We started our full last day in Kyoto heading over to famous Bamboo Grove forest. This was also at the top of my list of places to see. This was located in the Arashiyama area and only a few train stops down. On our walk over to the bamboo we grabbed a quick bite to eat at one of the food stall restaurants on the street.
We got to the bamboo groves and I don't think the pictures do it justice. Kind of magical and mysterious walking through. #bucketlist
After walking through the bamboo groves we walked through a the gorgeous park called Kameyama Koen (Koen is park in Japanese #yourwordoftheday) This led down to the Hozu River.
We then walked to the Togetsu-kyo Bridge. This was believed to have been first built in 836 200 m upstream from its current location. It was damaged by floods etc since and has been rebuilt, the current bridge was built in 1934. Togetsu-kyo means "Crossing Moon" since the Emperor Kameyama observed the moon crossing the sky from east to west. The bridge marks the point where the Hozu River and Oi River join to form the Katsura river. #gettineducated
After crossing the famous bridge, we headed over to Arashiyama Monkey Park #sofrigginexcited to go hang with some monkeys. We had to climb a bit up a little mountain but when we reached the top it was totally worth it! These monkeys are known as Japanese monkeys and have red faces and butts - then fuzzy fur around. These 150 or so monkeys are free to roam around the complex and if you want to feed them, then the humans have to go in a caged box and the monkeys reach through to grab food #backwards? There were rules though - no touching, no putting a camera in their face, and don't look them in they eye #youdontwanttoseethemangry
Such a great experience watching them and Nate and my favorite part was feeding them! They ate like little chipmunks and would quickly, but gently, grab the food from your hands, stuff it in their mouth, and then ask for more while still chewing. They loved apples and peanuts were their next fav. We saw little baby monkeys too. I wanted to stay there forever but eventually Nate made me leave :( See videos and pics below! #iwantapetmonkey
After our monkey adventure, we caught the train back into central Kyoto where we finally found a restaurant to eat a robatayaki style dinner (my dad has been telling me since I got to Japan to eat one of these). Robatayaki literally means 'fire side cooking' and is similar to sushi where the customer can sit near the chefs while they prepare small plates for them. I had read about this spot on trip advisor called "Hajime". They didn't speak much english but we basically gave them a price range and told them to surprise us and serve us around 6 courses with sake pairings. Well we were not disappointed! #thanksdad
A sample of our drinks and sakes during the meal below
After our amazing dinner, we asked the chef for a recommendation to a local bar. We walked to another little hole in the wall bar, down a little alley, where Nate enjoyed some Japanese whiskey. Then we headed across the alley to a bar called "The Door" and had some manhattens #missyourogerandlisa We ended our night at the Jelly Bean Rocket again and had a blast hanging out with our fav bartender, Kei, and the owner. We were greeted with free tequila shots throughout the night from the happy owner. I think I also formed an air guitar rock band with some other patrons during the night at some point. #rockstars We headed back to our hotel around 4am.... not the greatest decision since we had to fly out the next day but it was worth it! #werenot21anymore #liveituptilthekidsarrive #yolo
Not gonna lie, the next day we weren't feeling too hot. But we headed out for some shabu shabu lunch before our flight back to Okinawa. My dad had also recommended this and we had one of our bartenders from the previous night recommend a spot. You sit in a little room around a table with a little soup pot. They heat the soup up (electric heater/stove built into the table) and you cook thin slices of pork and veggies in the broth. Then dip them in a yummy sauce with green onions. Nate is owning the shabu shabu below. (You dip the meat in, go back and forth saying 'shabu shabu' and like magic it's cooked!)
All in all, great trip and can't wait to hopefully go back some day! Who wants to join?!
Follow in our Footsteps:
1-13 Sagatenryūji Tateishichō, Ukyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 616-8375
Iwatayama Monkey Park
61 Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-0004
Price: 550 yen (adult), 250 yen (children)
565-23 Nakanocho, Nakagyo-ku | 1F Harenohi Kayukoji, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
〒600-8082 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, 下京区高倉四条下ル高材木町224
Jelly Bean Rocket
〒600-8012 京都府京都市下京区木屋町通四条下る斎藤町123 西石垣会館サクラビル木屋町Ⅱ B1F
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!