Hello everyone! We got back from our 5-day Kyoto trip yesterday. I was hoping we would be in time to see the beautiful fall colours Japan is so famous for, but alas, we were just a week or two too early! Regardless, it was absolutely beautiful.
Our first full day we visited Arashiyama, or “Storm Mountain.” The easiest and cheapest way for us to get there was by bus, and with traffic, it was about a 45 minute to an hour ride. It was also a holiday, which meant lots of crowds! We made sure to be out of the apartment by 9am, though, so the crowds were not as bad as they were later.
We passed Togetsukyo Bridge, rolled up a street lined with shops selling souvenirs and treats, and got off at a bus stop near Tenryuji Temple. This weekend was a great weekend to go – cool weather and clear skies!
At Tenryuji Temple we decided we didn’t need to go inside the temple and just paid the fee to enter the gardens.
The gardens are beautiful. I was afraid the bright morning light would make photographs difficult, but beneath the trees the garden was utterly transformed. It’s no wonder that this place has been a popular destination for visitors for over a thousand years.
We also found a high point to see the city:
Towards the end of the gardens, we caught a glimpse of Arashiyama’s famous bamboo forest:
At last! I was here three years ago when my parents came to visit, and I loved it. I was so happy to visit again. It was so quiet and peaceful, even with the bustle of a hundred other tourists.
On our way out of the grove, I spotted some dried persimmons for sale! They were sweet and chewy:
Once we got back down to the main road, we stopped and several stands for lunch. Karaage (fried chicken), gyoza (dumplings), Japanese donuts, and ichigo daifuku!
My absolute favourite part of traveling is the food. I love places like Kyoto, which offered lots of street food and snacks that I was able to buy in small portions so I could get a little bit of everything!
(I was horribly sad, though – halfway through this trip, I got food poisoning! So I was only able to really eat the first two days. 😦 It was very surprising to me, I’ve never had any trouble with food before in Japan!)
We managed to get out around noon. The roads were jam-packed, so the buses were running at very different times than what was on schedule. Luckily, this was our main stop for the day, so we weren’t worried at all! I definitely recommend going to places early to avoid crowds like these:
Arashiyama is a definite must-see if you go to Kyoto. The bamboo groves and Tenryuji Temple are just two of many places to see here – for a full list, visit Japan-Guide’s page on Arashiyama to get a full list of places to see! (There’s even a monkey park!)
This is the first of a few posts about our trip, so stay tuned! またね！