My next destination after spending two happy days in Takayama had to be Kyoto. Kyoto used to be Japans capital until 1868 and it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Japan. I decided to spend 3 days in Kyoto, which in my opinion is just right to see the main attractions and get a feeling of the city, but not enough to fully explore everything on my list. I stayed in a nice AirBnb apartment in the centre of the city and was beyond excited for my first proper day in Kyoto the next day, because a friend of mine who I met four years ago in Toronto, planed to take the train from Nagoya to Kyoto to join me.
After waiting for her in the morning on the train station we decided to take the bus to the Higashiyama District, the old town of Kyoto with many little shops, restaurants, souvenir shops and the Kiyomizo temple area.
We had delicious Ochazuke for Lunch and headed to the Nishi castle and afterwards to the Kinkakuji, the golden temple.
Unfortunately, this areas have been super, super crowed! It was basically impossible to enjoy the peaceful scenery and I only could imagine how quiet and calming the gardens have been in the past.
In the evening, I said goodbye to my dear friend and thanked her for a wonderful day!
Waking up super early the next day, I decided to visit Arashiyama. First thing in the morning I went to the Monkey park Iwatayama. I hiked for about 20 minutes and finally, I spotted the beautiful monkeys on top of the little mountain.
The next stop had to be the famous bamboo forest! As I woke up pretty early to went to Arashiyama, I was very pleased to have a less crowed scenery at the forest!
At my very last day, I tried to spot a Geiko (Geisha) in Gion, but I was quite unsuccessful. Gion was beautiful on it’s own though!
There was a Yayoi Kusama Exhibition in Gion as you can see from the huge dotted pumpkin but I could’t make it to the exhibition unfortunately!
I also went to the Fushimi Inari, again quite early, but it was super crowed anyway! I waited for quite some time to take my photos, so it worked out in the end!
And of course I had to visit Nara. Nara is just about an hour from Kyoto and Osaka and definitely worth a short visit if you are nearby. As I was planing to continue my journey to Hiroshima, I went straight to the Nara park to visit the freely roaming and very human friendly deers!
Although it was incredibly hot during these days and super crowed, I really loved both cities. And also, meeting my friend after four years was so lovely and we promised each other to meet up when she’ll come to Europe one day! See you then, Yoshiko!