August 3rd

Today, I made a day trip to Arashiyama. It’s a very beautiful part at the outer parts of Kyoto.

To get there, I had to take the bus and on my way to the bus stop, I happened to find the shopping streets, my parents and I had visited two years ago. I made a mental note to take the same way back to this area (which is rather close to my hostel) and continued to walk to the bus stop.

After about one hour, I arrived at Arashiyama. Even though there were quite a few people, it didn’t feel crowded, because the streets were wide and to both sides were various small streets to stroll around or huge temple areas to visit, as well as shops and cafes. First, I walked through the bamboo forest and wandered around some small streets with beautiful little houses and a lot of temples, shrines and nature.
I especially enjoyed this part of Arashiyama, since it was so different from all the other parts of Kyoto with rather modern and big houses.

When I had walked a whole round, I took the path through the bamboo forest back to the main street. Here, I jumped into almost every shop and simply looked at all the goods they had there, dreaming of buying them all.

At the main street was also a temple, I wanted to visit and the whole area of it was amazing! Maybe the surprisingly blue sky did a lot for this effect as well, but the temple ground was beautiful! The buildings were traditional and pretty and I took my time there, walking trough every gate I could find, exploring everything around there.

From this temple, I continued walking at the main street and crossed a river. Once again, the blue sky did a lot to make the view perfect! It was reflected in the clear water and all together was simply stunning. Breathtaking. I couldn’t get enough of this. I walked to various places, only to get a slightly different view on the river, the mountains, the boats.

Sooner or later, I decided to continue and walked on to the last spot: the monkey park. I bought a ticket and started climbing the mountain. Luckily, the path was in a forest, so the trees as well as the shades kept the area cooler than the outside. It made walking up a lot easier.
After about 20 minutes, I reached the playground and from there it wasn’t far to the observation point and the area where the monkeys are.

The view I had was, once again, amazing! I could look at Kyoto, the surrounding mountains and the river. Beautiful. I didn’t even expect such a view and when I reached the top and got to see this, I was impressed once more this day. I realized that the monkeys were everywhere around after I was able to turn away from that view. However, from that moment on, the monkeys had my full attention.
They were unbelievably cute, some had babies with them, some were sleeping, some were eating snacks, the visitors could buy at the observatory. They were walking around freely and were coming to that area on their own will. There was no enclosure. They were free to come and leave as they wish.

I enjoyed the whole day a lot. On my way back to the bus stop, I bought some shaved ice with strawberry sirup and condensed milk, which was delicious!

Having taken the bus back, I arrived at the same stop where I had left, so I could visit the shopping area some more. I just walked from shop to shop again, doing some window shopping. Tomorrow, I’ll go there again and maybe buy something for real (maybe not haha).

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