My 2016 Japan travelogue so far:
Osaka Day 1: Ana Crowne Plaza & Sennichimae Doguyasuji
Osaka Day 2: Osaka Station, Kuromon Market & Dotonbori
Nara Day 3: Todai-ji, Cheeky Deer & Fall Foliage
Osaka + Kyoto Day 4: Nishiki Market & Len Kyoto Kawaramachi
Kyoto Day 5: Kiyomizu-dera, Sannen-zaka & Ninen-zaka (Part 1)
Kyoto Day 5: Kōdai-ji (Part 2)
Woke up at 7.40am.
Had pork and seafood Cup Noodles from Nissin for breakfast on day 6. Cost 184 yen each from Daily Yamazaki.
The day before (day 5) were spent at Higashiyama (Eastern part of Kyoto) area. You can read our day 5 adventure at the links on top. And today, day 6 is going to be at the Western part of Kyoto called Arashiyama.
From our hostel (Lens Kyoto) around 9.30am, we walked to Kawaramachi Station and took the Hankyu-Kyoto line to Katsura Station. Then we changed line to Hankyu-Arashiyama line and ride until the end of the line which is the Arashiyama Station.
Top left: antique looking train on the Hankyu-Kyoto line.
Top right: at Katsura Station (on Hankyu-Arashiyama line) waiting for train.
Bottom left: major people jam at Arashiyama Station!
Bottom right: outside of Arashiyama Station.
From Arashiyama Station, we walked to Togetsukyō (bridge) while absorbing all the beautiful surrounding. We encountered the most tourist in Arashiyama than other parts of Kyoto throughout our stay here. Perhaps because it was a Saturday.
This is the famous part of Togetsukyō 渡月橋 (bridge). So many people coming and going over. The river that flows here has two names. On the left side of the bridge, the river is called Hozu River 保津川 and on the right side it’s called Katsura River 桂川.
At the Katsura river bank, there are several stalls selling yummy snacks. We bought grilled squid @ 400 yen. Yum-yum. Saw a golden and I immediately thought of Chester. We sat there for quite sometime, enjoying the blue sky and pleasant weather, looking at kids playing, the swimming ducks and the birds showing off their V-formation.
Right after the bridge, there’s a T-junction and my gosh the amount of people there can rival that of at Shibuya crossing. It was so packed that you have no space to stand at the 5-foot way. Thankfully there are authorities there to take care of traffic.
Beautiful pine and ginkgo trees. We’re heading to our lunch place at Yoshiya Oku No Niwa 良彌 奥の庭 that serves tofu meal. It was one of my best meal in Japan! Click the link to read all about it.
Passed by this place which I didn’t know is a temple initially. It’s called Hogon-in Temple 宝厳院 and is a sub of Tenryū-ji. There were all there for momijigari (autumn viewing) because of its stunning fall foliage. I peeked but didn’t enter because I guess I’ve seen enough at Kiyomizu-dera and Kōdai-ji. There’s a entrance fee of 500 yen.
We met three ‘models’ dressed as maiko on the way to Sagano Bamboo Forest 嵯峨野 竹林の道. I guessed they are models because there’s a photographer following them and their dressing doesn’t conform to the real maiko rules. We sort of tailed them for quite sometime as we’re headed to the same direction.
I’m pretty sure you’ve seen lots of stunning shots of this bamboo forest in the internet. I also dreamed of snapping a few good ones but unfortunately this is the best I can get. What a disappointment. My reason: lighting. It was quite dark here and the time was around 3.30pm-4pm. There were only few instances when we get some strong natural light.
No doubt there are many people here but the space were still breathable. And I love listening to the bamboo leaves rustling at each other. So soothing! FYI, Kōdai-ji has a bamboo groove pathway too. The pathway is short but the bamboos are taller if my sense of perspective is correct.
After crossing over to the other side of the bamboo forest, we walked around a bit and turned back. Then I met this super cute and fluffy akita. I asked the owner whether I can touch him and he said okay. Ahhh… and we walked together until back at the entrance of the bamboo forest. What are the chances of having maiko and akita accompanying me into and out of the bamboo grooves? Really rare I would say. Their presence made this experience more worthwhile especially the doggie! It’s like a sign telling me to get a new dog to join the family (I also met a golden earlier, remember?).
In total, we spent around 25 minutes in the bamboo forest and we didn’t even walk the whole area. Time was 4.11pm and it was time to head back.
We didn’t went back hostel right away. We decided to have dinner before going back hostel because we knew we’ll be too tired to come out after that. But before that, we detoured to two places first because they are closing for the day real soon.
Posting letters home at Kyoto Central Post Office. This post office is beside Kyoto Station where we’re going to have dinner there. The best part about this post office is that it’s open 7 days a week from 9am-9pm (weekday) and 9am-7pm (weekly).
We actually took a really long time trying to locate Itoh-Kyuemon. We knew it’s opposite Kyoto Station but somehow we couldn’t find it. We even asked a mobile store executive for help. With her mobile search and ours, still no luck. LOL. Just when we were going to give up, suddenly we saw Itoh-Kyuemon. It’s actually located at the Kyoto Tower side (east) and all this while we’ve been searching at the west area.
After that we went to Kyoto Ramen Koji in Kyoto Station for dinner. Kyoto Ramen Koji is a place where you can sample ramen from different regions all in one place. We ate one that was really fatty and salty! Click the link to read more.
We dropped by 7-11 to get our breakfast and found out that 7-11 is actually cheaper than Daily Yamazaki.
Tried this famous Calbee Jagariko @ 99 yen which we bought on day 4. It’s potato sticks with butter flavor. Not bad at all. It’s too little to be shared though.
We slept around 1am with rain drops as our lullaby.
That’s all for day 6. Stay tuned for day 7.