Wednesday, May 6, 2015

traveling japan: beautiful sceneries, leasure biking, and mini hiking in kyoto day 2



After a good night sleep at the hostel, we got ready and bought some onigiris at Family mart around the area for our breakfast.

today we're going to Arashiyama, and thank god the weather is sunny and warm.

to get to Arashiyama, we need to get on the train and heading towards Arashiyama Station, its quite a long ride around 50 minutes from our hostel.

after we arrived at Arashiyama Station, we spotted a bike rental shop. with the weather being so great that day, we decided to rent a bike for each of us.
The price to rent a bike for a day is 900 yen. Normally on weekdays, you could choose whether to rent it for 2 hours (500 yen) , 4 hours ( 700 yen) or a whole day (900 yen). But , because we were coming the on the weekend, they only rent it per day and not per hours. Do check on their website for more details

Just ahead from the station, is a great view on the Katsura River and Togetsukyo bridge. there's also some food stalls selling soba, dango, and soft ice cream. 

Being a foodie, of course i need to try one of the most traditional snack here, which is no other than Dango!!

they are selling plain and sakura flavour dangos. its a clear choice, of course i will get the sakura one. 

the texture of the dango is sticky, a little sweet with hint of flowery's fragrant in it. its quite a good snack.
at the river bank, there's some people picnic-ing under the sakura trees. The wind quite strong here, so a warm jacket will be good when you're come here.

Arashiyama really is a good spot for sakura viewing, lots of the sakura trees is still in full bloom when i came. there's even a maiko taking a studio photo shot here.

 Lets give the maiko the best spot for her picture, we go behind the same tree as her to take our own pictures. Its selfie time!

There's even more food stalls near the bridge of Togetsukyo, most of them sells skewers meat. Once again, i can't skip the opportunity trying on their traditional skewer's foods. this time i chose chicken skewer!!

the chicken skewer is worth 500 yen a stick, despite the price, its so big and yummy, the sauce they uses really makes the meat taste so good. one skewer is enough to make me full.

Eating while looking at the great scenery really makes my day.

we crossed the bridge and continue our path to bamboo grove. Its quite easy to find the bamboo path, just go straight from the bridge and follow the crowds. the bamboo path will be on the left side of the road.

the path inside of the bamboo grove is really crowded and narrow, its really hard for us to rode the bikes here, so we parked our bikes at the shrine inside the groove and continue by walking. But before that we paid a visit to the shrine.

The ritual when you entering the shrine is to cleanse you hands, face and mouth. Just follow how the local does it, but most of the visitor is tourists anyway and most of them didn't do it, and nobody yells at them

There's rickshaw rental in front of the shrine entrance, if i remember it correctly i think the price is around 700 yen per ride. while you riding it, the rickshaw's puller will point out places that worth seeing, but as far as i listen to it, most of the time they speaks in japanese.

as we continue walking and crossing the railway tracks, we encounter with a small shop selling traditional toys, they also selling other stuffs such as: massager sticks, bamboo baskets, bowls etc.

we took our bikes and heads to the main road and  randomly went to what we thought a residential area, but turns out it leading us to a place calls the Kimono Forest in front of a train station.

if you wondering "where the hell is the kimono?" The kimono is inside the tubes all around the station. As you can see that they displaying a variety of kimono patterns inside the tubes, and if you come at night, i believe the tubes  will light up creating an illuminating kimono line. click here for more awesome pictures about the kimono forest.

i didn't get inside the station because i was so awe struck with the sakura trees in front. but i recommend you to go ahead and go around the station because it is really worth to see.

it was a good thing we rented the bikes, because if we decided to walk around the area,  i think it will take us half a day to go to all the places we did by bike. It took us just around 2 hours by bike, so it was a save of time and energy.

after returning our rental bike to the shop, we got to the train and went straight to Fushimi Inari.
It was another 50 minutes ride to reach Inari Station.

it was around lunch time when we arrive at the front part of Fushimi Inari Temple and we were pretty starving, but don't worry , there's a lot of restaurants offering ramens, sobas, udons and rice set menus around the area.

Just ask for the english menu "Eigo no menyu" if you didn't see any at your table. the food range around 500~900 yen, me and my friends ordered a mini set menu that cost us 800 yen each.

You don't need to worry about the quality of the food, once again it was really good, the sashimi rice set that i ordered is really fresh, the fish meat taste so sweet with a hint of wasabi.

As for my friend's oyakodon, it also good, the egg exploded with savoury flavour, he gulped it down in a minute.

Fushimi Inari is famous for it Thousands Tori Gates, and its iconic icon of fox goodess: Inari.

just like in any other shrine, you suppose to cleanse yourself before entering it. 

Whats really unique from this temple is, their ema board is in the shape of tori gates not a normal triangle shapes.

the thousands tori gates located at the back of the shrine, be sure to wear a comfortable shoes because the way around the tori gates is a little uphills.


the tori gates goes all the way around the Mountain, if you plan to go all the way till the end of the tori path, i think you'll  need to be here early in the morning.

we started going to the tori path around 2 o'clock at noon and didn't even make it to half of the path when its starting to get dark. blame it on taking to many pictures at the beginning of the path.

after the hike, my tummy started to grumble for some snacks.But don't worry, there's always  snack stands around the shrine in Japan, so you don't need to worry about being hungry here.

i really can't miss to try this cute looking tai parfait, there's no ice cream use, just some whip cream, red bean paste, green tea mouse and some corn flake inside the fish. 

the taste? its good... everything i ate  in Japan always tasted so good. The red bean paste and green tea mouse when combine together really compliment with each other, not to sweet and not to bitter. the corn flake inside also add the crunchiness to the dough. ME LIKEY...

Next stop is Maruyama Park. 

It was said to be the best spot for sakura viewing at night, being it was our last night in Kyoto, we definitely must go to the park.

Maruyama Park located around the area of our hostel, it  was a 15 minutes walk through the main Street. Just keep walking straight across the bridge and keep walking straight till you see a shrine entrance.

Just keep going to the back of the shrine to reach the park. you will see food stalls and eatery places under the sakura trees. 

I bet it was so beautiful when all the sakuras is in full bloom, its a shame when we went there all the sakura petal is almost gone. The atmosphere also not that festive anymore.

Before going back to the hostel, we hang around the Gion District to catch a glance at the Geisha and Maiko. 

Just for your information, even though their wearing kimono, they sure walk so fast!! we were pretty lucky that we encountered with a Geisha standing in front of a tea house sending off her guest, so we have a clear shot at her. 

even more lucky, when we about to go back to hostel, we spotted an entourage of maiko and geisha crossing the road.

I don't know whether its just my feeling or not, but each time i took a shot at them, they always glance back at me ( considering there's plenty of other people also snaps at them)


It was a long day (and a long read too), but at the same time it was so much fun and excitement. I'm really glad that we could make it to all the places we plan to go and see what we hope to see on that day.

we when back to hostel and had a really good sleep

Onigiri + drink                       : 250 YEN
Train ticket to Arashiyama     : 220 YEN
Bike rental                             : 900 YEN
Sakura dango                        : 100 YEN
Chicken skewer                     : 500 YEN
Train to Inari station               : 240 YEN
Lunch                                    : 800 YEN
Tai parfait                              : 500 YEN
Train ticket to Maruyama       : 210 YEN
Takoyaki                               : 500 YEN
TOTAL                                :4.220 YEN 



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