For those of you that may not have read my previous Japan posts, if you’d like to follow my trip from the beginning then please click here. We started off in Osaka where we spent the first three days of our trip and then moved onto Kyoto; after a busy first day there, here’s what we got up to on day two.
We got up bright and early ready for another jam-packed day of exploring. I was particularly excited for today because I knew that we’d be going to see monkeys and I’m such an animal lover. We made our way over to the Arashiyama district which is full of shrines, temples and plenty of other must-see attractions. The first thing we did when we got there was took plenty of photos of the Togestu-kyo Bridge, the photos really say everything for me here as it’s just such an incredible sight. I honestly could have spent hours just chilling out by the Katsura River, but we had monkeys to see!
We made our way over to the Iwatayama Monkey Park which is basically around a 20 minute uphill walk where you’re greeted at the top by troops of Japanese macaque monkeys as well as the most beautiful view looking over the city.
At first I was a little bit nervous around the monkeys as I was worried they might randomly attack me. However, there are plenty of signs advising that as long as you don’t stare the monkeys in the eyes or touch them, you should be absolutely fine. You also can’t feed them out in the open but there is a feeding station you can go into and buy apple slices to feed them through a fence.
I managed to get really close up to one adult monkey sat with a baby which was a really special moment, they were completely unbothered by me snapping photos of them looking adorable. I went into the feeding station after snapping loads of photos and I was really surprised by how gently the monkeys took the food out of your hands. They’re such fascinating creatures and I wish I could hang out with them every day.
View this post on Instagram
Feeding a Japanese macaque monkey an apple slice 🐒🍎 #monkeys #monkeypark #monkeybusiness #worldwanderers #traveltheworldtoday #traveltheworldofficial #womenwhotravel #worldtravelpic #roamingtheworld #travelandlifestyle #wanderingwomen #thetraveltag #globetravelgram #instavacations #dreamholiday #travelcaptures #letsgoeverywhere #igpassport #passportpassion
A post shared by Alice (@accordingtoalicex) on
After walking up and down the hill, we were definitely in need of some well earned lunch. Unfortunately I’m not sure of the name of the restaurant that we ate at but we originally went there to try curry udon for the first time. However, I think we accidentally ordered the wrong thing and ended up with something completely different (but still delicious). There was chicken in a tasty broth with noodles and lots of veggies, a really hearty meal which is just what I needed.
There was also a side bowl of rice with a layer of something on top but we had absolutely no idea what it was. I always get a little bit worried when I’m not sure what I’m eating but I gave it a try, however I think the not knowing altered my opinion on it in a negative way. The consistency of it really put me off and it was the only thing from the whole trip that I didn’t enjoy. From doing a Google search, I’m pretty sure I now know this to be ‘tororo‘ which is Japanese mountain yam grated, soaked and seasoned which is usually served on top of rice or noodles. I’d like to try this again knowing what I’m eating as I think I might enjoy it a bit more not being so anxious about trying it.
We had originally wanted to take a boat ride along the Katsura River but unfortunately the timings didn’t quite match up so we had to miss this. Instead, we walked over to Tenryuji Temple which leads us onto another one of my favourite places of the whole trip. This temple is considered to be the most important in its district and is registered as a world heritage site. The reason why it quickly became one of my favourite places was the absolutely stunning garden, probably the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen. There was a huge pond surrounded by trees with their maple leaves and the Arashiyama mountains in the distance. I felt so peaceful being here and could have easily sat there all day taking in its beauty.
As it started to get dark, we decided to make our way over to one of Kyoto’s most popular sights, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. It was such a one-of-a-kind experience to walk through this forest, it was almost like being in a completely different world. I would love to go again during the day so that I can take some pictures, I did try to get some in the dark with my camera flash on but I couldn’t quite capture it properly. A plus side was that it seemed to be fairly quiet so we could take a slow and casual walk through, enjoying our surroundings.
What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever tried?