Continuing my attempts to become the king of sightseeing, conquering all before me, I spent the majority of the day in western Kyoto, a mountainous area referred to as Arashiyama. It’s considered part of the outskirts of Kyoto, but was still only about 15-20 minutes by train from my hostel.
It’s not too difficult to find your way around town – just follow the gaggle of Japanese and foreign tourists steadily winding their way from sight-to-sight.
In case you haven’t noticed yet from my couple posts regarding Kyoto so far, this city is all about temples. So, of course, there are plenty of them to see in Arashiyama as well, but the main drawing point is the Bamboo Forest. As you can guess by the name, it consists of a pathway through a little forest surrounded by very tall bamboo stalks that tower above the floor.
It’s hard to measure the size of the stalks through a picture, but trust me, they make you feel tiny. It’s a nice walk through the pathway, albeit ending a little quicker than I had anticipated. Still, it’s a surreal environment and is little wonder why it’s at the top of things to see in Kyoto.
After stopping in a few more temples (one which was almost entirely covered in moss), I headed back to central Kyoto and walked around a bit of the nearby main shopping street. Not that I was particularly interested in splurging my money on Gucci handbags or small trinkets and charms shaped like cats, but it was a cool experience to dodge my way through hundreds upon hundreds of either middle-school or high-school girls in their school uniforms looking longingly at the latest fashions plastered on storefronts, most likely wishing they were wearing those instead.
Kyoto’s been great so far, although my legs would beg to differ after the walking I’ve put them through. Not sure where I’ll visit tomorrow, but like most days, I’ll just go somewhere that sounds/looks promising and wander around until I’m exhausted, hungry, or both.
Couple extra pics: