Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Japan Day 2 - Kyoto

20 Feb - Today is the day we will be going to Kyoto on our own as YB stayed behind in Osaka to do his shopping. Since we have never visited Kyoto tourist attractions before, we targeted 2 sites for the day - Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari-taisha, two very well known places in Kyoto.

To beat the crowd, we decided to set off early from Osaka and rely on Google map to tell us which train to take to Saga-Arashiyama JR Station from Osaka. The folks at Google must be a genius to integrate all these information and make them available to people at their fingertips on demand. I can't imagine how can I survive the trip without Google map as taking trains in Japan can be very very challenging. Just imagine there are 25+ platforms in a typical station and you are wondering which platform to go to for your train.....

Arriving at Saga-Arashiyama JR Station 90 mins later

Entering Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Bamboo Canopy

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove starting point

After we had enough of photo taking, we took a leisurely walk through the Arashiyama Park to enjoy the nature scenery and peace before making our way slowly to Togetsukyō bridge.

At peace with nature

*mds* mentioned the river water is glittering in the sunlight and I decided to capture it with my camera lens with shocking effects.

Scenic shops in the park closed during off seasons

Togetsukyō bridge in the background

Togetsukyō bridge

After we are done with the bridge, it was closed to noon time and our stomachs are hinting to us it is time for lunch. We tried walking around the area hoping to find a ramen restaurant that serves decent food but all we got are soba noodles or udon. In the end, we settled for soba noodles at a shop next to the Saga-Arashiyama JR Station. Thank God that we did ate there as the shop gave us 2 raffle tickets to participate in spinning the wheel game at the JR Station.

Look familiar? Reminds you of the lottery in the Tabikaeru game didn't it?

After we finished the game (we got 2 white balls), we depart for our next destination - Fushimi Inari-taisha. The highlight of this attraction is the rows of torii gates called Senbon torii as they lined the path snaking its way up and down the mountain. It is estimated there are about 10,000 torii gates along the paths.

Fushimi Inari-taisha entrance

Front view of the torii gates

Back view of the torii gates

Torii gates making in process - applying the finishing touches.

Initially, we wanted to walk up the paths available in the mountain, but after the exhausting climb halfway through, we gave up and decided to return back to base. By the time we reached the entrance, it was close to 6pm and we decided to head back to Osaka, dropping by Kyoto to have our ramen dinner.

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