|Bamboo Forest, Arashiyama|
On Saturday, SMS and I left the house at 7:50. We took the train to Shin-Yokohama where we caught the Nozomi Shinkansen down to Kyoto. We arrive at 11:40 and took a taxi over to the apartment. I found the listing on Airbnb.com and I highly recommend the place. It was a cute, minimalist apartment with two bedrooms, 1 toilet and 1 shower room (these are most often separated in Japan housing). It would be a great place to base a longer trip to Kyoto, but SMS and I were limited by prior commitments we had in Yokosuka on Sunday.
SMS, Marissa, Blake and I met at the apartment and dropped off our bags. The weather was much better than the forecast so I switched plans and we headed to Arashiyama. I had originally planned to go on Saturday but since the weather was so good and everything in Arashiyama is outside, we decided to head West.
Since the overall trip was pretty short, we took taxis almost everywhere. The buses aren't bad, especially for the central and east parts of the city, but for four people, a cab was only slightly more expensive than subway and train fare. We were dropped off along the river near the Togetsukyo bridge, or "Moon Crossing Bridge." While we were in the cab, we listened to a podcast and we all felt very knowledgable!
Before heading off on our Arashiyama trek, we stopped for a heavy snack. SMS was hungry and ordered ramen for lunch. Blake and I ordered croquettes for a snack. I didn't want to have too large of a lunch since we were going to have a great dinner later that night.
|At the Villa, aka my Vacation Home!|
I took a lot of pictures at the Villa and was so impressed by the vivid Fall colors. Afterwards, we went to my favorite washi shop and headed to Gio-ji. This was the only disappointment of the trip because I was so excited to show off my favorite temple but it's gorgeous carpet of moss was covered with leaves. Nooooooo! It was still beautiful and worth seeing, but I was a little non-plussed. Marissa tried to cheer me up, which was sweet and sort of funny because it really wasn't that big a deal. It's just I had really built it up and with the Fall leaves, the main attraction (for me) was mostly obscured.
|Gio-ji, covered in leaves <:o(|
|Kinkakuji and our new friends!|
We went home and got ready for dinner. We went back to Takuma, our favorite restaurant from last time. This time we had table seating instead of counter seating so we lost a little bit of the showmanship aspect, but the food was just as delicious. Although there were some variation on the specifics, the courses were the same as our last visit.
We walked home through Gion, which was beautiful. On the way home, we walked through the Kennin-ji grounds, which were beautifully lit. It started to sprinkle so our walk ended at the perfect time since we were nearly home by that point.
That was the first half of the trip, just under 12 hours in Kyoto. Isn't it amazing how much can be seen while on vacation?! I wish work life felt that efficient sometimes!