in 1896 -- was rebuilt in 1902.
Stay tuned for more blogs to come of things I found while I was in Hanazono!