I woke up early today (and everyday) and walked to 7-11, Lawson, and FamilyMart to get a variety of food for a day trip to Arashiyama. We left around 9:30am and traveled on the JR San-In line.
I had wanted us to go earlier so that there would be fewer crowds at the Bamboo Forest. I’m glad we did that! We then hiked up to Arashiyama Park and then had the “great” idea to hike to Mr. Ogura. It rained yesterday, and the trail is not really marked and had eroded over time. A previous hiker had marked the trees with red tape, and thank goodness for that. There were many a time we kicked up a rock and it would go falling down into an endless abyss and I could imagine us doing the same thing. We had to hold on to tree branches/roots to keep from tumbling down the side of the mountain just like the rocks. We lived to tell the tale though! We saw a small Inari Shrine at the top in addition to Mr. Ogura.
As a celebration for not dying, we walked along the Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street which showed the calming rural side of Japan. We paid 500 yen each to enter the Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple where we were able to take many nice pictures of their own bamboo forest and to avoid the crowds at the Arashiyama one. I thought we were going to head back, but we last minute decided to head up to Ayuchaya Hiranoya where I had researched is a Japanese style restaurant with tatami mats. We were served cherry blossom tea and ordered their winter appetizer special consisting of matcha and candied yuzu (only 880 yen!) We had a whole room to ourselves for most of our time, and the couple that came later helped us take some nice pictures to document this great experience!)
We then went to the more busy parts of town by crossing the Togetsu-Kyo Bridge where I bought a strawberry red bean mochi for 250 yen (other places were selling it for 350 yen. The monkey park had already closed (sad), but I think we were able to hear them at times? Wish we had more time here, but after looking at the Kimono Forest, it was time to go. We traveled back on the San-In line and had dinner at Yoshinoya again (this time, using the English menu. Anson had a large sukiyaki with side salad and I had a large beef bowl with miso soup).
Cost: Convenience store food 2207 yen, temple entrance 1000 yen, Ayuchaya Hiranoya 880 yen, Mochi 250 yen, Yoshinoya 1641 yen, Harves 537 yen = 6515 yen (~$50)