Day 1: Arashiyama
Destinations: Bamboo Forest, Tenryu-ji Temple, Kyoto Train Station
After breakfast, we got ready to check out of the hotel. We left out luggage back at the hotel while we made our way to the famous Bamboo Forest.
The forest is actually a lot smaller than I thought but it’s still definitely worth walking through the grove. It’s one of the main attractions I was dead set on visiting. The towering bamboo stalks sways gently in the wind and the soft rustling of leaves takes you to a place that is really neither here nor there. You would have to go and see for yourself to see what I mean. The forest is a really scenic place and is popular with tourists and young couples. I even saw a bride getting her photos taken here!
The temple is located right outside of the bamboo forest so we popped in for a quick visit. When we went that day, part of the temple was closed for some reason so we only got to walk around the gardens.
After visiting the temple, we did some last minute shopping before heading back to pick up our luggage from the hotel. We then took the bus to get to the Kyoto train station. Japanese buses operate a little differently than its Western counterparts. You first step onto the bus and pay the fare when you get off whereas American buses require you to pay when you first get onto the bus. The bus also allowed us to bring our luggage with us but we had to pay a little extra.
Kyoto Train Station
After hauling our luggage to our hotel room and collapsing on the bed for a good hour, we walked over to the Kyoto train station. We were suppose to visit the Fushimi-Inari Shrine but I was too exhausted/hungry to even move so we decided to save it for another day.
The Kyoto train station isn’t anything like its sad American counterparts. The station is bustling with life and filled with various restaurants and stores as commuters made their way home after a long day. There is a lot to eat here at the station and the Kyoto train station even has a Ramen Street on the 10th floor of the building. We just grabbed a quick bite to eat before walking up to the welcome gate.
There is a set of gigantic stairs inside the station. I believe you can access it by going under the sign that says “welcome gate” and go up a flight of stairs. The steps are lined with LED lights and light up to form different images that are unique to Kyoto. The images change based on season and since we visited around early September, we saw images pertaining to autumn.
You can also see the Kyoto Tower from the train station.
End Day 1