Kyoto was once the capital of Japan. This is why tourists like us who would like to see the “old Japan” are better suited to explore and experience this homey yet historical place.
Our target for today? Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge, Bamboo Grove, Tenryu-ji Zen Temple, Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Nijo Castle and the International Manga Museum 🙂
From our hostel, we had to walk through the subway to reach the bus station.
A bus ride took us to the well-known Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge. Another face of fall/autumn greeted our eyes. It was refreshing to feel the soft breeze while we were exploring the area.
The view at the bridge – amazing and captivating! 🙂
The mystical Bamboo Grove
According to posts on the internet, this bamboo grove is more mystical when visited at night because of the effect of lights that reflects on the bamboo when it turns into an eerie green.
The Tenryu-ji Zen Temple and its enclosure
Upon entering the gate, it was like walking inside the set of an old movie.
One thing I was able to appreciate was the canned hot coffee and tea from their vending machine. 🙂
The best things I saw in this enclosure are the Japanese Maple trees 🙂
After our tour of Arashiyama, it’s now time to board a train and another bus to see the next tourist spot.
The Golden Pavilion or Kinkaku-ji Temple
Months before going to Japan, this temple came out of my research. So it was really wonderful to see it in person. After securing our entry passes we were ushered towards the inner part of the compound – there we saw the Golden Pavilion. Most tourists are all taking selfies with the pavilion but for me what I really liked was the landscape and the artistry done to the surroundings of the temple.
Our next stop was the souvenir shop outside. We had fun choosing and buying souvenir items for our loved ones and we even took a photo with a tourism student trainee :). She was really friendly and helpful – she told us which bus to take for our next destination. A very good way to promote tourism since tourists like us are always guided 🙂
The Nijo Castle – a world heritage site
By now, we have already seen two temples and somehow we have grown tired and weary because of the long walk. But we’re not supposed to rest yet ’cause it’s now time to see a real castle with moat and all. So we decided to ride another bus and visit a world heritage site – the Nijo Castle.
First thing we did here is the guided tour inside the castle. Since the castle is really old, we were not allowed to take pictures nor touch the walls and tapestries for they might break or crack. Some parts of the castle are under repair/restoration. It only took us 10 minutes to finish the tour and start exploring the castle grounds.
While touring the castle grounds a realization hit me -imagine if you’re in one part of the castle ground and you are quickly needed inside the castle, how long will it take an errand boy or girl to fetch you? Remember, they have no cellphones during those times. 🙂
Within the castle’s compound are small souvenir, drinks and food stalls/tents, since it’s already late in the afternoon and we are tired and starving, we decided to try their menu. 🙂
The International Manga Museum
After another bus ride, all we need to do is walk towards our last destination for the day – the International Manga Museum. My niece was really excited, for she is a fan of Manga characters and she loves reading Manga comic books. We gave her 20 minutes to explore the museum and read one of her favorite Manga books in the reading lawn. 🙂
On the other hand, my cousin wanted to try Japanese cuisine, so before going back to our hostel we had dinner at an authentic Japanese restaurant and tried a Kyoto specialty – the famous Japanese pizza a.k.a. “okonomiyaki” complete with side dishes.
Since we’re not used to the taste of the Japanese pizza, I think we were not that satisfied with what we ordered and ate. But the thing is, at least we tried a Kyoto specialty. 🙂
It was a very long day for all of us since we have visited several tourist spots, but we enjoyed every single minute of our day. Tomorrow is our last day in Japan and we’re excited to go back to Osaka and meet our fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses. 🙂