A Kyoto Day Trip: Otani Hombyo, the Pokémon Center, and Some Snacking

Having already been to quite a few tourist spots in Kyoto – including Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama Bamboo Grove – we decided to go elsewhere this time, and ended up at Otani Hombyo temple. We also made a stop at the Pokémon Center.

Otani Hombyo serves as the mausoleum of Shinran Shonin, the founder of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist sect. Otani Hombyo is also the burial place of over 15,000 devout members of Jodo Shinshu.

While Shinran Shonin died in 1263, it wasn’t until 1661 that the cemetery formally opened and the devout were allowed to have their loved ones’ remains buried near him. In 1709, a chapel was built in front of the mausoleum. Then in 1870, the Buddhist temple that currently stands on the grounds was constructed.

It stands today after centuries of changes and renovations. The cemetery is still operational, and there is a visitor center as well as a gift shop for curious historians and tourists.

While it isn’t as large or as grand as other temples in Kyoto, it does make for a peaceful, scenic walk. Otani Hombyo is open from 6:00am to 5:00pm. Find a complete map here.

Even with its array of options for public transportation, you can expect to do a lot of walking in Kyoto – which will help you build up an appetite. We passed by a little cafe with a window display of potato croquettes for just 200 yen apiece. They were crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, and still nice and warm even though they weren’t fresh out of the fryer.

After the temple, we had a late lunch at Ichiran. Since our trip was during the end of the winter season, the ramen was a perfect dish for fighting the cold. We pushed back the dividers of the Ramen Focus Booth (read more about it here) and shared the experience.

The Pokémon Center was our last stop before heading back to Osaka where we had based. Even if you aren’t part of the generation that grew up on Pokémon, it’s worth a visit. I had a little plastic Pikachu that I carried around for a few years as a kid, but never really got into the trading cards or video games. From humble black-and-white Gameboy beginnings, Pokémon has now upgraded platforms to Nintendo Switch.

Some of the more low-tech toys include figurines, school supplies, and plushies. Can you spot the lone Chansey in the picture?

If you prefer to wear your fandom, you can shop clothes to your heart’s content. There’s something for every character, but the easiest (and maybe the comfiest) way to go is to just dress head-to-toe in Pikachu.

Since not everyone can get away with wearing a Pikachu hoodie or onesie to work, there are subtler alternatives, too. They have a nice selection of underwear and socks. Some of the socks have a little notch so you can wear them with your geta or tsinelas.

The Kyoto Pokémon Center can be found at the second floor of SUINA Muromachi. To get there, take the Karasuma Line and alight at Shijo station, or take the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line and alight at the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line. They are open from 10:00am to 8:00pm. Find out more on the Pokémon website.

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