Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Mum and dad's trip - Monday

After a tasty breakfast at Starbucks, we headed off on the train to Inari to visit the Fushimi Inari shrine, a stunning place where you walk up through over 5,000 orange tori gates that wind their way through the hillside. The shrine is dedicated to the gods of rice, sake and business and many businesses and sake brewers pay to erect gateposts for good luck. It was a beautiful sunny day and a wonderful way to spend the morning - also a photographer's dream!

We then got a taxi to Kiyomizu temple near the Gion district, stopping for a bowl of green tea en route.

We also got to see some geisha girls shuffling down the street. Their kimonos were stunning.

The Kiyomizu temple is a famous temple and quite awesome, but not as appealing as others we've seen. There were still stunning views to see and some beautiful blossom trees set against the surrounding temples.

We then walked down through Sanenzaka and Ninenzaka, small narrow lanes running down from the temple, with gorgeous little shops and cafes on either side. We stopped at a coffee place for lunch and sat out in the garden. Then on to Gion where we had afternoon tea in a gorgeously minimalist tea house called Oku.

Despite oncoming rain, we then decided to head to the Bamboo forest at Arashiyama,  a beautiful area where there are avenues of bamboo at the foot of the surrounding hills. It was quite stunning, tall and tightly packed old bamboo, on the edge of a quaint town. We saw rickshaws being pulled along and then walked back through the forest to the station and back to the hotel. After a quick rest, we headed out for izakaya-style food which was much needed after a heavy day on the hoof!

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