Exploring Kyoto – Part 1 (Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari, Nishiki Market, Kinkakuji Temple & Gion)

I still remember coming across the picture of Arashiyama Bamboo Forest when doing a lifestyle based assignment at work a few years back. It looks like an enchanted forest to me & I was mesmerised by its beauty & tranquility. It didn’t help that I kept on seeing the similar pictures in my social media channels timeline.

I can’t shake my mind off this bamboo forest & I decided that I MUST go see it – which leads me to plan on my Japan trip.

The morning that I stepped out to explore Arashiyama was colder than usual. It was 7°C. Average temp would be around 10° – 12°C normally. I took the Randen train to Randen Saga-Arashiyama & I must say that this train station is a pretty one, with lots of shops surrounding it.

To go to the Bamboo Forest, just turn to the right at the station exit & walk in 10 minutes. You will pass by the entrance of Tenryu-ji Temple first, then just walk further up & you will see the Bamboo Forest entrance on the left. Now get ready to be blown away by its beauty & zen-nes:

img_1650
Chikurin – it means ‘bamboo forest’
img_8557
Breath-taking
img_2173
Bucket list ticked

I am supposed to visit the Togetsu-kyo Bridge as well while I am here, but my phone camera kinda screwed up while in the Bamboo Forest & left me feeling a bit down that makes me forget to visit the bridge -__- Oh well, this is an excuse to come back here, right? 😉

img_2175
Strolling around the area
img_2174
Autumn colours
img_1659
Nonomiya Temple
Processed with VSCO with f1 preset
Nonomiya Temple
Processed with VSCO with t1 preset
With the Jap school kids

Eateries & shops are abundant around this area. Just make sure you allocate an ample time to explore.

How to go here: Stop at Randen Saga-Arashiyama station (10 minutes walk)

Tips: Be early! If you want to take good pictures (without the crowd) and wants to enjoy the solitude of the bamboo forest, be here by 7AM – 8AM. Trust me, it’s not a pretty sight dodging the sea of people that will start to flood this place by 9AM

I left the bamboo forest around noon to get my lunch at Ayam-Ya near Kyoto station. This is a halal certified eatery & one of the best ramen that I have ever eaten! So please drop by here to eat when you are in Kyoto.

The next stop – Fushimi Inari

Oh my goodness.

img_9326
Entrance of the shrine

This was another breath-taking place that I have ever visited. The sight of the endless Torii gate was so magical. It was quite a walk up the hill & I did not managed to climb up to the top. Just half way.

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset
Beautiful

How to go here: Stop at Inari station (the shrine is just in front of the station exit)

On the next day, my destination is Nishiki Market, Kinkakuji Temple & Gion!

I made my way to Nishiki market & arrived there at 9AM. This market is located in the middle of the city, towards the back of a long stretch of modern shopping street.

Processed with VSCO with g1 preset
Nishiki market

There are a lot of yummy goodies that you can find here, but I must say that is has a different vibe than Kuromon Market back in Osaka.

I wandered around the market trying some foods & I came across another shopping stretch just beside the market – Teramachi Street. Saw Tully’s Coffee & I sat down in the shop to drink my compulsory daily morning coffee.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

After coffee, I made another round inside the market & then proceed to my next stop – Kinkakuji Temple.

I went to Kitaoji station & took my first bus ride in Kyoto to the temple. As I arrived at the front of the temple entrance, I am impressed by its beautiful autumn colours. But as I approached the temple after paying the entrance fee (400 yen), all I can see was a sea of people flocking in front of the lake where the temple is located -__-

Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful temple, covered in gold leaves all over.

img_2191
Kinkakuji temple
Processed with VSCO with s3 preset
The Golden Pavillion

As the sun down was approaching, I made my way to Gion. I went back to Kyoto station & thinking of taking the bus to Gion. But the line was sooo long & I have decided to take the train instead.

It was already dark by the time I arrived in Gion. It is just me or the sun disappeared so fast in Japan?

For dinner, I went to Naritaya since the restaurant is around this area. The chicken karage was amazing but sadly the Miso ramen was just so-so.

I walked around a little bit more to burn off the calorie & stumbled upon Kamogawa river. I have forgotten that Kamogawa river was in Gion. I finished off my walk in Gion with more shopping & ice cream (I did not managed to spot any Meiko or Geisha anyway).

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
Kamogawa river, where locals hang out
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
Soft serve ice cream

Tips: I recommend visiting Gion at both day & night to experience different vibe here

How to go to Gion: Take bus no. 100 or 206, or take the train & stop at Gion Shijo station

Useful info:

Train, Bus, Shinkansen, Airplanes schedule/route: Hyperdia

Info on Passes in Osaka: http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/plan/practical_information/travel_passes/, http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2357_kansai.html

Info on Passes in Kyoto: http://www.insidekyoto.com/special-kyoto-bus-train-subway-passes

Offline Map: maps.me (App Store)

Free Wifi in Japan: Japan Wi-Fi, Travel Japan (App Store)

Halal food guide in Japan: Halal Gourmet Japan, Halal Navi, MusNavi, Halal Media Japan, HHWT (App store)

Japan Group info in Facebook: Road To Japan

Accommodation: Airbnb (App Store – sign up using my ID here to get RM90 off your first Airbnb stay!)

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Exploring Kyoto – Part 1 (Arashiyama, Fushimi Inari, Nishiki Market, Kinkakuji Temple & Gion)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s