Sunday, December 13, 2015


Monday morning we were rested and ready to go. We decided to hit up the Arashiyama area of Kyoto. Mostly because of the monkey park. The kids needed a break from all the temples and shrines. So that's where we went first...right after we rented some bikes for the day.
Don't let this picture fool you, it was busy! Very busy to ride bikes, but, they were faster than if we would have walked!
It was quite the steep hike up to the monkey park.
twenty minutes up, plus a few breaks, and there were monkeys everywhere!
Including babies!
The monkey park here provides the protection of a screen to feed the monkeys, which means you're probably less likely to be attacked than when we were in Bali.
Some more great city views!
My own monkeys!
We stayed a good hour, and probably could of stayed a lot longer, but, there's a lot to see in Kyoto, so back to our bikes. We rode along the river for some street food. We ate yakisoba (fried noodles with meat and vegetables) and takoyaki ("octopus balls", pieces of octopus in batter then fried up in balls) for lunch.
Not that it needs to be stated here, but you shouldn't try and take pictures of your family when riding a bike. I almost ended up in the river, I'll leave it at that.
Rayce and his takoyaki.
A great view of the gorge.
Fall colors were not quite at their peak yet, darn, you'd think the last week of November would be late enough!
It's funny I was worried we wouldn't find "the bamboo forest" during our stay. Little did I know, they're everywhere! Although this one might be considered "The Bamboo Forest", it's the most popular one in Kyoto, and you can tell by how busy it is!
But oh so lovely!
Next up was Tenryu-ji Temple, the most visited in this area.
The temple is bordered by a big Koi pond and maple trees that did have some awesome colors.
One of the only shots I got of the main hall! Whoops! I had to pee so that's all I could think about!
The kids were really done with shrines for the day so we decided to just ride the bikes around, although we rode by several. Once we had been riding a while I convinced my family to go in one more. I had no idea where we were or what temple we had found, turned out it was Adashino-Nembutsu-ji Temple. This is a temple dedicated to the souls of those who have died without family to remember them.
8000 Buddhist statues.
Whatdayaknow, there was even a bamboo grove, and this one wasn't crowded!
We hopped on our bikes, took them back and caught the train back to central Kyoto, where we found some delicious burgers for dinner! More to come!

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