Today was our free day in Kyoto. But Chiko offered to take a group of us to Arashiyama to see the Bamboo Forest. I’d found a couple of walks to do when it’s crowded so Chiko chose one to go along the river, because she’d never been that way.
So we got the bus to Arashiyama and walked along the river. It was very peaceful (compared to where everyone else was walking), away from the hustle and bustle. The only people walking here were old locals out on their morning stroll. The area was shutting down for some festival at midday, so buses would no longer be running and it would be even more packed, so we were very happy to have come early-ish!
After the river we walked up the hill and to the Bamboo Grove, which was starting to fill up with people, of course. It’s a lot smaller than one would think it is.
There’s a temple there, of course, and it has a lovely little moss garden.
There were people offering rickshaw rides. They looked like they were having fun.
Chiko left us there and we went to Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), because you have to see that when you come to Kyoto! It’s really gorgeous. And the gardens surrounding it aren’t bad either. Of course the place was teeming with people, but it was Sunday and another beautiful day…
We had to make use of the WC and had to chuckle at the sign: “Please use a toilet finely”. OK then. 🙂
After that we headed off in the direction of Ryoanji Temple with its Zen Rock Garden. On the way, we stopped for lunch at a Sushi Train restaurant that Louise remembered from her trip here last year. All the dishes on the train were 100 Yen each. It was quite fun and packed with locals, so it must be good!
Next stop was Ryoanji. It has a beautiful Lotus pond etc. But is mostly known for its Zen Rock Garden. It looked exactly the same as it did last time I saw it…
We walked around the gardens a bit more:
And then headed off to Nijo Castle. That was another adventure by bus… It was better than I thought it would be, though of course – no photos permitted! It had huge gardens, which were very pretty. We thought it would never end though!
We got back early to do some more laundry. After the previous night’s expensive dinner, we hit up the supermarket down the road and bought some yummy things there:
Though we had to beg for some chopsticks at the 711 down the road…