Hi everyone, welcome back to another moonday!
Today I am writing about how I spends my time in Kyoto, I divided Kyoto into east, west, north, south and central and use each day to explore certain part of the city. There are just too much to see that I did not even get to do everything that I want to. That’s why Kyoto will be a city that I will always want to return to when I go to Japan.
So for this particular post I will be sharing my experience in Arashiyama, the west side of Kyoto. On this day I considered it my favourite things to do in Kyoto.
Starting off my day early, on a cold overcast day with budding cherry blossoms in sights, I head over to Arashiyama. My goal was to hired a bike and rides to Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple, Asashino Nenbutsuji Temple, Daikakuji Temple, Tenryuji Temple, the bamboo groves, Togetsukyo Bridge and the monkey park.
From Kyoto station I took JR Sagano Line to JR Saga Arashiyama station, from outside the Arashiyama station there are various signs pointing to bicycle rental. It’s honestly not hard to miss. For 1000 yen I was able to rent out a bike for the whole day from 9am – 4pm. The rental gave me a map of Arashiyama with the famous attraction guides. I mapped out a route prior to starting out my mamachari adventure. First destination: Daikakuji Temple.
Riding from Arashiyama station to Daikakuji Temple I got lost. But I don’t really mind since I stumble across a nice farming area of Kyoto. Where am I? 15 minutes of my bike adventure I gave up on a paper map. My trust goes completely to Google Map on my phone. It doesn’t take long until I made it to Daikakuji Temple, after paying for admission tickets to the temple and the treasure hall I set off to on a little exploration. You are not allow to wear your shoes in the temple, sorry. So off an a slipper I go.
I don’t have any photo of the treasure hall because you’re not allow to take any photograph. Secrets make things more special doesn’t it? The hall are filled with historical artefacts, unfortunately English description of some items are minimal or none at all.
After my morning temple visit I ride through Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Street to visits Otagi Nenbutsuji and Asashino Nenbutsuji Temple. Some part of the preserved street are so steep that it become close to impossible to keep pedalling. Hence, I walk my bike. The street was traditional, scenic and calming to walk through. I was there during late morning, and I feel like I am the only one there! You can find shops for food and souvenir, I like looking at decorations outside the shops or home though. It’s quite charming.
Not soon after I arrives at Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple. All the stone statue placed here are for the soul of the dead. There are certain area that you are not allow to take photograph, which is understandable. At the back of the temple are small bamboo groves, which make it feel very secluded and private since not many visit this temple.
A small hike with my bike up the road I arrives at Asashino Nenbutsuji Temple. This unique temple are lined with 1200 statues of rakan, devotee of Buddhism. Face filled with character, I wants to come back here in different season so see how the scenery change. There’re a bus station right outside the temple, but I don’t think a lot of bus come here.
It was already pass noon, my tummy was quite hungry. I stopped by at a Japanese family restaurant and ordered my self a noodle dish that I have no idea what it is called. The menu was in Japanese so I just look at the pictures. The dish itself was delicious, I think the noodle was green tea favour? The soup taste fishy and come with a mackerel. Certainly warm me up.
On my way to Tenryuji Temple I decided to walk through the bamboo groves. This spot was absolutely packed with tourists, so it’s best to walk the bike. It was a nice experience walking in the bamboo forest, it’s like the whole path was illuminated in green from the sun shining through the bamboo.
Soon I arrives at Tenruiji Temple. I spend my time viewing the garden and rest up. It was in the last week of March, so the cherry blossom was not at full bloom yet. At the back of the temple you there is a spot where you can take a photograph with the bamboo groves in the background. Which was quite nice to not back any tourists in the background.
As I head over to my bike, which I parked outside the temple, it started to rain. It was not a good experience riding in the cold rain and it’s almost time to hand in my bike so I didn’t get to go to the Monkey Park. Only made it to Togetsukyo Bridge, I started to head back to Saga-Arashiyama station to return the bike as I only have 30 minutes left until the bike shop closes.
Here concludes a day of adventure in Arashiyama, Kyoto. There are still many places that I wants to visit in the area such as the monkey park and Gioji Temple. Have you been to Arashiyama and have any places you would like to recommends or any questions? Comments away! I love checking out other people blogs 🙂
Thank you for reading!
See you next moonday!