I had to do a lot of the boring stuff like washing clothes and pack so my luggage didn’t weigh to much *yarn* 😀 It actually turned out to be quite a challenge since I’d almost 50 kg luggage when I arrived to Kyoto (some was food too) and had to reduce it to 37 kg. I’d to leave some stuff behind I wasn’t happy about but the world is still working 😉 As soon as that was done I left for Arashiyama in the western outskirt of Kyoto just by the foot of a mountain.
I was lucky again that JR-railway had a train out there so ones again my JR pass gave me a free ride. It took about 30 minutes to get there from the center of Kyoto.
First I went to the zen temple Tenryu-ji and it had some spectacular temple rooms and an amazing zen-garden really to die for but unfortunately this clearly was a money machine for them in a way that made me leave without having seen it all. Every little thing cost and I prefer to buy a ticket and then I’ve access to it all. I don’t mind paying the price but when you for “every step” you take have to pay more I get irritated. In all a very beautiful place but I’ve seen more beautiful temples than this in Kyoto.
The Bamboo grove was just at the end of the Tenryu-ji famous garden and I came for the bamboo forest and I loved it. I love bamboos and even in rain weather it was still amazing.
On the way back I went through the shopping area and walked the bridge to the other side to get some interesting pictures and it was really lovely. It’s a tourist street but in the cute country way.
I had one of those clumsy days so I managed to poke several people with my umbrella 😀 fortunately Japanese are very polite and the tourists didn’t say anything 😀
I also managed to see the imperial palace and to my huge surprise the out door area around the castle was open to the public. It was so interesting to be inside the wall and get a glimpse of the lifestyle. The biggest surprise was that it was free in spite of all the staff they had on the place. Even without entrance to the castle it had been amazing just seeing the garden around.
This became one of those days I’ll never forget. Before I left the studio I rent I manifested to meet people who would help me out.
My day started with quite a rush because I’d to send postcards and a parcel before the guided tour in Kyoto started at 10.
The walking tour around Kyoto is 5 hours and I had it recommended from Daniela (an amazing lady staying at the retreat). This tour was really amazing and the guide knew so much about the city. We saw the mother ship of temples, different shrines, a fan shop, a candy shop (it’s art here), the building where Nintendo started and much more. It was so worth the money.
We were 10 people on the tour and I met a couple on their honeymoon and the lady was a surgeon and suddenly she began to ask questions and I got some really important help according to my health. I learned that a social health system is good if you have things that is “normal” but if you are a little outside the box the American system is much better.
Beside that I met Shigeco on the tour – an amazing local lady – she was on the tour to learn about her own city. She asked me after the tour if I wanted to spend time with her and then she helped me get a second hand kimono in the old fashion traditional colours. The best of all is that second hands kimonos looks like new but cost so little. Then she used several hours on guiding me around in the area around Gion and I saw some amazing shrines, the Kiemizu-deta temple and walked in some old streets. One of the shrines was for relationships and I had to walk with closed eyes from one stone to another without help and I did it. Therefore I now should have my loved one heading in my direction 🙂
I’d planned to take the evening tour around Gion with the Walk Kyoto but I lost track of time with Shigeco so instead I went to the light festival at the Shimogamo Shrine and it was so mind blowing walking though the forest towards the shrine and all the trees was coloured by light while a soft music from singing balls surrounded me.
Then I headed back to the studio to eat -but I can tell you my feet hurt like hell after a 12 hours with just a few breaks, but it was all worth it 🙂