A half day trip to Arashiyama, Kyoto will always be one of memorable moment in my life. The beautiful scenery that Arashiyama offers, its also because it is my first experience with snowfall. Being unprepared for such cold weather, i almost freezed myself when the snow falling down heavily. Seems that 3layer of clothes (heattech inner, down jacket and outer long coat) with 2layer of glove still makes me shivering. Now I know that I really fail in cold weather. Hahaha… Luckily the heavy snowfall ended within an hour later.
The journey to Arashiyama by Hankyu Train from Kyoto City took about 45minutes. It was pleasant, not that many crowd visiting Arashiyama the day we were there, which fit our plan just fine. Most of the articles in the internet wrote that Arashiyama is particularly beautiful during the cherry blossom and autumn leaf season, but I can guarantee that the scenery during this winter season also already make me speechless.
Togetsukyo, a famous bridge, which is said to be Arashiyama’s symbol is just 10minutes walk from Hankyu Arashiyama Station.
The Tenryu-Ji temple (Heavenly Dragon Temple) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Five Great Zen temples of Kyoto, established in 1339 C.E. by Shogun Ashikaga Takauji. The garden in the temple, aptly named ‘One Hundred Flowers Garden’ is a nice place to view cherry blossom and other types of flowers. Those who have a keen interest in Japanese culture and history may visit the other temples (e.g. Gioji Temple, Jogakkoji Temple, Nison-in Temple) in the area.It boasts amazing gardens and views of the surrounding mountains.
Towards the end of the gardens, the scenery started to change as we approached the famous bamboo forest. The walking paths that cut through the bamboo forest make for a nice walk. The groves are particularly attractive when there is a light wind and the tall bamboo stalks sway gently back and forth. We spend some time to take some awesome pictures here even though it’s much more impressive in person than in a photo.
While walking on the paths through the forest as heading towards Arashiyama station, we stop for a while at Nonomiya shrine. It is the shrine that appears in the Genji story’s Kareki. It is worshiped by the people as the gods of destiny and safe birth.
check out the drain… yes! Crystal clear clean drain! Only in JAPAN!
One word of caution, a lot of walking here; like really ALOT, wear comfy shoe and look good. However, you can also take a rickshaw ride. These Rickshaw drivers do not only take passengers to their destination like a taxi, but also give tours of temples and shrines with a detailed explanation.
Most of souvenir shops and restaurants was located along the main road. For Muslim, halal food is impossible, please bring some snacks or pack your lunch if you plan to spend along while here.
I really like Arashiyama. It had more of a small-town feel to it than Kyoto City or Nara did. It was peaceful and quiet there, unlike the atmosphere that we have found at other tourist sites. Although fighting to keep ourselves warm, we spent a good amount of time exploring this area by foot. We took our own sweet time walking and snapping pics at the same time. Seriously, Arashiyama is an area where everything was done on foot; there nothing much to narrate or explain, it’s pretty much scenery all the way.
How to go to Arashiyama ? Please click here