Touch down and Arashiyama

7 Dec

*Warning: Photo-heavy post.

“I can’t believe we’re really here” was my first thought when we arrived at the Kansai International Airport (KIX). I was half expecting manga characters coming to greet us Youkoso! right off the plane.

But no, it was like a normal airport. Immigration was a breeze, no nasty questions. They took our photo, prints, stuck a barcode to our passports and we were free to explore the land of the rising sun. Sweet!

So off we went to get our JR day pass.

First stop Kyoto. First challenge finding which platform to go to. We reached the right platform just when the train was pulling away. What a way to start the day. We had to wait for an hour for the next train – which made us late for our check in time (our Machiya closes between noon and 4pm for cleaning). So we had to leave our bags at the train station and go straight to Arashiyama. It was the perfect timing for our first day in Japan.

Arashiyama is a small town west of Kyoto. It was like a half an hour (or less, not sure) train ride from the city center. Most people go there to see the bamboo forest. It was a very nice introduction to Japanese ‘culture’ and I’m glad we started our trip with this.

Of course we too went there to see the bamboo forest. Parang Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon lang ang drama.

“Toto, we’re not in Paris anymore!”

A downside of Arashiyama being beautiful is that it’s packed with tourists. When we were there, there were at least 3 groups of students on a field trip and more Japanese (adult) tour groups.

Aside from the bamboo forest, the town itself is super kawaii. There are tons of shops along the street but it still keeps it “old school” vibe.

we called this the ninja tuktuk

japanese school kids

We thoroughly enjoyed our walk around Arashiyama. There are other things to see there aside from the forest. Temples, parks, shops. If we didn’t just come from a long-haul flight we might have stayed longer and checked out the monkey park, the temples and maybe even the boat ride along the Hozu river. But we were sooo tired and we saw what we came for.

And just like that, it was time to go home. And do a bit of “siesta” (read: 6pm to 8am the next day).

Bye Arashiyama!

How to get there from Kyoto:

JR Sagano line from Kyoto station. 15 mins. 230 Yen. Stop: Saga-Arashiyama.

More information here.

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One Response to “Touch down and Arashiyama”

  1. vivalahighstreet December 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Nice blog:)I stay in Osaka but never heard of this place…but the pictures look so amazing:) nxt weekend I will definitely go there:)

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