Area: Arashiyama & Gion

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Arashiyama 嵐山 (blustery mountain)

Arashiyama district located on the western outskirts of Kyoto. It is famous for the bamboo groove, Tenryū-ji temple, Iwatayama monkey park, and Togetsukyō bridge (one of the best spot for bright red at autumn and pink cherry blossom in Japan).

I really advice you to visit Kyoto at autumn!

My first morning on Kyoto spent on Kinkaku-ji, the golden temple. One of the cult thing about Kinkakuji is, it has survived wars, earthquake, and more natural selection but it got down after a kooky monk went cracked and burned it down -+60 years ago. Then the government reconsturct whole golden temple. Kinkakuji is one of the World Heritage Site.

Met some Indonesians moms there, we separated though they went inside the temple and we'd like to continue to zen rock garden Ryoan-ji. we feel like go to Arashiyama and not stopping at Ryoan-ji haha.

After took bus no.11 from Kinkaku-ji-mae (mae means front), we get off  on Tenryu-ji-mae bus stop. Start from the Sanshuin entrance, keep walking fowards and Tenryu-ji temple is the end of the road.

At Tenryū-ji learning hall front

It's almost autumn, tree tops are turing red..

Along the road there're many little temples with lots of maple trees. Such a shame I didn't went here on fall! :( After a short look inside, back to the street. Now we're heading to Togetsukyo bridge.

After walking south for around 10 mins, we arrived at the bridge. Lots of people, local and foreigner are buzzing around. I really want to go to the monkey park, but it's so far and need a little hiking so no thanks, I'd just walk to the other side of the bridge then have a rest then back again, haha.

Take a rest while catching breath on breezy yet summer-y heat! Feel so refreshed :) In autumn, everything will change to bright red in Togetsukyo bridge.

Lucky! Spotted a geisha-san/maiko-san oh her way, she didn't mind to take photo together :') 
Do you think she's real one?

Getting back to north, lots of charming cafe & souvenir shops along the path, heading for the bamboo groove.. is it just me or the bamboos feel a bit thin? Haha. Met two old ladies on the way back to main street after short walk within the bamboo forest. They lead us the way to nearest bus stop.

She told us that day, 9th Oct is the lucky day for Japanese, so people are going out to temples and other zen places like the bamboo forest. Also, there's many residences surrounding the back of the forest, of course they're all the rich people houses, she said :))

Private residence & flower fields just outside the bamboo groove.

We're still have half of the day to explore Kyoto, after leaving Arashiyama we stop at Kyoto Imperial Palace. Unfortunately, it's closed! :(

The palace is so far away from entrance! :))
The path is filled with rough little stone, prepare your shoes.

Guess we're out of luck~

It's getting late. Next, Gion the geisha district! Gion bus stop located just in front of Yasaka-jinja. Gion is not a red light district like Shimabara or Kabukicho of Tokyo, instead it's an upscale entertainment district with many ochaya (tea house) and kaiseki (Japan's traditional fine dining) restaurant.

The big intersection of Gion in front of Yasaka-jinja shrine.

Gion's rojiura (alleyway) feels so magical.

Inside the ochaya, geisha & maiko will pour you tea, dance, sing, play a simple game with you. Contrary to popular believe, geisha, was never meant to be a prostitute. A high-class prostitutes in japan called Oiran. However prostitution was outlawed in Japan in 1958. Such practical services also adapted to japan's subculture like maid cafe.

 Typical restaurant storefront at Gion.

Many tourist & locals rent yukata for photoshooting.

After Gion, we plan to get home by bus but we lost our wayy. Our guesthouse located just one block south of Gion, but by mistake we take the bus to north. It's already dark and we deserted near Heian-jingu shrine, everything about temple is super scary at night, especially the big Heian-jingu torii gate that I learned later was one of the biggest torii in whole Japan.

\( 'o'` )/

I took the torii gate picture from below.. Like the old lady we met at Bamboo groove said, 9th Oct is a lucky day with the brightest full moon of the year at night! Is that true? :0

My internet connection didn't work at that time and all we got is the bus navi map. Super scary and thrilled! It's already 10pm, buses are getting less and less yet we're still not sure which bus to take! Aand by miracle we're arrived safely at the guesthouse at an hour later, thank God!

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