Our second day in Kyoto, we again woke up far before the crack of dawn. After we ate and it was late enough for us to begin our day, we headed toward Arashiyama to see the bamboo groves and monkey park. Arashiyama is a ways away from downtown Kyoto, so we had to take a subway and a train.
The train we took that day was so cute! I wanted to take a billion pictures of all of the cartoon characters similar to these inside the train, but, well, that would be rude to the passengers. At Arashiyama Station, there were art installations, shops, street food vendors and even some performers playing the violin!
We found, twice on this day, that between the two of us, I have a stronger ability in reading maps and following directions. But, first! Mark led us into some random temple. We didn’t stay for long, though it was a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We didn’t even find out the name. You can look at shrines and temples for weeks in Kyoto, but we had other plans. We headed in the right direction toward the bamboo groves and I took some pictures on the way.
I already posted the pictures of the Arashiyama Bamboo Groves in Kyoto, if you haven’t read it yet, go check it out!
I originally planned for us to take boat rides in Arashiyama, and read it was a nice for cherry blossom viewing, or hanami. It was raining all day, so the boats weren’t in service. It was still quite a beautiful sight to see!
We bought some chopsticks for Tobias and us that were personalized on the spot with our names in Japanese on the way to hang out with monkeys. If you still haven’t read the post I made about the bamboo groves, I also wrote about the Arashiyama Iwatayama Monkey Park. If that’s your jam, go check it out!
After hiking to see the monkeys, we hopped back on transit to get back toward our hotel, but we just had to stop at Nijo Castle. Mark really digs castles and we could see it from the view of our room.
I took a couple photos as we were arriving…
…then learned that no photography was allowed in the castle, which is understood. It is SUPER OLD (Built in 1626!) It’s currently going through a major renovation. Much of the original paintings have recently been transferred to a museum and replicas are in the process of being created by art school students from Kanō school.
Still, I found the scale, energy, the original paintings still on some walls and all of the ceilings impressive. There are a few set ups of mannequins to give you a better idea of how the rooms were used, and we were able to overhear an English-speaking tour guide describe some interesting facts to their group.
The garden surrounding the castle was STUNNING. Having something like this but tiny is a life goal FOR REAL.
We had dinner reservations for a sushi restaurant, so we couldn’t afford to make the same mistakes as the nights prior. There are tons of vending machines throughout the city, and all of them have several flavors of coffee. I picked out a café au lait and the can came out HOT! We were pleasantly surprised, so Mark tried to buy a black version. But it was cold :(.
After some relaxing and dressing up, we went out to find our restaurant, with me in heels and Mark leading the way. We had a photo of the restaurant on a piece of paper, along with the address and a map, but there were no addresses on any of the buildings and the street looks like where you can buy a Mogwai.
Once I finally got my hands on the map, I quickly found the restaurant. Foodgasms were a plenty!