Heian Shrine Bird Up!

We bike down the street away from the Nanzen-ji Temple towards the Heian Shrine. These bikes are working out great, killer way to get around so far and a nice way to get in the mix of the city an….. whoooooa what’s this?!

Does this thing fly?! Is that a rocket launcher? So many questions about this little contraption. What the hell is going on here? It’s awesome. I picture the A-Team but as samurai.

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We ride beside a waterway and Narco spots a cool statue.

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So yeah, really glad to have the bikes

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We get to the Heian Shrine and go through a massive orange, torii gate. Whoa, this is a fairly large complex. The shrine was founded in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the foundation of Heian-kyo (the old name for Kyoto). The site is a reproduction of an Emperor’s palace from the Heian era at 5/8’s the original size.

We head through the impressive main gate and into the interior.

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Similar to the Meiji Shrine we were at in Tokyo, there are lots of kids dressed up in fancy, traditional kimonos, getting pics and trinkets for their birthdays.

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People tie prayers and wishes to the branches of this tree.

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Amazing place, I like the vibrant orange. I take a moment to get the sand out of my shoe. Queenie tells me to bird up! My bird up is pretty weak but I am wearing taco dinosaur socks.

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We find an entrance to the garden portion that skirts around the back outside the shrine. Seems peaceful and way less crowded. Time for a zen stroll.

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There is a path that takes you through a wooded area and around several ponds. It’s really really beautiful in here. I’m sure in the spring this place is bursting with fresh flowers and colors.

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Midway through we come across a little tea house by a pond. Some tea and coffee here sounds like a real nice idea. We grab a red table/bench and relax with a green tea cake. This is a nice spot to chill.

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The tea is super earthy tasting

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We relax for a bit until a group comes through the same path and finds the tea house. Time to move on and let them have their moment

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Not sure what’s up with these money cats. They seem kinda pissed.

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After the gardens we come to another large water area with a bridge back to the Heian Shrine interior. It is guarded by a fearless egret who is unphased when I bird up right next to him “Ahhhhhhck!”

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He doesn’t care. Just waiting for some fish to come around

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It’s a wonderful scene back here and Queenie and I basically have it to ourselves for the time being. There are a few dudes on ladders stealthily clipping the trees around the pond. The whole place is immaculately groomed.

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Ok Queenie, Bird Up!! Hmmmmm we need to work on these…

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There’s a cool covered bridge going back across the pond to the shrine.

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The view back on the gardens is great. I love the little bonsai islands

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Selfie stick, Bird UP!!! Oh we’re doing tough faces? I messed it up

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Across the bridge and through the gate back to Heian Shrine. What a rad place.

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“Bird up!”, this one has Queenie doubled over, so that works.

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That was awesome. We grab our bikes from the front and mount up. Not too far away is the Philosophers Path. Sheesh, there is an insane amount of stuff packed into this area. Is all of Kyoto like this?

(Spoiler alert: Yeah, pretty much).

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