Travel Post: Our Japan Trip - Day 10 (Exploring Kyoto - Tenryu-ji Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Monkey Park, Kinkaku-ji and Daitokuji)

This was the biggest day for us with lots of walking, traveling, eating and exploring!
My most memorable moment from Arashiyama was the soothing dam. It was cherry blossom season so plenty of tourists but pleasantly surprised (except for the occasional rude obnoxious tours) urgh.. See our journey below. 

We caught the bullet train from Osaka to Kyoto then switched onto the Sanin main line, arriving at Sagaarashiyama station. Then, you follow the clearly marked drawings on the road which will lead you to the main street in Arashiyama. This street will give you access to the Monkey park and the Bamboo grove!

Our first stop was to visit the Tenryu-ji Temple. Wow, it was so peaceful and tranquil (yes, even with many tourist flags hitting our faces) we still enjoyed admiring this beautiful building. Unfortunately this was closed due to a ceremony so we went straight to gardens.

As you can see from the pictures above, this garden is like no other. It's relatively small but the use of space made it amazing. You truly get the feeling that you're in Japan... 
Don't let our photos deceive you.We spent a good 10 minutes trying to find a spot where no one was photobombing us!!

This was unfortunately closed as well but it would've been nice to walk through the arches and hallway-like path. 

The exit or entrance depending on which side you came from leads you to the Bamboo groves.

There was just way too many tourists but we managed to find spots for a clear shot. We choose the worst time to go visit Japan (or so we thought) until we saw a couple having their wedding photo taken there (imagine trying to get a clear shot... you will be standing there for hours)

Now, I remember my first thoughts were "errr, it's not as green as it looked online" then it's kinda like "well duh, everything is photo-shopped these days"

Photo with added saturation above and......

The photos below are exactly how the bamboo grove looked like. No it isn't as green as it looks and actually, a rainforest in the Daintree is greener. 

After walking out of the bamboo groves path you will find little stalls with Japanese sweets and food. 

We got ourselves an ice cream and tried some true mochi freshly made in Japan.

These mochi were not your typical sweet mochi. It's actually salty and sweet and was an acquired taste. Even though I wasn't the biggest fan, I still wanted to finish it. Word of advice, just lick the sauce off your fingers. Don't even attempt to use a tissue. The tissue will stick to your fingers like superglue. It's sooooooooooo sticky... 

Ahh the soothing view of the dam and the backdrop of mountains, cherry blossoms and blue skies *sigh* just brought the beauty out of Arashiyama

Did I mention they give out samples on the streets? I tried this mochi which tasted like crystal clear water with a hint of sweetness. It literally melted in your mouth like a syrupy like texture. 

How can you visit Arashiyami and not go to the monkey park? I was so excited and I thought this would be like your traditional zoo.. Ahhh.... yes. I might need to think again. This park was on top of the mountain. YES a bloody mountain!

Make sure to allocate 20-30 minutes of pure mountain walking. It isn't a hard climb, but I walked half way up and literally gave up. I don't recall how many times I asked "are we there yet"..

Anyway, we made it to the top! YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEE (okay, now I need to freshen up... because the entire walk up I was thinking they better have toilets up there because I'm not walking all the way back down). After freshening up, I seemed to have lost my big Monkey (Matt), until I spotted him feeding real monkeys with peanuts! Where did he get the peanuts from?! They sell it up there for like 200 yen and there was a selection of fruits or peanuts. Make sure to choose the fruit. The monkeys didn't like the peanuts as much as fruit.

Look at that cheeky monkey scoffing down the peanuts.

Matt got to hold hands with a baby monkey! :) 

As did I but a baby monkey chucked a tantrum and literally whacked the peanut off of my hands and onto the floor *grrrrrr

Anyway, you can find this view outside of the monkey feeding area.. absolutely breathtaking isn't it?

See if you can spot monkeys in the trees below you. We found one grooming another monkey...

Aww, I love how monkeys have human characteristics. Speaking of monkeys, do you see the monkey in the photo below? He is the one on the right!

The staffs at monkey park are super friendly and offer to take photos for you! Why not, we're tourists. Photos all the way!! *a photo of self accomplishment of walking up the mountain T__T*

Okay, walking down the mountain was MUCH easier. There's a small park with a playground too! Yes, I couldn't resist and slid down the slide instead of walking down. Can you kinda see the slide on the left hand side?

Random fluffy rabbit on the street - without a doubt,  he was like the pied piper to women, with the rabbit being his flute. I doubt this rabbit will be here next time we visit, but it was cool to see on our travels!

We caught the Randen (a self driving tram!) from Arashiyama to Kitanohakubaicho station. Before venturing back into the city centre of Kyoto (which is quite small and peaceful might I add) we stopped to enjoy a nice snag snack with oozy cheesy sauce from Tully's whilst waiting for our Randen.

Thank you again pocket wifi as you took us places that are not on websites. You took us to the back streets of Northern Kyoto and I was amazed at the architectural structure of each house. The street is so clean, so safe and quiet. 

By now we were exhausted and wished we had seats on the Randen. Next stop....

The golden temple in Kyoto is something else. When you see it, you really need to take a step back and realise how crazy it is to have a temple completely covered in 24K gold. Once again, there were tourists by the busload, so it is VERY difficult to take a photo without having a random person in the background. Even the selfie stick won't help us now!

As we left, I needed something sweet and couldn't resist having another icecream from another icecream vending machine. We need these Lotte icecream vending machines in Sydney.

After Kinkaku-ji we decided to not catch the bus or any forms of public transport and instead (I don't know what was going through our heads) decided to walk to the closest train station. YEPPPPPPP, we instantly regretted it BUT it did allow us to enjoy Northern Kyoto in a different way, like a local.

We walked past a beautiful flower shop... so colourful, open and nice. We also popped by Daitokuji temple, but unfortunately everything was closed :(
Daitokuji temple is a collection of smaller temples and they specialise in rock formations. It was hauntingly quiet in this temple though. Probably because it was quiet, although we felt safe at every corner.


Back to Kyoto station we go. 

We took one final shot of Kyoto Tower at night and said bye bye to Kyoto and Arashiyama.
 We trained it back to Osaka.

Want to read more about our Japan trip? 

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