When thinking of Kyoto I always used to think of shrines and geisha’s, but when I actually got there I found out that the historical capital of Japan has so much more to offer then just that. Take for example Arashiyama, Kyoto’s western district, home to a huge bamboo forest, a famous river/bridge and a MONKEY WILD LIFE PARK with baby Japanese monkeys (!!). Check out my picture report on one of my favorite places in Kyoto, Arashiyama.
These pictures were taken a year ago when I lived in Japan for a month, because of Chris’ exchange program at the Kyoto University. At the time I didn’t have The Beauty Suitcase yet and because I won’t be returning to Japan any time soon I decided I want to share my Japan pictures with you all in my Travel Thursday posts.
Every time Chris and I went out on a date we got ourself an ice cream cone. Here I’m holding black sesame-honey flavor and a black vanilla one. Black sesame is my favorite ice cream flavor of all times. In Japan fruit is extremely expensive, but since fruit is an important source of vitamins we tried to still eat one piece of fruit a day.
Our first stop in Arashiyama was the bamboo forest. I had always wanted to visit one. For some reason I’ve always associated walking through a bamboo with being in a Disney movie like Tarzan (my favorite hands down!). It turned out that my ‘magical’ expectations were grounded. How pretty is this place? If you ever get the change of going to a bamboo forest, I would say go for it.
At the end of the bamboo forest was a grave. I personally don’t find graveyards scary, especially when they are old. To me graveyards represent peace. Japanese ones are especially pretty to visit, because they are so different from Western ones.
After the bamboo forest it was time to visit Arashiyama monkey park. I have an obsession with monkeys. It might be because my Chinese zodiac is a monkey, or because of my grandpa calling me monkey as a child or because of the monkey plushie I used to have or or or… To keep things short: monkeys and I just go hand in hand.
In order to reach the monkey park you have cross the famous Togetsukyō bridge, also known as Moon Crossing Bridge.
On our way to the park we saw these pretty boats on both sides of the river. Japan is just so beautiful. I know a lot people are jealous of me for going to the USA twice a year, but I’m jealous of those going to Japan every year! We always want what we don’t have right…
Japanese signs are always cute. I think it’s a law over there that every single sign has to be cute. I can read Korean, but not Japanese. I’m assuming the sign is saying monkey park that way. If any of you know Japanese let me know!
After arriving at the monkey park I realized in order to reach the top (this is were the monkeys are at) I had to hike up a mountain (with stairs) this is just the first part….
But as soon as I reached the top and saw these cuties I knew the hike was worth it. How cute are these baby macaque monkeys?
Ever seen pictures of those monkeys that sit in a hot spring? Well those are these monkeys. They only live in Japan and are therefore also known as Japanese monkeys.
You’re not allowed to pet the monkeys obviously, but I can’t say that I wasn’t tempted!
Monkey park Iwatayama has quite a nice view over Kyoto. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy that day. After visiting the monkey park it was time to head back to the center of Kyoto.
Here we watched this great street performer who was in the center almost every night. One time when we were watching his act went wrong and one of the torches ended up in the public! Luckily nobody got hurt.
We decided to have ramen at one of Kyoto’s most famous ramen restaurants of which I can’t remember the name and while waiting in line outside this drunk girl ran into us. She was completely wasted (fact is most Japanese can’t handle alcohol well) and wanted to take a picture. In Japan you have to wait in line for a lot of popular restaurants, I would definitely recommend to try it once. It’s worth the wait.
Best ramen ever! You have no idea how hungry this makes me..
If you ever have to chance to visit Japan and you don’t know whether to go to Tokyo or Kyoto I would recommend you to choose the latter. Tokyo is cool, but you can’t spend more then a week there (at least I couldn’t), while after a month of living in Kyoto I still hadn’t seen everything. Kyoto has a place in my heart and I hope you can visit it one day, but for the main time you can enjoy my Travel Thursday posts on Japan.
On the map