Japan 2014 Day 6: Arashiyama

by - 1/02/2015

Last year I was dying to go to Arashiyama, but things kept getting in the way and it never happened. This time, I made sure to dedicate an entire day to it! 

Arashiyama is located on the western outskirts of Kyoto. Its most notable attractions are Togetsukyō (Moon Crossing Bridge), the bamboo forest, temples such as Tenryu-ji, and the Iwatayama Monkey Park, among other things.

I was excited to take some beautiful pictures like I took last year, so I brought along my DSLR. The ONLY reason I packed that damn camera was to take it to Arashiyama. And guess what happened?

I forgot to charge the battery. 

It was my own damn fault. I had been so dilligent with the batteries in the other devices, but I completely neglected my DSLR. So I had to lug around this large camera with me all day long and not be able to use it. I was so angry at myself. Luckily, though, I at least had my point and shoot camera, so I got some pictures, albeit not as glorious as they would have been on my DSLR.

The leaves were starting to turn
First stop, Togetsukyō! This bridge was originally built during the Heian Period (794-1185) and most recently reconstructed in the 1930s.

After this we stopped for some sustinance in the form of ice cream. 

Of course I had to get something really weird, so I got the black sesame ice cream. It wasn't very sweet and I would not get it again. 

Todd had the black vanilla. It was really tasty, and really black. 

After ice cream, we traveled along the river and over to the Sagano bamboo forest.

It was extremely crowded here. My hopes of getting awesome pictures was thwarted by the throngs of people.

After this we found ourselves at Tenryu-ji Temple.

After this we popped into a restaurant for some traditional Japanese sweets. 

Kevin's coffee

Kokuto kinako anmitsu 

Todd's dessert
I had never had anmitsu so I decided that Kyoto was the best place to try it. It was soft and chewy, and it had ice cream. The tea was nice too! Todd settled for a set that came with azuki beans and kinako and matcha tea. He let me try it (another thing I always wanted to try), and it really was bitter like I had heard. 

From here we browsed some shops and went on to the Iwatayama Monkey Park. It was a 20 minute hike up a small mountain, which I figured would be nothing since I was used to hiking back home. But this day ended up being extremely hot and sunny. We were all sweating and huffing and puffing up the mountain. 

Kevin decided to forego fashion. 
But it was totally worth it because MONKEYS!

The views were spectacular. That's Kyoto. 

My favorite pic from Arashiyama.

We were famished by the tim we got down the hill and settled on some traditional looking Japanese food. Things were totally lost in translation because the waitress was trying to explain something to us that were just weren't understanding. turns out that the sets we ordered were usually served in the fancier rooms (the ones with the low table that you sit at on the tatami), but we didn't understand that at the time and ate in the normal restaurant area. Whoops! I did ask her if it was okay to be there, and she said yes. So oh well. 


Kevin's shabu shabu lunch
I rounded out my meal with another ice cream. This time, sweet potato. 

Overall, a really nice day at Arashiyama. It really only took around 5 hours to get a good look at most of the things to look at, as well as browse the stores. This also includes travel time. So, nice day trip for sure, and I'm glad I finally go to go!

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