Trip to Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto {Part III.}

Our last day of this very impromptu trip was spent in beautiful Kyoto. A city so rich in history and culture, we knew a day trip simply wouldn’t be enough. Still, we couldn’t resist traveling there, if just to get a glimpse of Kyoto’s wondrous landmarks.

It was difficult to narrow down to just a few landmarks to visit. Our first stop was the Gion district, where we strolled amongst the lovely little shops, enjoyed traditional Japanese green tea and sweets, and visited the Yasaka Shrine.

Beautiful streets in Gion
Beautiful streets in Gion

IMG_3399

Can't ever get enough of street side food!
Can’t ever get enough of street side food!

IMG_3409Then, we cabbed over to Kiyomizu-dera, one of the most famous temples in eastern Kyoto. We loved the narrow street leading up to the temple, full of small shops and eateries. We definitely spent more time there than the temple itself. 🙂

IMG_3424

Tofu ice cream-- the softest, fluffiest ice cream we've ever had!
Tofu ice cream– the softest, fluffiest ice cream we’ve ever had!

kyoto2IMG_3434

We thought they were real geishas, but later learned they were actually tourists from Hong Kong pretending to be geishas....
We thought they were real geishas, but later learned they were actually tourists from Hong Kong pretending to be geishas….

DSC_4897Our final stop in Kyoto was Arashiyama, to see the famous bamboo forest there. I had wanted to see the monkey park too, but it closed so early that we didn’t make it in time. We arrived near sunset, and found lots of people with hard core camera equipment all set up near the water. Clueless but curious as to what they were waiting to photograph, we tried asking them in English, but received only awkward answers in Japanese. We later found out that parts of the mountain would light up once it got dark, and though it didn’t appear to be very mesmerizing to us, I guess it was a big deal to others.

DSC_4900

 

It took us over an hour to walk through the bamboo forest, because of the massive amount of people that were there. Fortunately, the locals in Japan are self-disciplined to maintain order, so it was much more bearable to inch our way through the forest in the dark.

IMG_3459
Now THAT was a mesmerizing view to me!

IMG_3488

We really weren’t able to get any good pictures of the forest as there were simply too many people around us, and we were all expected to inch forward without stopping. I hope to go back there another time, perhaps on a weekday, where it would be less crowded and I could really stop to look at the bamboo!

We ended our evening at the Kimono forest in Keifuku Arashiyama station, which was beautiful.

IMG_3498

IMG_3521

More street food!
More street food!

We left Kyoto that evening and rented a small space at the airport lounge for a few hours of sleep before hopping onto our super early flight back to Hong Kong.

kyoto4

Good-bye Osaka!
Good-bye Osaka!

 

 

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

Connecting to %s