From the japan Collection
On our second day, we decided to wake up early and head towards the Bamboo forest in Arashiyama (嵐山). We had to go to Kyoto station to take a local train San-In down towards Arashiyama. It was packed with people, shoulder to shoulder.
Once we arrived at Saga-Arashiyama station, we began walking up a street that had many souvenier and street food shops. We had our first Taiyaki for a local street vender here for breakfast.
We got to Kitasaga Bamboo grove (竹林の小径) and as expected it was insanely packed with tourists at 10am. The size of the bamboo in the forest were gargantuan. It felt like they were reaching hundreds of feet into the sky. We followed a nice winding path through the forest until we came out the other side passing through a few temples along the way. They had admission fees so we decided not to bother.
After the forest we headed along its edge, through a park and down to a river which would take us to our next stop, Togetsukyo Bridge (渡月橋).
Along the edge of the river we found a standalone Arabica. The shop was quite small and encased with glass windows for would-be customers to peer in. Toward the back of the shop is a grinder machine that they actually use to grind the beans.
With a little bit of walking along the bridge (it was PACKED) we came across something amazing. A sign for a monkey park, the Arashiyama Monkey Park (嵐山モンキーパーク). It was a 20 minute hike up some steep mountain with warnings plastered all along the way.
At the top of the mountain was the park. There were tons of monkeys free roaming amongst the people. There was a small caged hut that people were allowed in to buy peanuts and apples and we were allowed to feed the monkeys from behind the caged windows.
We headed back down to find some lunch. We ended up stopping at one of the many soba shops Arashiyama Yoshimura (嵐山 よしむら). Lunch was a soba set that included soba noodles, soup and a number of tempura foods.
After that we headed back to Kyoto JR to head back to the city. We stopped by a cute gift shop 嵐山ちりめん細工館 and bought some cute thread figures. Once back in Kyoto, we decided to venture in to the huge department store, Yodobashi Camera(ヨドバシカメラ マルチメディア). The place was huge and an assault on your senses. It was loud, bright and filled with all kinds of goods from Luggage to Books to Video Games!
On the way home, we saw some stray cats just chilling at the nearby temple. We then headed out a bit later for dinner at Gottie's Beef for some good ol steak. We then spent the rest of the night at a beer house CRAFT MAN where I actually spoke Japanese for the first time to tell the bartender that our friends were upstairs. We hung out with Jarques and Tina there before heading back to the AirBnB and turning in.