Apart from our transcendental experience with Buddhas high in the Koyosan mountains, our Japanese venture consisted primarily of city seeing. Kyoto was no exception.
We decided to visit the great city of Kyoto twice during our month in Japan since our first attempt was spoiled by four days of consistent rainfall.
We couldn’t ask for better weather our second time around and made up for all the sites we missed the first visit.
Like this blog post, we jammed it all in together!
Most of the must-sees were taken care of in just two swift days. On the first day, we saw the never ending orange arches of the Fushimi Inari Shrines, took some time to think on Philosopher’s Walk, and enjoyed a brisk ride along the Kamo River. Day two we traversed across the city to hang with monkeys and walk through a bamboo forest.
Sounds like a lot (and it was), but totally manageable and doable with one key element.
(And by bikes I mean bicycles. You may or may not find out later that Chris and I do not mix well with motorbikes.)
Two days of working out the mind and body 😉
First stop… Fushimi Inari Shrines.
The arches seem to go on forever. Over two miles of arches lead up to the base of a mountain, where the Inari shrine sits. Knowing that Chris and I had such a busy day ahead of us, we passed on walking the two hours of incline but I’m sure we could’ve handled it, no problem…
Next stop… Philosopher’s Walk!
A relaxing pedestrian path along the canal and lined with cherry blossoms. It proved to be a great spot for people watching and relaxing.
Maybe a bit too relaxing for some.
With sunlight still left in the day, we spent the rest of the afternoon biking along the Kamo River getting a feel for everyday life in Kyoto.
The next day we rented a couple more bikes and made our way across the city to the Bamboo Forest and Iwatayama Monkey Park.
The monkeys at Iwatayama park are technically wild but you couldn’t guess it by their behavior around humans. The park affords tourists the opportunity to feed the monkeys which, over the years, has turned these once-shy creatures into some of the most fearless (sometimes conniving) animals we’ve come across. It made for a really cool afternoon.
Keeping in mind that I have my own monkey to take care of!