All That Glitters Is Really Gold (Kansai, Japan Trip 2012, Day 10)

Day 10 was a busy day for us. We moved to another inn in the morning and visited Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺) and Hirano Shrine (平野神社) in the afternoon. We ended the day with cherry blossoms night illumination at Nijo Castle (二条城) in the evening. Three places in a day!

We stayed in a cosy guesthouse called Ikoi-no-ei (憩の家). Not only does the guesthouse provides accommodation, it also offers tea ceremony experience and kimono experience.

After we had checked in and settled down, we went to Kinkaku-ji. The building is really impressive with all that gold shining in the sun! Perfect for picture-taking.

We then went to the nearby Hirano Shrine. They have many species of Sakura trees in the shrine and they are in full blossom! There’s also a temple fair (庙会) in the shrine where we had our dinner under the Sakura trees.

Once our appetite had been satisfied, we headed to Nijo Castle to admire the night illumination of the cherry blossoms.

By the way, for those of you wondering how come I can still take photos after my camera died on me the day before. Well, I bought a new camera in Japan and these are taken by my new camera. 🙂

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A Stroll in the Bamboo Grove (Kansai, Japan Trip 2012, Day 9)

This was an unlucky day for me! Not only that we couldn’t follow our initial plan, my camera dropped on the floor and I couldn’t take any more photos after that.

Our initial plan was to take the Randen Arashiyama Main Line from Shijo-Omiya terminal in Kyoto to Arashiyama Station. Then we’ll walk to the Bamboo Grove via Tenryu-ji (天竜寺). After which we’ll take the Sagano Torokko sight-seeing train to Kameoka Station and take the Hozugawa Kudari boat ride.

However, we didn’t manage to get the tickets to the boat rides as they were all sold out. So we took the Torokko train to and fro and stop at Torokko Saga Station to take the JR line back to Kyoto.

Arashiyama-map

After we dropped off the tram at the Arashiyama Station, we saw that there’s a hot spring foot bath (足汤) at the station and we decided to take a dip. If you are worried about hygiene, don’t worry, everyone needs to rinse their feet first before dipping into the hot spring foot bath. After pampering our feet, we walked along the street dotted with shops selling sourvenirs and food to Togetsu-kyo Bridge (渡月桥). We had buns filled with sakura flavour paste for breakfast and my friend even bought a very pretty looking umbrella!

We then walked to Tenryu-ji and headed for the Bamboo Grove to take a slow walk to Torokko Arashiyama Station.  We then took the Sagano Torokko sight-seeing train to take in the view along Hozugawa River. Too bad I can’t show any photos here as my camera died on me at the bamboo grove. 😦

Tenryu-ji

Bamboo Grove