Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Kyoto II: Arashiyama/Takao

On the third day of our Kyoto trip, we ventured a little farther outside of town to Arashiyama.
Here we toured a large living area, perhaps a former shrine, with lots of tatami and wood, but very few other tourists.

After the dwelling, we toured the gardens, which included this pool with frogs.
Finally the garden spills into the main attraction: the famous Arashiyama bamboo forest.
Once out of the forest we found a quiet trail down to the river where one could take an old-fashioned skiff across (or walk a little farther and take the bridge, as we did).
On the other side of the river is the monkey park. After a steep hike up the hill, we made our way to to the park that is home to maybe 50 or so wild monkeys. These ropes are merely there to keep the people from going too far. The monkeys can go wherever they want.
However, since inside this building people buy peanuts and bananas to feed the monkeys, they don't tend to stray very far. Peek a boo!
And finally we ventured even further outside of Kyoto to Takao. A visiting researcher raved about this place, but he failed to mention the long steep approach.
But it was well worth the hike. Unlike every other temple in Kyoto, this one was absolutely empty. We were the only four people in the area, so we just wandered around at our leisure. It was a completely different experience from the rest of the trip.
And the view of the valley from up there was incredible.
'Twas a rainy but peaceful day.

No comments:

Post a Comment