Japan Trip Report: Kyoto, Day 2

The inner tween girl in me is squealing over this tour announcement. I know NKOTB went on tour a year or so ago with BSB but I was never a BSB fan so that appealed to me not at all (I was an *N Sync girl). But this upcoming tour is with BOYZ II MEN. I saw them (along with TLC and Montell Jordan) at my very first concert with my BFFs. So yeah. Special memories. 🙂

I know the Super Bowl is coming up but this is my favorite “bowl” — the Puppy Bowl. SO CUTE!

So back to my Japan trip report — and our last day in Kyoto.

Monday, 11/12

Japan has a FABULOUS luggage delivery service called takkyubin where you can send your luggage ahead to your next destination. Since we’d be taking the shinkansen (bullet train) to Tokyo the following day, we took advantage of the service so we wouldn’t have to deal with wrangling our luggage at the train station. All we did was bring our luggage down to the bell desk at our hotel where they took care of filling out the shipping forms for us. SUPER convenient and very reasonably priced too – maybe about $40 for 2 pieces of luggage (one large, the other carry-on sized).

After taking care of that, we started our day with Starbucks (I tried the nutty praline latte, which was a delicious seasonal drink) and a couple of waffles from Manneken inside the Kyoto station.


We took the JR local train two stops south to the Fushimi Inari Shrine.

The Inari station is so quaint looking!

Located directly across the street from the station, the shrine is dedicated to the Inari, the Shinto god of rice. It consists of a series of torii gates which are purchased/donated by individuals or companies. They range in price depending on the height, width and depth.

The torii gates slowly lead up an incline to the top of the hill. This is the start of the walking trail.

Starting the walk!

Right or left?

Along the path, we saw stands that sold ema, which are wooden plaques where you can write prayers or wishes.

We didn’t go very far (we probably walked for 45 minutes or so?) — we stopped at a natural rest stop where there were seats and a view of a small lake.

Heading back down the hill.

That’s us!

Lunch time brought us back to our home base, the Kyoto station. We went to ramen alley again and chose Hakata Ikkousha where we enjoyed a fantastic bowl of roast pork ramen. *drool*

Back on the train, our next stop for the day was the Arashiyama district. This ended up being my most favorite neighborhood in Kyoto. It was so beautiful.

We visited the Tenryuji Temple and its absolutely gorgeous garden.

Love the fall colors.

The back exit of the garden leads directly to the bamboo groves.

There’s a walking path through the bamboo groves and we even saw this couple being transported on a pedicab.

After all the walking, we were ready for a snack. It was pretty warm out so we finally decided to try some soft serve, which we’d been seeing everywhere we went. We think the flavors were sesame, chocolate, green tea and vanilla. It was amazing just like everything else we had eaten so far.

I just loved walking down the tree-lined streets and browsing the shops.

At the end of the main drag is the Togetsukyo Bridge (Moon Crossing Bridge), which runs across the river (named Hozu River to the west and Katsura River to the east of the bridge).

Across the river is Mount Arashiyama and a monkey park that sits on the mountain.

After dinner at Yodobashi Camera (we were mistaken for locals again!), we spent our last night in Kyoto having drinks at the hotel bar (ok drinks for Rob and sodas for me, haha) and enjoying the great view of the night lights from the outdoor terrace.

Up next: Heading to the Tokyo Disneyland Resort! SQUEE.

For more pics, check our Flickr here.