Mike and I had a blast on our first trip out of the city and into a little bit of fresh air. We decided to head south to Arashiyama Saga which is in Kyoto. Our choice of transportation was either the local train which would have taken 3 hours one way for the cost of $30 each way. OR the Shinkansen that would only take 35 minutes and cost us $80 each roundtrip. Since we only had one day and were eager to make the most of it we opted for the Shinkansen train. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term Shinkansen it refers to Japans incredibly fast high speed bullet trains that can travel up to 320 km an hour! The trains even look like bullets!
Once we arrived, we immediately bought tickets for the Sagano Romantic Train which is a scenic train that brings you into a gorge and along the Hozugawa River. We had a few hours before it departed so we decided to rent bikes right outside the train station for 1000 yen each. Renting bikes ended up being a clever idea because we were able to cover more ground in a short period of time.
Our first bike stop was to the Monkey Park where literally close to a hundred if not more macaque monkeys were running around freely with people everywhere too! Back in the states this would never be allowed for many reasons I can imagine… but here in Japan..why not?! I’m not going to lie and say these were the cutest monkeys ever…but there were a few baby ones which made it worth it. Plus the top allowed for a beautiful panoramic view of the city.
Next stop was to the Bamboo grove which was packed full of people…id say more people then Bamboo! Even with the cluster of tourists it was an amazing stroll with little temples spread throughout. You couldn’t help but feel like you were in some sort of quite oasis.
Finally it was time to board the “Romantic” Train..which mike and I couldn’t help but laugh about. The train was about an hour roundtrip and it really was Gorgeous! As much as we like our new city life I always feel at ease and comforted by nature.
It was about lunch time when we were done with the train so we rode our bikes around the small narrow little streets in the quieter part of town until we found a small little Udon noodle shop. Mike once again ordered right with tempura Udon and I somehow ended up with Pickled plum soggy bread Udon…haha not sure what the actual name of it was but that’s how you describe it!
All together the day was a fun adventure and we were grateful that the Rain Gods held off.