Monthly Archives: September 2012

kelseydo Fushimi Inari Shrine

Yesterday I went to the Fushimi Inari shrine which is incredibly beautiful and free to enter! Unfortunately I had to skip out on hiking up to the top because I had made plans to meet my friend for lunch. I am looking forward to going to this shrine again in the Fall and Winter (it’s still 30 degrees here- I don’t consider that Fall).

Sierra, Bobby + Marcus on the JR Line

Entering the Shrine

Bobby at Fushimi Inari

Looking Up

3 in a Row

The Girls at Fushimi Inari

kelseydo Kinkaku-Ji Temple

Yesterday I visited the glorious Kinkaku-Ji temple in Kyoto. It was very busy with lots of school field trips and other tourists but it was still epic-ly gorgeous and a must-see!

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I bought a couple charms (I’m really not sure what they’re called) from the temple. One is for Longevity and Good Health for Nick and I and the other is to protect and provide good fortune for my family! Miss you!

xoxo Kelsey

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kelseydo Ritsumeikan University Orientation

While in Kyoto, I am studying at Ritsumeikan University at the Kinugasa Campus. This campus has about 17,000 students compared to UBC that has about 40,000.

This week we have been sitting through a lot of somewhat interesting and somewhat monotonous orientation- but there have been some high points. In particular today I got to go into an earthquake simulator that simulated a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. I was scared and I wished I had peed before the simulation.

I managed not to pee myself in case your wondering, however I was shaking and my heart was pounding in my chest after the event.

I also got to sit in the Fire truck with the other Firemen which I was really stoked about. I felt like I was in grade two again- it was great!

Tomorrow is the last day of orientation and then I are going out for nomihodai ($20 for all you can drink)with all the skp students!

Tiny box where people have to smoke

Vending Machines- Hot and Cold drinks. These are everywhere!

In the Fire Truck!

Interesting art work on the back of the Earthquake Simulator



Please excuse the crappy photos, I took these with my old Samsung Mini that has pretty bad camera technology!


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kelseydo Ryoanji + Ninnaji Temples

Today I ventured out with Jacob from Sweden and Kenny from Florida to see a few of the temples within walking distance from our dorm. The first temple we went to was called Ryoanji. It is famous for its simple yet beautiful zen rock garden.

Kyoyochi Pond

I’m not sure what this is for….sketchy ladder?

Kenny + Jacob

Muromachi Period (Around 1500)

Tsukubai, the stone wash basin for the tea room. The inscription says “I learn only to be contented” aka those who learn to be contented are spiritually rich. This concept is important to the zen spirit.

Rock Garden- no trees, only 15 rocks and white gravel

Afterwards we went to Ninna-ji which is only 15 minutes from our dorm. We stayed in the ‘free’ area which had many beautiful buildings but we didn’t venture into the ‘paid’ area where the emperor and his sons once resided- another day maybe!

Ninna-ji was built in 842 and is a Buddhist temple. The five-storey pagoda is from the 17th century. I am looking forward to going back to both of these temples in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom!

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kelseydo Dorm Room at Ritsumeikan I-House 1

It’s been a while since I lived in a dorm room (8 years). The Ritsumeikan University dorm I live in now, called I-House 1, has 3 floors with washrooms, laundry and kitchens on every floor with a common area and communal showers+bath on the bottom floor. The dorms are singles, which has definite positives, although I have always loved having roommates. The dorm rooms are much bigger than I expected with nice large windows and a teeny tiny single bed. I can’t wait to see how comfortable it is with Nick and I in it together! My room is still in need of some serious decoration, but I’ve only been here four days, so I’m doing alright.

I got a beautiful used bicycle from I-House for about $50 which has been super fun to ride around Kyoto. No one wears helmets here so they aren’t easy to find. I have to go to a sporting goods store downtown to see if I can find one.

I got caught in the rain on my bike yesterday and these women came running out of their shop with large plastic bags to put our purses/purchases in so they wouldn’t get wet. I have experienced so many random acts of kindness in the past four days I am starting to realize it’s not random to be spontaneously kind to strangers here… or maybe I am just lucky to meet kind people! Either way I am loving it!

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