Monday 12 October 2015

Japan : Kyoto - Arashiyama area

Kyoto - May 2015

This trip definitely came no easy. From the day we decided to go Japan and the actual day was only 1 month apart so we need to make fast decision. I felt thankful for this particular friend to make this trip finally came true but also felt very apologetic that she did not join due to many reasons. She was like an angel from the sky lol~

This was my ever first trip to Japan so it was frustrating and miserable when planning the itinerary. There were so many places and things we wanted to go and do. We almost broke down when we saw how complicated Tokyo's train lines were. Thankfully, we found this website Hyperdia which made our lives so so much easier. It shows you all the timetable and route search in Japan with alternative routes. Another angel for this trip.

Our third angel is this Japan tourist website: It has all the recommendations, routes and nearby tourist spots in one website. 

We only finalised our itinerary just three days before the actual day. 


Finally, this day has came and we touched down in Narita Airport in the afternoon. We quickly gotten our JR 7 days pass and pocket wifi in the airport before we headed to Kyoto via Shinkansen. The total duration was around 2 hr 30 min. Bf and I were so tired from the flight that we both dozed off in shinkansen with our bags hanging on the walls unattended. That was so unusual for us as we normally would take turn to sleep to look after our belongings. Other than in Singapore, we never felt this safe in this country that security totally slipped out of our minds. 

It was already near night time when we reached Kyoto and settled down in our airbnb apartment near Kyoto station. We headed off to nearby shopping mall which was only 2 min walk from our airbnb apartment for dinner.

 Mushroom omurice

Cheesy sausages omurice

After dinner, we went back to our airbnb apartment to rest. 13 days in Japan has started~ ~


Day 2

Good morning Kyoto~

Our 7 days JR pass was indeed very useful and cost efficient as we planned our routes all via JR. We were super impressed that their trains are very punctual according to Hyperdia timetables. We arrived at JR Saga Arashiyama station where we have three places to cover here: Tenryuji Temple, Bamboo Groves, Sagano scene

sources: japan guide

Tenryuji Temple 天龍寺

It was ranked first among the city's five great Zen temples and is now registered as a world heritage site.

Purification fountain where you can wash your hands as an act to cleanse yourself before entering temple or shrine.

Tenryuji Temple 天龍寺
Opening hours 8:30 to 17:30 (until 17:00 from late October to late March) 
Entrance fees 500 yen (an extra 100 yen for entrance into the temple buildings)

Arashiyama Bamboo Groves

There is a side door towards bamboo groves from Tenryuji temple near the purification fountain. 

It gave out a mysterious quiet feel while walking the path that cut through the bamboo groves.

Sagano Scenic Railway 嵯峨野観光鉄道

Through the bamboo groves, we slowly strolled towards the scenic railway where we could take the sightseeing train line that runs along the Hozugawa River with a pleasant view of the scenery from Arashiyama through the forested ravine and into rural Kameoka.

We had some time to spare before the next train so we wandered around and found this beautiful small plot of field filled with flowers.

The miniature version of the train station

Here we go~

This place is amazing beautiful during autumn or spring where it fills with autumn foliage or cherry blossom.

Hozugawa river

Hozugawa river cruises

I wanted to take this sightseeing boat ride down the Hozugawa River which is piloted by boatmen who guide the craft with oars and bamboo poles. However, the whole journey will take 2 hours and it is not very time and cost efficient (4100 yen).

Then we saw this inflatable raft - maybe cheaper alternative lol

Sagano Scenic Railway
Opening hour : 9:00 to 16:00 (until 17:00 on busy days) 
Closed on Wednesdays (except for national holidays, during the spring and summer vacation periods and the autumn foliage season), December 30 to the end of February 
Fees 620 yen one way between Torokko Saga and Torokko Kameoka Stations

Our lunch! 

This reminded us of our dinner last night.

Kinkakuji temple (Golden Pavilion) 金閣寺

Then we took Kyoto city bus number 205 to Kinkakuji temple. Their bus fare was one fixed price 230 yen regardless any stops.

Top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.

Crowded with people trying to get the best shot of the golden pavilion.

black sesame ice cream 350 yen

black sesame bun 300 yen

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) 金閣寺
Opening hours 9:00 to 17:00 daily
Entrance fees 400 yen


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