Visiting Arashiyama, Kyoto!
Russell (my partner, if you’re new here) and I have now been in Japan for six days, and up until today, we’ve spent a large portion of our time exploring the big cities with huge buildings, flashing neon lights and overwhelming crowds of people. So spending today in the historic and beautiful town of Arashiyama, Kyoto was a welcoming change of pace.
Currently, we are staying in the city of Osaka. Our hotel is around a half an hour walk from the crazy shopping streets of Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi. If you’ve never been to Japan before, it’s hard to explain just how intense and overwhelming Dotonbori is. Especially in the late afternoon and early evening. By seven o’clock at night, you can barely walk down the main street without feeling claustrophobic. The sheer amount of people is crazy! If you’re not a fan of crowds, I wouldn’t recommend it. But if you don’t mind a bit of awkward manoeuvring through hundreds of people, definitely hit up Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi. It’s an experience that can’t be described. You’re probably trying to imagine it right now. But whatever you’re picturing in your head, isn’t even close! Think Times Square, but busier. It’s super fun though, don’t get me wrong!
Today, we took three trains and ended up in Arashiyama, Kyoto. Our main intention on visiting this particular town, was to hit up the Monkey Park. However, it wasn’t as easy to find as we thought, and after exploring for a little while, we wandered off and never made it back to find the Park. But, all was not lost. I finally saw my very first Japanese cherry blossom tree! Ever since we booked our trip, I have been hoping to see at least a few of theses beautiful trees, but since we’re here at the end of Winter, instead of during Spring when they’re at their peak, I wasn’t sure whether we’d luck out or not. But, turns out, Kyoto is the perfect place for them!
After appreciating this amazing view (see photo above), we headed back down, walked across a bridge and ended up in the main shopping and food centre of town. Like I said at the beginning of this post, it’s quite surreal going from a city with hundreds of people walking down the same street, to a town with so much history. The buildings, stores and houses are so beautiful. It’s definitely the most tranquil and relaxing place we have visited while in Japan!
There are tons of cool things to see and do while in Arashiyama, Kyoto. I’ll be writing a whole separate and in-depth post on this over the next few days, so keep an eye out for that. If you are looking to experience the more historic background of Japan, I would definitely add Arashiyama to your itinerary. It’s honestly such a beautiful place, and I can guarantee you’ll be in awe the entire time you’re there.
I won’t leave you in suspense too long. By the end of this week, I’ll have my super helpful and exciting post up on all the things we saw today. I just wanted to get this post up tonight, and then spend a good amount of time writing a more specific and longer post to go up over the next few days!
If you’re in the process of booking a trip to Japan, take my advice: add Arashiyama, Kyoto to your list of places to visit. You won’t be disappointed. It’s a strange feeling going from a city with so many people, so much action and so much to see and do, to such a beautifully peaceful historic town. It will make you want to move to the Japan countryside, I promise you that much!