Sunday, 24 February 2013

Japan Day 4 Part 2: Hiiragiya Bekkan

Continuing from where we left off in the previous post, we headed back to Kawaramachi after our day trip to Arashiyama. On the way back to the Best Western Hotel to collect our luggage, we stopped by at Takashimaya to browse the "depachika", which refers to the basement of the department stores. In Japan, the basement floors of department stores is the place where foodstuff are sold, which is similar to our supermarkets here but with a much larger variety of items sold.

Really love just browsing here as there is just such a large variety of food on display, including salads, sashimi, sushi, bento sets, yakitori, desserts and lots more. Just thinking of it is making me drool. As we'll be having a traditional kaiseki dinner at the ryokan, we only got one octopus salad to try.

After collecting our luggage, we made our way to Hiiragiya Bekkan (, which is also within walking distance. Do note that Hiiragiya Bekkan is not the same as Hiiragiya Ryokan, as the Hiiragiya Ryokan is older and the cost per room is much higher.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Japan Day 4 Part 1: Arashiyama, Tenryuji Temple and the Sagano scenic tram

Today, we're heading over to Arashiyama for the beautiful scenery ^.^ Before heading out, we had already packed our belongings and checked out from the hotel as we will be staying at a traditional ryokan for our last night here in Kyoto. We just left our luggage with the hotel staff to collect later in the afternoon once we finish our sightseeing.

From the station nearby our hotel, we took a train to the Hankyu Arashiyama station (220 yen each). Love the old style feel of the station and the station here was quite silent and peaceful, not many people around. Anyway, from here, it's a quite a short walk, about 5 to 10 minutes, to get to the Togetsukyo bridge. We were unsure of the way at first but luckily, we spotted some roadsigns showing us the way in English.

Hankyu Arashiyama station

For those who are unsure, you can basically walk straight on along the road from the entrance of the station as seen in the above right picture. Along the way, there are several roadsigns showing the direction of the bridge, which was really very convenient for us. The river over which the bridge is located is lined with lots of trees, which also includes cherry trees. This place is said to be very popular during the spring when the sakura trees blossom and is also known for the picturesque view in the autumn when the leaves start changing colour.

We spent some time just taking photos and saw some easels and brushes on one side of the riverbank. Seems like someone was busy painting the beautiful scenery. We continued on our journey and crossed the bridge to the town area (?) as I wanted to see the bamboo groves.

Togetsukyo Bridge