From Takayama, we took another bullet train to Kyoto. I usually only like to stick to subways in foreign cities but in Kyoto, the bus system was more efficient than subways. With that said though, I think it’s comparable to the crappy streetcars in Toronto. You have to get on at the back of the bus and when your stop comes, you have to fight your way to the front of the bus to pay and get off. What kind of Japanese efficiency is this? I recommend buying a day pass with the bus driver if you plan on taking the bus more than 3 times in a day.
Nick and I love live music, especially when we are in foreign countries. We went to Jittoku one night where they have different musicians playing music from 7-9. We noshed on some food and I nursed my plum wine while listening to various different kinds of Japanese music
We went into nearly every grocery store we came across, this is a very large grocery store with two floors. I bought a salad from here that I loved and am still trying to recreate. They also sell these sandwiches on fluffy white bread with different stuffing inside. We had a peanut butter one and our eyes nearly watered because it tasted so good. Nick doesn’t even like white bread and he couldn’t stop fighting me for the sandwich. The second floor sells random knickknacks and clothes.
Kyoto is the city of many shrines and since it was our first time here, I wanted to tackle the most iconic ones. We ended up running all the way to the Fushimi Inari-taisha during our morning run. You enter through a small market first with lots of food vendors. Afterwards there is a large temple where people bought ornaments to write their wishes on. People also pay extra to have a ceremony done for them near the temple, we were lucky enough to see one but photos weren’t allowed. We walked up the many many steps to get to the top, the further we went, the less people there were which was better for photos. On the way down, we decided to take the off beaten path and hiked down through the forest. It’s not for the faint hearted.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
The bamboo forest is in Arashiyama, an area where you can spend all day in. We walked through the forest but it was filled with tourists, it loses a bit of its magic when there are so many selfie sticks in the way.
Monkey Park Iwatayama
We hiked up to the monkey park in Arashiyama and I thought I would be really scared of having monkeys walk around me but they were very chill. There’s an area where you can buy a bag of apples of peanuts to feed the monkeys through a net. I loved feeding them, their hands were so gentle when taking the apple slice from me.
Row Row Row Our Boat
The river running through Arashiyama was very picturesque and so we rented a rowboat so we can pretend to be romantic. I was useless at rowing the boat, all these Japanese men were flailing their arms trying to show me how to do it as I rowed in a circle. Thank goodness Nicholas use to dragon boat and so I just sat back and relaxed. Apparently I wasn’t suppose to relax and I was suppose to be his eyes and we crashed into a couple of boats….gently.