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Transport logistics: Kyoto, Hiroshima/Miyajima, Kyushu

Transport logistics: Kyoto, Hiroshima/Miyajima, Kyushu

Mar 10th, 2014, 10:50 PM
  #81  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,785
"since it is a vegetarian dinner I am wondering what an extra 5000 JPY could be" -- my meal was essentially a vegetarian Buddhist version of "kaiseki" (as I understand the term, which could be WAY off!!!) -- multiple courses (at least for dinner), multiple dishes (both breakfast and dinner -- I think my dinner included 18 dishes, but I could easily be wrong about that!). Each dish was beautifully presented (gorgeous serving pieces, artfully arranged garnishes); each dish was amazingly well-balanced (for both flavors and textures) and each course was also balanced for color and shape and aromas.... All were tasty, most were extraordinary. Even as a carnivore, my vegetarian dinner at Shojoshinin remains one of the most memorable meals of my life for the cuisine, the setting, the presentation, and even the service (no one came around "between courses," but each multi-dish course was served with great courtesy, humility, and kindness). Both dinner and breakfast were served in a room in which others were seated, but each (low, sit on the floor) table was separated from the others by screens and no one was asked to share a table with anyone with whom they had not booked. I suspect that those are the things that make some meals much more expensive than others. And - of course - any or all of these things could have changed since I was there.

I'm not making a recommendation here -- just trying to report on my experience in the hope that it helps JC98 and anyone else who ever reads this thread.

@ mara -- when I went, as I recall, few temples were available for online booking and those that were available varied widely in prices. They may have converged a bit by the time you checked ... who knows? Things do change! Or it may be MY memory that is at issue!

@ JC98 -- LOL, what an experience you and DH had at Haein-sa! No wonder you remember it so fondly. ;-) Very useful info, though -- always best to be forewarned about the nature of one's accommodation! And yes, the chance to see the Tripitaka is my primary reason for going there. Sounds awesome!
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Mar 10th, 2014, 11:40 PM
  #82  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,785
> where to get lunch at Koyasan? Are there restaurants up there?

I stopped in one restaurant just for coffee (I'm not a lunch-eater), so all I can do is give you decidedly out-dated assurance that you that you should be able to find at least one option, even if you have to contest with bus loads of day-trippers to do so (as I did). ;-)

> to visit the temples. Haven't done researched on which ones are must-sees

I only made time for a few Koyasan temples:

Kongobu-ji has some of the most beautiful Kano-school screens I saw anywhere in Japan.

Danjo Garan struck me as quite unusual for Japan and well worth seeing.

I thought the Reihokan Museum well worth an hour or two. Its exhibits rotate, so I can't speak to what you would see, but I was impressed with the depth of the displays that were on view when I was there.
kja is offline  
Mar 10th, 2014, 11:54 PM
  #83  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
I stayed in Shojoshinin in autumn 2012 and my recollection is also that prices varied widely between different temples.

Like Kja, there were no meal options but the meals we were served (for dinner and breakfast) were excellent. I'd read in reviews that some travellers complained of still being hungry (and we bought some Japanese snacks along with us in case) but I wonder if they were either very fussy eaters or had insanely huge appetites as we found the meals satisfactorily filling as well as beautiful and delicious.

We stayed in the private hanare residence, because I was very nervous ahead of our first trip to Japan, of shared bathrooms. It's a large building with four connected tatami rooms, one of which is made up as your bedroom, another with the zataku table and the other two un-unused for our visit. It's designed for more people to share.

We appreciated attending the morning prayer session but Shojoshinin did not offer any other activities such as meditation, fire ceremony, sutra writing.

I think one of the temples, I don't recall which, also provides a guided walk into Okunoin, which sounded nice.

We found it hard to find places for lunch along that main road, but we did eventually find a charming vegetarian cafe run by a French girl and her Japanese (I think) husband. There was one main dish a day, on our visit it was a proper Indian (rather than Japanese) curry. Tasty though we thought a bit pricy compared to other places in Japan. Perhaps a captive audience or perhaps costs more to get supplies delivered to the village?
Kavey is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 08:59 AM
  #84  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,095
kja.....your memory is probably more accurate....;-)
I am quite sure my meal at Muryokoin was not as elaborate as yours at Shojoshinin - I just looked at my photo - there were quite a number of small dishes. It worked for me so that is what matters. I was not expecting anything fancy at a temple lodging to begin with. When I was reading some of the reviews on TA it seemed some visitors were expecting more of a luxurious stay - I felt that this was a 'working temple' not a up-scale ryokan so I was perfectly happy. That is the main thing, of course, to have new and enjoyable experiences when we all travel, I think!

I took a very interesting walking tour with the Koyasan Interpreter Guide Club. I would recommend them if any visitors have the time. You can find their website and email to contact them easily online.
Mara is offline  
Mar 11th, 2014, 11:19 AM
  #85  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,522
Below is the link to the meal optons at Eko-in. I emailed the tmeple, and the monk informed me the normal dinner costs 3000 yen, and the sumptuous one costs 8000 y per perosn. Heard the tofu made in Koyasan is good, so that's the one that seems to intrigue me the most, but not sure I want to spend so much on dinner here.

https://asp.hotel-story.ne.jp/ver3d/...001&p=on&def=p
JC98 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2014, 02:01 PM
  #86  
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,522
Hi all, we recently returned from our Japan trip. Still badly jetlagged. The trip worked out well, and I'm so glad we went to Koyasan and stayed overnight at a temple. That was my favorite part of the trip.

Thanks, all, again for all your helpful advice! More to come...
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 04:07 PM
  #87  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,785
Welcome home and thanks for checking in! I'll look forward to hearing about the ways your night on Koyasan differed from your night at Haein-sa. And, of course, to learning about other parts of your trip.
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 12:05 AM
  #88  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
Welcome home, glad to know you had a great trip! x
Kavey is offline  

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