We just came back from Iceland and Amsterdam so I will doing a few posts about it in the coming weeks. Well, whenever I finish unpacking and uploading my photos. But, as promised, part deux of our day in Arashiyama. You can find part one of our day here.
After we visited the monkeys at the park, we wandered into town to see the rest of the temples and the famous bamboo forest. But first, we had to stop for some sticky buns.
We walked into the grounds of Tenryuji Temple, but most of the temple was under construction. This is the only photo I was able to take, sadly. It looks so majestic from the outside, so make sure to stop by. It's one of Kyoto's five great zen temples and the largest one in Arashiyama.
After we left the temple a bit disappointed, we tried to figure out how to get to the bamboo forest. The city is easily walkable (and if you want, easy to ride your bike rental around) but for some unknown reason, we had such a hard time finding the bamboo forest. It's almost like we were walking around it forever, but never quite finding it. There weren't any signs pointing toward it and the map we had kept stirring us the wrong way. But after 45 minutes of aimlessly walking around, we finally found it! And of course, as usual, it was right under our noses.
Let's just say it was worth it, as the forest is unlike anything we've seen before. What really stuck with me though was the soft noise of the bamboo moving back and forth, rubbing against its next door neighbor, ever so gently. It was such a peaceful sound. I almost forgot that I was surrounded by rowdy tourists and random kids running around.
After walking along the bamboo forest path for a while, we headed back to the bus stop to grab a bus to the Golden Pavilion. The buses in this area come often and are easy to ride. The drivers were super helpful when it came to transfers and figuring out what bus to get on. As soon as we jumped on the bus though, it started raining. We got soaked as we entered the temple grounds, but luckily we had our ponchos with us. The Golden Pavilion or Kinkaku-ji Temple is a replica of the original temple that, you guessed it, burned down in 1950. After surviving a war where all of the buildings but the Pavilion were burned down, a monk with alleged schizophrenia burned it down and was later caught and imprisoned. The gold leaf exterior has a special purpose as it repels negative thoughts and feelings toward death. You can't go inside, but you can walk around the gorgeous gardens after catching a glimpse of the gold temple.
And that was it for our day trip to Arashiyama. It was one of my favorite stops of our trip. I may or may not have to do with the monkeys :).
In case you missed it, here's part 1 of our day in Arashiyama. These pictures were taken on October 2013.