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A lifestyle blog by a London gal who loves plants, metal, bleaching my hair and Osaka

Saturday 27 February 2016

Exploring Arashiyama, Kyoto

So I went to Arashiyama, finally, with my friends just before the Christmas break. 
Arashiyama is an area of Kyoto famous for its bamboo forest and the Togetsukyo bridge.

How to get there:

I live in the sticks, so we took the bus to Ibaraki, then the Hankyu train to Katsura and then the local to Arashiyama. It didn't take too long (and the most expensive part was the monorail to Minoh on the way home) Arashiyama is super easy to get to from Kyoto or Osaka though. 
The train station was so cute, with lanterns everywhere. 

First of all, we decided to get some sophisticated brunch from a really cute café near the station. I have a slight thing for vintage looking teacups so it was right up my street.
And then we headed off to the monkey park.
We found a super cute music box (オルゴール) shop, and I bought one that plays Kaze no toori Michi (from Totoro). They had a tonne of songs, including things like Arashi.

We headed over to the Monkey park next. I have to admit being a teeny bit skeptical of this, and didn't really want to go at first. (I don't like wild animals that much).
Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised. It was cheap, fun, and the view of Kyoto from the top is awesome!
The monkey park is at the top of a hill so there are a fair few stairs to climb

You could get really close to the monkeys, although obviously you couldn't touch them. They were eerily human like.

Inside you can buy some peanuts or sliced apple to feed to the monkeys for 100 yen.
As it was the top of a hill, the the view of Kyoto was great. You could see Kyoto tower and Hie San.

Guilty of being slightly more impressed with the view than with the monkeys... Although the monkeys were pretty cool.

The monkeys put their hands (paws?) through the grill and waited for food. 

After that, we decided to cross the river and visit the famous bamboo forest.
The shops on the way sold really good Omiyage (souvenirs).

We found a shop with 食品サンプル (plastic food) on keyrings, earrings etc. So cute. I bought a lemon for me and an orange for my sister :) (I hope she doesn't read this before I get the chance to give it to her, eek)
The shop staff there were unbelievably friendly, they even gave us free green tea and 和菓子 (Japanese sweets). Stereotypical Omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) at its finest ♡
We stopped by a temple, but we didn't go in (the regret is real)

The entryway to the famous bamboo grove. I'm gonna come out and say it, I wasn't overly impressed. It's just bamboo, and there are so so many people. Maybe it's better if you go there in the morning? My recommendation if you're after bamboo is to go on the hike to the top of Mt inari (behind Fushimi Inari Taisha, which is a must-do. There there is also tonnes of bamboo, far fewer people and also loads of old interesting torii and mini shrines. And the view from the top is amazing. Anyway, that's for another post)

The tip to getting a good picture: cut out all the tourists on the path and focus on the bamboo :p

After, we walked round to "the" bridge of Arashiyama, Togetsukyo, which was pretty. We got Kyoto ramen and waited for the illumination to turn on.

Radioactive looking ice cream drink thing. We waited in the freezing cold, but in the end we couldn't wait until it was dark enough for the illumination to be impressive. It was super cold so we decided to head on home.
Train station was cuter than the actual illumination, whoops.
Also here's the terrifying snowman decoration outside JR ibaraki.
Thanks for reading! 
-Amy xoxo


  1. Looks amazing! I can't wait to hopefully see Japan one day xx

  2. It is pretty cool, you should definitely come if you have the chance! \(^O^)/


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