Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Arashiyama is utterly beautiful. It so so very green and so very beautiful. Going to the bamboo grove, you have a nice walk through a park full of temples as well as small businesses selling souvenirs and ice cream.
The Bamboo Grove was pretty, is similar to the other bamboo forests that you see around Japan. Since it’s a huge tourist destination, the day we went it was also completely packed. I would say that if you are going to see just one bamboo grove, this is the one to see.
Arashiyama Monkey Park
The Monkey Forest was really fun. Be prepared for a hike! It is in walking distance of the bamboo forest, but it is by no means close. I wore sandals and my feet were killing me by the time we walked halfway up a mountain to reach the monkey sanctuary.
The monkeys are the traditional macaque monkeys. They will get up close and ignore you for the most part, but they are not big fans of selfies, so be sure to keep your distance. (I may have been charged by one for getting a little too selfie-happy.) Also as a bonus, the view of Kyoto from here is amazing.
Kuuya Taki Falls
Kuuya-Taki is one of the most peaceful waterfalls I have visited. It took us about 45 minutes to make the trek up the mountain with three adults and three kids 4 and under. The road is paved but too small to drive on for the first 3/4 of the way, and then there are stone steps for the last stretch. It’s marked as a beginner’s hiking path on a local hiking website, and I would say that proved to be true.
The hike up was beautiful with a breathtaking forest, cooled by the running river beside the path. What I really liked about this waterfall was that there are little stones in the water and no fence in the way. You can step across the stones right into the waterfall if you want! It was refreshing and the walk back was a piece of cake.
Kinkakuji – The Golden Pavillion
This temple is so gorgeous. It is just gold-plated, but it is based off of a real palace. It is surrounded by a beautiful garden and these lush green trees. It’s also in the center of a tourist area, so there are plenty of shops to visit and foods to try! You can even get gold plated ice cream in the area.
So what do you think? Do you want to visit any of these places? Which one?