One of our more memorable days in Kyoto was visiting the area of Arashiyama. Originally this area was a walking area reserved for Noble Families during the 794-1184 time period. Today it is a popular tourist attraction for the temples, the bamboo grove and the Monkey Park.
The Monkey Park
Our main reason for visiting the area was to go to the Monkey Park. It was a bit of an adventure to get there as we took two trains. The regular subway and than an older train. We arrived and it was stink’in hot! We hiked up the rather steep hill to see the Monkeys and by the time we were at the top it was like we had been swimming in our clothes!
The park is on Mt Arashiyama which was near the Oi River and just down the road from the train station. It is inhabited by a troop of over 170 Japanese macaque monkeys. The animals are wild but can be fed food purchased at the site.
Snakes in a Monkey Park
This little snake was at the base of the hill leading up to the Monkey Park and we noticed him when we sat down for a quick minute to get our bearings and a drink of water.
The Sagano Bamboo Forest
An imposing forest of bamboo nestled in area with two major temples. It is a spectacular walk with hundreds of your closest acquaintances. Even though there are so many people they are relatively quiet.
Out for a walk in my Kimono
One interesting tidbit that we picked up was the fact that you can rent a kimono and wear it for the day. It costs around $300 Canadian for an 8 hour period. While it would be neat to try on, I couldn’t imagine walking around in wooden sandals and silk robes in the 40 degree heat and still maintain my composure.
For further information on the area check out the article by CNN at: http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/sagano-bamboo-forest/index.html