Saturday, 8 July 2017

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest 

Yes, after Tenryu-Ji Temple, I'm continuing my journey to the mesmerizing Arashiyama Bamboo Forest with one of the entrance just slightly up north from Tenryu-Ji Temple. All the attractions are just within walking distance and with the chilling weather, you won't even sweat! Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is definitely a must visit tourist attraction. The local school kids would visit with friends, the love birds would take their wedding shots here and the foreign tourist like me will just be awed by this beautiful bamboo forest. 

A famous spot for photography, try to google Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and you'll agree how this place can look so mystical at times! Still, there is no photo that can really convey the feeling of standing there right in the middle of this Bamboo Grove. I did not travel till the end but if you have some time to spare, there is something quite rewarding, the Okochi-Sanso Villa. It is one of the finest traditional Japanese residential architecture. The admission fee of 1,000 yen includes an experience of savouring delicious Japanese sweets and a hot cup of matcha tea. 

It is a different experience between walking between the thick bamboo forest and riding through it on a rickshaw. If you are the type who do not enjoy walking, you can opt to spend some on the rickshaw ride by approaching the Japanese rickshaw riders. Prices are said to be arounf 5,000 yen to 7,000 yen depending on the distance.

I can't help it but down myself in this beautiful Bamboo Forest and take thousands of photos! Come during late evening and I'm sure it would gives a very relaxing feeling with the evening sun rays trying to reach you through the thick bamboo. For one, bamboo is already something that I would be attracted to. I just love the serenity feeling that it emits. Give me a shower gel that smells like a bamboo forest and I will use it everyday! Haha..

Matcha Softserve / Ice-cream

I walked back to the street and I see everyone wrapped up in their snuggly cold wear and under umbrellas. It might not look like it but no kidding, it still drizzles once in a while, although nothing heavy but still SO COLD!! Still, nothing stops me from getting a dose of Matcha Soft Serve! Haha.. This little small corner stall is just right in front of the Bamboo Forest entrance. Matcha Softserve is actually widely available along the district. So don't worry if you missed one. It is also available at the 

// Matcha Softserve Uncle wants to get into frame // 

Arashiyama District Attractions

There's still many attractions at Arashiyama District which I did not visit but would like to recommend to those who can spend one whole day there;

  • Togetsukyo Bridge (Moon Crossing Bridge) - it is Arashiyama's most iconic landmark with a mountain view of maple trees and other types combined which give a mixture of beautiful autumn colours.
  • Nakanoshima Park - The park is just beside Togetsukyo Bridge and it is filled with Cherry Trees! It's another mesmerizing sight you might want to stare with you other half just by the bridge.
  • Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Street - if you like the nostalgic sight of preserved street style of Kyoto since the era of Meiji Period, do give this place a go.
  • Sagano Scenic Railway - aka Sagano Romantic Train is a slow pace ride on an old railway to let you enjoy the scenic view for about 25 minutes. It is extremely popular during autumn.

Arashiyama Station / Randen Tram

With just half a day left, it's time for me to leave the Arashiyama District and travel to the central of Kyoto near Gion District. Another transportation which connects Arashiyama and Kyoto Central would be through the Arashiyama Station (alternative station: Saga Arashiyama Station). 

The Arashiyama Station is very lively with stalls at the entrance and also inside. It is hard to miss but if you can't find it, just ask around. :) There are many types of Japanese snacks and food which you can choose from. Due to my lack of research, I missed out one of the yummiest soft serve (Cremia) from Japan! So good, so creamy, my friend told me it feels like eating cheese cream!

// Stall Selling Light & Finger Food // 

// Stall selling Cremia Softserve // 

// Matcha / Sesame Softserve //

It might sound weird to you but eating softserve in the cold is nothing strange in Japan. I remember getting excited about buying ice-cream during rainy days but now, everyone said it's weird. Lol. Do you buy ice-cream during the cold weather too?

Anyway, let's get back to my mean of transportation to my next destination: Kinkakuji!

How to get from Arashiyama to Kinkakuji 

I decided it to be the Randen Tram at Arashiyama Station. The Randen Tram has been running for over 100 years and is the only Tram line in Kyoto. It is an old line hence it is not surprising that there are many Japanese cultural heriatge along the line. 

The Tram goes from Arashimaya to Shijio Omiya and the journey takes about 22 minutes.
Then I took the bus from;
1. Take the bus from Shijio Omiya (Kyoto City Bus Stand 1 East Bound) to Shijo Horikawa (Eastbound North East Side) which is 1 bus stop away.
2. Walk from Shijo Horikawa (eastbound North East Side) to Shijo Horikawa (Northbound North West Side)  
3. Take the bus from Shijo Horikawa (Northbound North West Side) to Kinkakuji Mae (Southbound) which is 21 bus stop away.

I know it would sound confusing, so here's a simpler route:
Tram: Arashiyama to Katabiranosuji (change tram route) to Omuro Ninnaji
Kyoto City Bus No.59: Omuro Ninnaji to Kinkakuji-Mae

// Let's Go! //

This sweet couple was on the same tram as me and I just can't stop glancing at them coz they look so cute and so good together! Don't you agree? So I just have to brave up and ask them for a picture. Haha. *stalker mode* They are probably having a romantic date together at Kyoto coz I saw them when I took the bus to Kyoto Station from Gion at the end of the day. Lol.

Here's a short list of website where you can check on more information;Arashiyama District Attractions and To-Dos
Inside Kyoto Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Route from Arashiyama to Kinkakuji
Randen Official Website
Bus / Train Route Planning

Read about my other Osaka Travel Posts here:
265: Japan 2015 - Rinku Premium Outlet @ Osaka
266: Japan 2015 - Teradacho to Shitennō-ji Temple @ Osaka
268: Shitennō-ji Temple + Flea Market @ Osaka.
269: Shinsekai + Eats @ Osaka
270: Dotonbori Night + Eats @ Osaka
281: Sakura Trip at Osakajo 大阪城 @ Osaka 1/2
284: Sakura Trip at Osakajo 大阪城 @ Osaka 2/2
293: Tenryu-Ji Temple, Arashiyama District @ Kyoto
294: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Arashiyama District @ Kyoto
295: Kinkaku-Ji Temple of the Golden Pavilion + Gion @ Kyoto
296: Osaka + Kyoto Food, Omiyage & Shopping Journey

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