Date Visited: 15th October 2013
Up to date, Kyoto is still my most favourite city in Japan. It's like love at first sight when I visited for the very first time five years ago. So when I return back to Kansai again, I decided to stay for two nights.
After checking-out from the second hotel we stayed in Osaka, we took train from Shin-Osaka station to Kyoto station using ICOCA card we bought earlier. Upon arrived Kyoto Station, we took Kyoto City Bus to our hotel located in Kawaramachi-dori. With only two subway lines in Kyoto, the ideal way to travel around is by taking bus cause majority of the stations located far away from the main tourist attractions.
Kyoto City Bus One Day Pass = 500 yen for unlimited bus rides
#1: Kyoto City Bus
One way bus ride cost 220 yen and with more than two bus rides, Kyoto City Bus One Day Pass is absolutely worth the price. Because the time we check-in was still early, the room wasn't ready yet for us. Without wasting any time, we left our luggages in the hotel and decided to venture Arashiyama, more outlying area from the city centre which is famed for bamboo forest.
From my maiden experience, taking bus to Arashiyama would be more time consuming and hence, may best be reached by train instead. Hopped on to Kyoto City Bus to travel back to Kyoto station for train ride. The nearest station to Arashiyama is JR Saga-Arashiyama and one way ride from Kyoto Station takes 15 minutes only under JR Sagano line.
#2: Platform number for JR Sagano Line
#3: From JR Saga-Arashiyama, head over to the south gate for the bamboo forest and it requires 10-15 minutes walk.
This is my second time to visit the bamboo forest but I think the route from the train station to there is relatively confusing with the lack of signboard printed. Both mommy and I relied on the map and asked for the direction from the friendly local and therefore, it took more than 20 minutes until we found the bamboo forest. Plus, it was raining on that day and making this trip uncomfortable.
#4: Despite the confusing route, I still love to return to this bamboo forest.
#5: Nonomiya shrine in the center of the bamboo forest
#6: Japan's parks and gardens are always so attractive and impressive
After taking the shots I want, we walked to Togetsukyo Bridge and passby quite number of restaurants and souvenir shops selling cute and adorable handcrafted articles. Too "kawaii" that we can't help ourselves from keep visiting all these souvenir stores.
#7: So kawaii but unfortunately, I didn't buy any of them. They weren't cheap anyway.
#8: Beautiful exhibition
From Arashiyama, we proceeded to Fushimi Inari Shrine by taking train.
JR Saga-Arashiyama ---> JR Kyoto ---> JR Inari (along the JR Nara line)
While on the way from JR Kyoto station to JR Inari station, we realised that we board on the wrong train cause the train didn't make any stop when reaching JR Inari station. Immediately we hopped off on the next boarding station, and took the right train to JR Inari station. Honestly to say even I went Japan for three times, I still board on the wrong train somehow. Silly me!
#9: Straight away from the train station, Fushimi Inari shrine was within our sight
Fushimi Inari Shrine is the most important and notable shrine in Kyoto city. It's a Shinto shrine dedicated to Inari, the god of rice, sake and prosperity. Somehow, somewhere it remind me of my favourite sushi, Inari Sushi when I heard the name for the very first time. Fushimi indicates the location and was added to the name in order to distinguish it from the rest of Inari shrines. But honestly to say what attract the visitors to travel all the way to here is for its astonish and exceptional sight of more than 10,000 small and vibrant orange torii gates that arch a long walking path up to the hill.
#10: Vibrant orange torii gates
#11: A walking path leads through a tunnel of torii gates
#12: The two dense rows of torii gates of Senbon Torii
Times were catching up and the day decided to give way to the night. We're absolutely exhausted and decided to go back to Kyoto station for dinner.
#13: Stunning Kyoto Tower