Okay soooo this is a picture-heavy post of our second day in Kyoto. It was a walking intensive day, but we got to see tons and tons and tons of amazing, gorgeous, fabulous, spectacular, magnificent places in Arashiyama–a district to the West of Kyoto-shi famous for its numerous places of interest. Everywhere we went I could take thousands of pictures, everywhere I went I just wanted to kiss the ground and cry my eyes out at how incredibly beautiful Kyoto is.
We basically followed this route, but without the incredibly accurate Google map, we couldn’t have made it, I believe. Anyway, we took a 10-minute subway ride from Nijo station to JR Saga Arashiyama station and started to walk from there. Outside the station you can also find this map:
We were eager to visit the famous Sagano Bamboo Pathway, but on the way there, we passed by the UNESCO World Heritage Tenryu-ji Temple complex. Arguably, the most picturesque spot of the complex is its pond, but as we were there too early (8am), the main temple where the pond is located was not yet open. Not a big problem though, because the place was huge and beautiful already. Another bonus point was that we didn’t have to pay the entrance fee (500 yen).
No matter how beautiful the complex was, we still needed to head to our bamboo paradise. Paradise indeed. Except for the troops of extremely aggressive mosquitoes, everything was like a dream.
Don’t you wish you were me? Bwahahahahaha.
Along the bamboo path was a small Shinto shrine, Nonomiya, which made me squeal at its lovely mossy ground:
We initially wanted to pass Okochi Sanso Garden because of the expensive entrance fee (1000 yen), but after finding out that the fee includes a free cup of whipped matcha (green tea), and that the same thing could cost us up to 600 yen elsewhere, we decided to give it a try. So glad that we did! Okochi Sanso Garden is a private villa that belonged to Denjiro Okochi–the most famous Japanese silent film star. It is intricately and beautifully designed and worth a visit.
You can look out over Kyoto from the top of the hill:
As well as Daihi Temple…
Our matcha time at the tea house:
Leaving Okochi Sanso, we walked along the path to Jojakkoji Temple but we decided not to go in. We wanted to save money for the nearby Nison-in Temple (entrance fees for both are 500 yen).
Cute shops on the road to Nison-in.
By the time we got there it was raining hard, but the rain only made Nison-in more melancholically beautiful…
The stairs to the grave site:
The most beautiful cleansing fountain I have ever seen:
We still had a few more places to go in Arashiyama, but we decided that Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple would be our last destination. The path up to Adashino was a wonderful one, one of the best in Kyoto I may say.
It was raining in torrents, we had no choice but to take shelter in a souvenir shop by the road. It was a gorgeously lovely one. It was just incredible. How could a souvenir shop be this awesome? The mysteries of life. And yes, we, two girls looking like beggars (wet from the rain, exhausted from the walk) randomly popping in to stay from the rain, were warmly welcomed by the owners and were offered water. Japanese people. I can’t even.
Why so gorgeous asdfghjkl
As the rain ceased, we left for Adashino (entrance fee 500 yen). The temple is famous for its garden of thousands of stone Buddhist images & its short bamboo path.
We left Adashino when it started to rain more heavily than ever. But that was when I had the chance to take one of the best shots of the day :)
Every tourist who goes to Kyoto has to visit Kinkakuji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, the most famous iconic symbol of Kyoto. Arashiyama was a 20 minute ride on the classic Randen Tram line. Walking from Adashino to Randen was long and hard (especially in our state of exhaustion), but the ride was smooth and fun.
We were at Randen-Saga station and Kinkakuji was a 20 minute walk from Kitano-Hakubaicho station:
To save 220 yen, I insisted on not taking the bus and instead walking to Kinkakuji. The friend was practically dead from all the walking she had done that day, but obediently followed my request =} Sorry, friend :( On the road, we passed by Rokuonji Temple, a temple famous for its 400 cherry blossom trees.
and Hirano shrine:
Finally, finally, we got to Kinkakuji (entrance fee 600 yen). It was thrilling. It was simply stunning. Thousands of tourists were there, but no one and nothing could affect the serenity, the beauty, the magnificence of this golden pavilion:
After flailing over Kinkakuji, we finally were able end our day. Dragging ourselves back to the bus stop, we jumped on the bus and passed out during the ride back to our hostel. A deadly tiring day, but unforgettable. Kyoto, how I love thee.