Peeking through the doorway of Autumn season, the glorious backdrop of cerulean sky flecked with fluffy patches of clouds made for glorious walk-thru outdoor paintings.
Getting off the Hankyū Arashiyama Line from Katsura at Arashiyama Station, we just followed the crowd and within a few hundred feet was the Ōi River straight ahead.
The Togetsukyō Bridge is immediately to the left.
Arashiyama is the name of the mountains behind the bridge but it also refers to the whole district which has become a nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty in Kyoto.
After crossing the Togetsukyō Bridge and walking just along the river bank, there is a popular coffee shop called % Coffee (Percent sign) where crowds gather for their caffeine fix.
Waves of cool, crisp air made walking miles on end in this area a breeze as the interactive book that is Arashiyama greeted us with iconic images of Japanese food, handicrafts, dress, transport, flora, and culture. Food samples abound from ranges of chilis, sweets, condiments to jazz up your rice, drinks, and everything in between. Kimono Rentals are popular; thus, colorful-kimono-clad women dot the streets.
Try the Plum Juice at the plum store.
Arashiyama Bamboo Groves
It’s easy to ask for directions to get here. Otherwise, from the main street, just turn left where the sign says “Bamboo.” The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is a calming experience as the lush, towering, rustling bamboo trees provide a poetic, natural hideout from the concrete, modern maze of Osaka just a short distance away.
Just where the Bamboo Grove dead ends, there is a pathway to the Ōkōchi Sansō Mountain Villa, former home and garden of the Japanese period film actor, Denjirō Ōkōchi.
Its location at the mountaintop gives a vantage point to view the city of Kyoto, Mt. Hiei, and the Hozu River gorge. The National Government has considered some of the buildings as cultural properties of Japan.
The entrance ticket to the villa includes a Matcha Drink and Sweet finale at the Tea House.
Without much effort, you will run into the back entrance of Tenryū-ji Temple, registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.”
Going through the opposite exit of this temple, you will arrive back at the Arashiyama Main Street.
RANDEN TRAM LINE TO KYOTO
At the Main Street, you will not miss the Randen Arashiyama Station.
This streetcar line takes you from Arashiyama to Kyoto City (with several stops in between). There are many food specialties even at this station.
Kyoto has so much to offer in terms of Japanese culture. Because this was already our second visit, we just wanted to leisurely roam the streets on foot, enjoy the sights and sounds, try out Green Tea Ice cream and continue looking out for Autumn foliage.
We saw a display of Louis Vuitton collaborator, 82 year old artist, Yayoi Kusama, at the Forever Museum of Contemporary Art and other classic Japanese culture images.
Four Seasons Hotel, Kyoto
From Rica de Jesus’s Kyoto recommendations on Heart2Heartonline, we wanted to check out Four Seasons Hotel to have a light meal al fresco at the Brasserie alongside the Japanese Garden.
My Linguine with Lobster, Uni Sauce, and Lobster Foam was al dente and packed with flavor so satisfying. The beloved also enjoyed his Wagyu Cheese Burger on Homemade Brioche Bun and Sweet Potato Fries.
This trip to Arashiyama and Kyoto with the beloved just lasted eight hours but it seems like we have had a full adventure here.
I skipped Arashiyama on my preceding trip to Japan in submission ultimately to God’s leading. This past week when the beloved took me here, I couldn’t help but be grateful for His faithfulness to grant this little ol’ wish. I say His faithfulness from Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. Thank You, Lord, for being a Promise Keeper through the beloved.
I wouldn’t have had as rich, varied, cool, and laughter-filled an experience had I not submitted to the Lord, had I insisted to spoil this surprise by manipulating my way to come here on my preceding trip just because I wanted my way on my time in my terms. Thank You, Lord, for using my earthly authority to bless me and giving me the faith, by Your grace, to wait for Your timing.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.