Kyoto 2014: Arashiyama

We didn’t know what to expect of Kyoto. Friends told us it was a charming city saved from the ravages of WWII. Most guides will point to the temples that are World Heritage Sights in their own right. We aren’t very comfortable with temples so I briefly searched for alternatives. Something that won’t be too hard on the feet too since… well… the parents won’t be able to hike like the friend and I do!

Arashiyama is a lovely destination for those who want to see a bit of nature, but yet don’t want to stray too far from civilisation. The main attraction here is the thick bamboo forest. I’ve never seen bamboo tree trunks that are so thick- thicker than, and sometimes double the width of my palm! There was a temple inside the bamboo forest but we wandered off further to an area with less people. I highly recommend that because the bamboo forest is much thicker there.

I took all these photos with my new mirrorless camera, Canon EOS M. It’s so much more convenient to carry this camera as compared to my dslr. With my tendency to fly budget (without luggage…), any way to reduce my load is welcome.

Of course I can’t leave you without some photos of the food we had at Arashiyama. We stopped by a yodofu restaurant and tried many variations of tofu.  Yodofu, yuba, sesame tofu, peanut tofu, grilled tofu…. you name it, I’ve probably tried it. I literally had tofu for breakfast, lunch and dinner that day… LOVED IT!

The makings of Yuba

And… some sweets we had while we were at Arashiyama:

Green Tea Soft Serve once we got off the train at Arashiyama. The brown cookie you see is a cinnamon cookie, or baked Yatsuhashi, something that all souvenir shops would have.

Warabi mochi. I love it but I can’t find words to describe the taste. It tastes like clear spring water- sweet and refreshing? That’s the best I can come up with haha.

This is the raw version of yatsuhashi, or unbaked yatsuhashi. Usually some red bean paste is wrapped inside but I bought the yuzu version. Do sample the stuff you buy. Good ones will be soft, and fragrant because of the cinnamon in the mochi. When they are hard, and dried out, the taste is quite horrible.

Don’t  miss out on the Western part of town where the wooden Togetsu-kyo Bridge is. You can catch some beautiful views there.