It’s time for another buddy event! Day 9 was specially suited to nature lovers like myself, as we were going to Arashiyama. Arashiyama is also a popular tourist destination, with many flocking to see the famous bamboo groves. But luckily for us, it was a weekday and it was raining, making an outdoor trip a less favourable for others.
We eagerly left as soon as we could though. Incredibly, just 10 minutes away from Ritsumeikan was Tojiin station, from which a private railway connected us directly to Arashiyama. This is when I learnt that taking the train was actually cheaper than taking the bus at times, which made me feel completely cheated, because we travelled a way longer distance and I still payed less than the bus fare.
We walked straight towards the bamboo groves since we had started the day late due to our classes, and the sun was going to set in about 3 hours. This is definitely not enough to cover all of Arashiyama and we had to skip on the monkey park (fine by me, I’ve seen more than enough) and come back to the traditional crafts stores later.
The natural beauty of this place was truly remarkable. Light was flickering through the thick green groves while raindrops continued to patter down. There was also a small, quaint shrine along the way.
Then we reached the main bamboo groves. This area was slightly crowded, but again, on that day there were significantly less people because of the rain (according to buddy san). Arashiyama is a nationally designated place of scenic beauty, and it’s not hard to see why.
After this we walked to the top of the hill to take photos of the view. It felt as though I had been transported to another land, I could have watched the clouds pass for hours.
We then headed down towards the river. This place is seriously post card worthy, the water being bright blueish-green.
Once again there were cute little ducks waddling about in the river. The surroundings were so colourful it all seemed so surreal.
There is also a large bridge that goes across the river to the monkey park.
We stopped along the river to get some ice cream (this was matcha ice cream number 3) and wondered around the shops for a while waiting for the sun to set. Food there was a bit expensive so we decided to buy dinner on the way back instead.
In December Arashiyama has night illuminations so we stuck around to see the groves light up.
It was actually more crowded at night, as the illuminations were only going to be there for limited time.
So far Kyoto was really living up to its reputation. Arashiyama was beautiful and I really wanted to go again, but unfortunately did not have the time. I really recommend it, and try to go when you know the crowds are going to be less!
We headed back the same way we came, stopping at izumiya to buy instant dinner. The supermarket was having closing time discounts (30% off instant foods!) and I had to fight old ladies to get my food; old people there are really sturdy! I walked 18690 steps that day, less than I thought I would.