Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tenryuji, the bamboo groves, shopping arcades and BBQ!

Today (19th of July) I woke up a bit later than usual.
I woke up at 11-ish and went strait to the shower and to eat my leftovers from yesterdays home made dinner.

After finishing that I pondered on what to do today since in the evening I had the Korean BBQ to attend to. I was organizing it at the best Korean BBQ chain in Kyoto (in my opinion), Chifaja.
Tenryuji gate
I went there last year so I knew it from before and the reservation I had done already two days ago with the help of the Jam hostel staff.

I then finally decided that I'd visit the Tenryji temple and the bamboo grove  a bit further away from the center, near the mountains in a area called Arashiyama. The Tenryuji temple is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

I took the JR train there and walked for 5 minutes and arrived at the entrance to the gate to Tenryuji. There are a couple other buildings in the same yard with beautiful small gardens of their own.
One big building which I visited had a huge painting in the roof depicting a dragon.
It was painted in such a style that it appeared to be looking straight at you no matter where you watched from.  It was a fairly new one apparently since the real one had burnt down along with many of the other original buildings during the many wars that had ravaged inside the country at those times. It costed 500 yen to get inside which I thought was a bit too much but I was still pleased after having seen the insides.
Tenryuji temple 

I then got out from there and walked to the main building of Tenryuji and paid the 500 yen to get in and this time it was worth the money to the fullest!
Bamboo groves
I mean, the first thing that greets you when you enter, is a zen garden and the main building. When you walk on the temple garden reveals itself to you.
IT was extraordinarily beautiful. I enjoyed the little walk there and took my sweet time walking there.

I then exited from a side entrance to the temple witch was near the bamboo grove. I had only to walk 1 minute to arrive to the entrance to the grove.
I have never ever seen so much bamboo growing in a forest like fashion. The path made in between the bamboos looked majestic! It was so beautiful.
The only sad part was that it was pretty short. Shorter than I had imagined from the pictures. But still amazing.

I soon had walked through the grove and arrived to the Torokko densha station. Torokko trains left from that station towards Arashiyama station and were similar to the Torokko denshas they had in Kurobe gorge.

So I then walked back towards the JR saga-arashiyama station. I took a little rural route through some fields.
On my way I found a shrine in the forest that was packed with people and I read from a sign that it was a little shrine where the princes had stayed at during some kind of purification rite if I remember correctly.

So anyways, When I arrived to the station I just hopped on the train back to Kyoto station and from there I decided to just go kill some time in the Center of the city  while checking out the famous shopping street and arcade there.
The shopping arcade
I have visited there a couple times before so  I now what to expect. I loved it. The place is fulled with stores  selling various goods, clothes, foods, items etc.
I spent a lot of time there and when I arrived I had barely time to  go to the shower. I had walked all the way to the hostel along the river and the roads so I was kind of tired from my feet. I had time only to drink a quick cup of  coffee and then I was going again!

I was going to the station to take the train and subway to Shijo-Gion station where I was holding the BBQ event today via couch surfing.

W met up with the attending people there and had a blast that evening. We ate so much. SO MUCH!!!!!
 we had the all you can eat and drink option and let me tell you , the amount of meat was ridiculous! hahah.

Later on Me, Satchico and Martin (the crazy danish guy) went  to the river banks to drink some beers.
The others had either gone home or went to the Karaoke with a couple of Americans we had met on the streets.

Anyhow , we drank until morning (stayed up until 6-7 a.m.) and then I left to my hostel while they went to catch the first train towards their various destinations.

So sorry for the late upload  but you can imagine that I am tired

Cheers
Robert