In the morning, we headed to Arashiyama. This was an easy train ride from Kyoto station that took 20 minutes using the JR Sagano Line to Saga Arashiyama. This local shrine had carefully placed stones on top of each other everywhere.
We then headed straight into the dense bamboo groves, which also included a flock of tourists… not the peaceful green scenery I was hoping for.
We then strolled through the immaculate gardens of Tenryuji, one of Kyoto’s five great Zen temples.
Creepy bamboo roots. Creepy.
We then crossed the gorgeous mountain side river using the iconic Togetsukyo Bridge to head to Monkey Park Iwatayama.
We had to climb up a steep mountain for 20 or so minutes to get to the Monkey park. There were signs everywhere insisting not to stare into the monkeys eyes.. so when I saw my first one I was so scared not to look at them. I realised it was more of a precaution and you could look at them, if they weren’t looking at you haha.
The monkey park also came with gorgeous views. The monkeys aren’t as wild as you think, nor as domesticated. It was adorable. You were allowed to feed them if you went inside this shed to have a cage between you and the monkeys so they don’t go too nuts, over nuts. The irony was… the humans were in the cage while the monkeys were outside in the real world roaming and coming up for feeds as they please.
We then went back to Kyoto and headed south to Tofukuji to go to the Fushimi Inari Shrines. A place where lines and lines of red otori gates lined up one after each other. Seeing the map of the Fushimi Inari Shrine walking track small on an A2 size board is very misleading. We walked uphill for 30 minutes and only moved about 5mm on the map. We then decided to commit to another 40 minutes and ended up moving 1cm. This place must be huge. Seeing as we decided to do it at the very end of the day, it was then already pitch dark. The eerie vibes of random cats meowing and bugs whizzing passed me was enough for me to call it quits when I hit the night views of Kyoto. As I was also recovering from a bad flu my lungs were struggling to keep ascending.