Originally, I want to visit the northern Kyoto in the morning for seeing the Kinkakuji and Ninnaji Temple, but since we woke up a bit late we rushed straight to Arashiyama. It's a bit outside of Kyoto, but thank God for JR, every place is connected.
Sagano Scenic Railway / Romantic Train
It's one of the highlights of the trip :) The railway started from Torokko Saga Station (next to JR Saga -Arashiyama Station). You can find the direction easily on the station.
|Direction on JR Saga-Arashiyama|
|JR Saga-Arashiyama station|
|the cue? find a huge locomotive outside the JR station, that's the Torokko Saga station!|
|Train Timetable and Station|
The ticket costs 620 yen (one-way) from Torokko Saga to Torokko Kameoka. The two-way ticket costs the same with two one-way ticket, so maybe you can go to Torokko Kameoka first, and choose how to go back : walk to Umahori (JR) station / take the Hozugawa River Cruise (4100 yen) / using the same romantic train. I choose to buy the two-way ticket, silly me :(
You can also choose what car you want (fully-open car or enclosed car), as the ticket officer can't speak English very much, I let her choose for me. She got me on fully-open car and the enclosed car on the way back. We were given the heating pad afterward, it's such a life saver!
|First time in my life using the heating pad|
|The fully-open car vs the enclosed one|
The scenery is beautiful! We passed by the mountain through short tunnel and following this beautiful river. We also passed by the river cruise boat whom's very alive and saying hi to us from the far! Hello!
|Say hello to Hozugawa River Cruise!|
|Tanuki statue at the station|
On the way back, we alight at one station before the Torokko Saga, and start wandering around the area. Alternatively, you can also took the rickshaw to explore the area. Most of the rickshaw man are handsome and muscular (of course)! ^^ But due to our size, I don't think we fit into a rickshaw, let alone carried in the rickshaw haha!
|Found another orange tree on the neighborhood!|
|Left : some fruit? Right : Tanuki peeking|
After the bamboo groves, we continue our walk and stumbled upon the river.
|Walk friendly environment|
|Found another ume flower|
|I wonder how beautiful this place in autumn|
|Calming scenery right? ;)|
|Left : Bento ; Right : Curry Rice|
Lunch was at some random restaurant around the station. Mr Chubby choose the bento which offering a beef dish and one of kyoto's specialty; yodofu (boiled tofu). The tofu is delicious, it's smooth and paired well with some katsuboshi and some savory broth (alike agedashi tofu broth). As for myself, as I'm famished I chose the curry rice. It feels like a home-cooked meal and very satisfying after our exhaustwalk.
|Pickles shop near the station|
There'a a grilled green tea mochi seller at the station! Filled with not-to-sweet red bean, it's a bit bland for my tastebud but nonetheless I loveee the smoky smell and the chewy texture yum! :)
|Cute baby at the trem|
At the Saga Arashiyama Station, we took the trem back to the city. The trem doesn't have any machinist and we can't find any machine to put our suica, and in short time, it arrives at Randen Saga station, our destination. I think it's the first time I'm being a freeloader, please don't do this at home T^T
Located not far from Randen Saga station, Ryoanji temple is famous for its rock garden.
|Temple map and explanation (English translation available)|
|I love the pathway to the temple main garden!|
|Rock Garden miniature|
The entrance fee is 500 yen, and we have to change our shoes with shoes provided by the temple. I am not artsy, but the rock garden is beautiful and although there's no green-y thing on the garden but you can feel the calmness just by sitting by the garden and just watch the sunlight shining through the trees around it.
|BEAUTIFUL rock garden|
|Left : Pond; Right : Water Basin|
Another (not so short) walk from Ryuan-ji is Kinkaku-ji Temple, also known as Golden Pavillion. It's also a zen temple, and it has amazing pavillion which covered in gold leaf! This picture couldn't do any justice, you have to see the real thing!
|Golden Phoenix on top of the pavillion|
After that, we get back to the hostel with a very tired feet and a much hungry stomach. Had dinner at some random modern pasta restaurant at Yodobashi, and it tasted great! Every single dish we had in Japan always tasted so good ^^
|Left : some japanese salad; Right : Smoked ham spaghetti in cream sauce = DIVINE|
That's it for Kyoto, do visit Arashiyama if you can, you won't regret it! :)