Saturday, September 16th, 2017
Woke up this morning to a rainy day. I looked at the weather report and it said it would rain most of the day. But Abby and I had plans today to go to Saga-Arashiyama area to see the bamboo forest and then go see the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion). It wasn’t raining so bad so we decided to go out anyway and hope for the best.
We took the train again to get to Saga-Arashiyama area. We had to go to a whole different part of the Kyoto Station to get to the train that we needed. We took the local train and it would be five stops before we arrive. Once we got there we just followed the other tourist people. Once we got to temple called Nonomiya Shrine we had to turn left. We wanted to find the bamboo forest first so we made a mental note to come back here and check it out. It didn’t take to much longer to get to the bamboo forest after that. It was amazing!! The bamboos were so tall that you do feel like you are in a forest. The path starts out thin with a good amount of bamboo but once you go further in the bamboo forest the bamboos get taller and thicker. You will see some shrines along the way as you walk through the forest. There is even a small temple along the way. Once you get to the other side of the bamboo forest you will see a lot of tourist standing around waiting there turn to get there picture taken. If you take your picture at this point it will turn out really nice with the bamboo being at there tallest and thickest part of the forest. It will be a nice long path behind you in the picture where the bamboo looks like it will never end. Such an amazing thing to see. We took a different path wounding where it would take us. It took us to the residential area. It was a very quiet area with not many tourist people. The houses were very beautiful with a big gate or wall for privacy. The road between the houses where very nature like and beautiful to walk through without many cars around. We got turned around and ended up going in circles. So we retraced our steps and found our way back to the bamboo forest.
We finally made it out of the Bamboo Forest and I could finally breathe again. There where so many people there and even with the rain it didn’t stop anyone from going out and about. We went back to Nonomiya Shrine and checked it out. It was pretty nice. A lot of small shrines here and there throughout the grounds. You have to pay to go the rest of the way in but we decided not to because we were looking forward to seeing the Golden Pavilion.
We took a bus to the Kinkakuji area. It wasn’t too far from the bamboo forest but since it was raining we didn’t want to walk in the rain. To take the bus, it is a flat rate fee of 230yen. No matter how far you go. It will say on the bus wall if it’s a flat rate and if it’s not it will tell you when it won’t be a flat rate anymore and what stops those are. When the bus arrives you have to get on through the side door. Not the driver door. The driver door is used to pay for your fare and to exit the bus. So we got on the bus and we just stood on the bus because all the seats were taken. Once we arrived at our destination, Abby used her IC card and so did I.
Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)
Once we got off the bus, we just followed the crowd again to the Golden Shrine. You will have to pay to get into the temple. It’s about 500yen. Once you get in, you will have to walk a little bit but then you will see a split. You will want to turn right because that is where you can get a good picture of the temple and a selfie. It was AMAZING!!!! It was just amazing to see and all its wonders. I can’t explain how beautiful this temple was. So here is a picture. Not as good as it could have been if it wasn’t raining but you get the point.
We walked a little bit more after we got done with our picture taking at the temple. There are a few little things to see but not too much. The main thing at this temple is the golden temple itself.
We headed back to our hostel after that. We got some food and coffee and just rested after that. Once we got back to our hostel, a new girl moved in the bed next to Abby and across from my bed. We started talking to her. Her name is Dana and she is from New York. She is going to be staying in the hostel for one month to study Japanese. She just graduated from college and wants to get a job with an agency called JET. JET helps you get a job in Japan teaching English for one year. I hope she succeeds. It’s not easy to get into the JET program. The competition is pretty high.
Anyway, I told her about how I’m going to go to church in Osaka called Mustard Seed. I wanted to find a church that was bilingual in English and Japanese. I found one in Osaka that was close too Osaka station. We can just take the train to Osaka station from Kyoto station. Not too difficult. I invited both Abby and Dana to go with me. Abby said she might go and Dana said she would definitely go. We both wanted to make new Japanese friends. It’s good to have a local as a friend so they can give you all the information that you can’t find on the internet or books.
Should be a great day. We are planning to spend the day in Osaka after church service. Might as well see what is there before I have to stay in Osaka for three days. Hope you enjoyed the read. Talk to you guys again soon.