Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Kyoto Day 1: Arashimaya Bamboo Forest, Iwatamaya Monkey Park, Gion

We wake up very early in the morning after touring Tokyo the day before to take Shinkansen/ bullet train to Kyoto at 6 A.M.

Inside the bullet train: we only took two carry on luggage with us and left one luggage at our hotel in Tokyo, where we gonna stay two more nights after our Kyoto trip. The perk of traveling by ourselves is the flexibility of choosing where and when to go instead of depending on the tour/ other people schedule.

They allow children under 6 years old to travel for free so we only bought 3 tickets. If the train is not full we can sit at any empty seat. We bought sushi breakfast at the train station before hoping in the train.

Once we got to Kyoto Station, we bought the daily bus pass and went straight to our hotel. We chose this hotel because of its strategic location (close to Kyoto Station), new, clean, and has washer and dryer. The only con is it doesn't have onsen. I was told however, there are onsen places that we can go nearby the hotel.
After dropping off our luggages, we went straight to the West part of Kyoto, which takes about 1 hour by bus. Didi was so happy having to seat behind the driver.

Not long after I took this shot the bus driver was pointing a sign to us . Turn out we are not allowed to take picture inside the bus to avoid distracting the driver and other passengers. Oops sorry. First stop: Arashimaya Bamboo Forest 

So very proud of these two. They walk and walk and walk without coplaining. 
I wish I can borrow this bike. Actually, our hotel has bikes to rent but they don't have kid bike.
From Arashimaya bamboo forest we took a taxi to Iwatamaya Monkey Park. The two places are very close actually but we knew we gonna have to hike up at to the monkey park so we chose to pay a little bit for taxi and to save same energy.
According to the brochure, the hike should take approximately 20 minutes but it took us 45 minutes to get to the top.

Good thing they have small playground at the peak. A fun reward for the kids:
Finally we saw the monkeys. They were so well behaved. Unlike the monkeys in Bali's monkey park
They have this shack for visitors who want to feed the monkey
So the monkeys only ask food from the people inside that shack and didn't bother the visitors outside.

We also got to enjoy Kyoto view from the top

Last picture of the monkey before we hike down. I told Chris to get the picture of its cute bottom.  :D

 Beautiful scenery around the monkey park

Rewarding ourselves with ice cream after the hike:

Next stop: dinner at Gion. We took Hankyu Railway to Karazuma station (downton Kyoto) then walk about 10 minutes to Gion.

Found this restaurant at tripadvisor. Don't forget to take off your shoes and put them inside the locker:

Trying to spot geisha but couldn't find one. O well... it's time to head back to the hotel.

 Next: Kyoto Adventure Day 2....

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