Need a cool place for your next vacation? Try Arashiyama!

By engeliz
Guest writing original post 

Arashiyama, located in Kyoto, Japan, is a scenic place to rest and relax; a perfect holiday destination for getting away from the concrete jungle and stress.
From Kyoto Station, take the Sagano Line (Sanin Main Line) and alight at Saga Arashiyama Station.
I would highly recommend a night’s stay in a good Ryokan in Arashiyama, along with Kaiseki Dinner, to have a complete feel of what Arashiyama has to offer.
(A great Ryokan overseeing the Hozu River!)
(Room with a view!)
The main area of Arashiyama can be easily accessible on foot so be sure to bring your walking shoes.
When looking out for lunch, exercise one of the Singaporean ability, the ability know if a place serves great food without having taste it prior, by simply looking out for a shop with a queue! Or if you want to avoid the lunch crowd and that waiting as your stomach growls, you can let your head (or your stomach) decide as you stare down at the all-too-delicious-looking-to-be-fake-plastic-food displays outside the shop.
(“Roar!!” says the stomach! “This looks good. No need to go there!”)
Though the touristy area is just a couple of streets long, they are packed with local arts and crafts that you can buy home, custom-made souvenirs (wooden chopsticks with your name carved on it make great souvenirs), and beautiful bags and such that ladies would end up spending hours looking at (if you are with shopaholics…).
(Cute handmade souvenirs made of silk worm’s cocoon)
And if you get tired from walking, there are many traditional looking café with yummy desserts just waiting for you to visit.
(Dessert place in its traditional setting.)
(Traditional Japanese dessert – Red bean soup with rice dumplings.)
(Another traditional looking house of desserts!)
Or if you want to get to a destination and your feet has totally forsaken you, that would give you that perfect excuse to take a ride in a rickshaw and enjoy the ride and sightseeing from a new height (you’ll be surprise at your first time taking it)!
(A rickshaw’s garage / parking space?)
(Your friendly rickshaw guy would give you a guided tour and even take photos for you while at it!)
When in Arashiyama, some sights are absolutely not to be missed!
(The magical Bamboo forest. If you are visiting in December, the Bamboo forest will be illuminated during Hanataro, which gives a very different vibe as compared to visiting during the day).
(The iconic Togetsukyo Bridge!)
(If you are lucky enough…)
(You’ll spot some birds sunbathing while going around temples.)
As the sun sets, head on back to your Ryokan for it is Kaiseki Time! Usually, dishes are served one at a time to ensure that the dish is fresh and warm (or cold, if it is meant to be eaten that way). Rice is usually served at the end, to ensure that the guest ends with a full stomach. So, as much as we would love to see a table full of food, which would be very much Instagrammable, practicality takes precedence.
(A menu, listing the extensive amount of food to expect!)
(Dishes that look like a piece of art, not forgetting to be yummy at the same time!)
(Look at that glistering, thick slices of Sashimi! Freshness guaranteed!!)
After dinner, go around and explore the Ryokan a bit. Bring out the inner child in you!
(Traditionally, guests gather here to share stories and make new friends.)
(The Ryokan’s reception. A set of ornamental dolls was on display as it was near Hinamatsuri – Doll’s Day / Girls’ Day)
(Japanese aesthetics never fail to WOW me!)
(No stay is complete without a soak in the hot spring!)
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and at the Ryokan, not only was the stomach satisfied, our eyes and mind were also fed with the great scenery.
(An impressive Japanese style breakfast!)
(Looking over the river while enjoying breakfast!)
If you are a fan of the great nature, try out the Sagano Romantic Train. As the name suggest, it is a romantic train ride, best taken during sakura blooming period, for an unforgettable view of pink everywhere, or during the autumn season, where the different hues of autumn leaves leave you asking for more (pun intended)!
If time permits, get yourself a full trip, which includes a train ride, a bus ride (or if you prefer to walk), and ending with a boat ride with Hozugawa River Cruises down Hozugawa River from Kameoka to Arashiyama. Is like a triathlon, but without the hard work (for us tourists, that is)! The boat ride will then end you at the Togetsukyo Bridge.
(The full journey’s map.)
(The very cool old fashion train!)
(Car No. 5 tickets can only be purchased on the actual day, and that’s the only car that is open air.)
(Enjoying the cool breeze and view of the start of Spring!)
(And there’s my bus!! Wait for me~~)
(And here’s the boat which will bring us through the calm and rough waters of the Hozugawa River.)
(A great day to go on a boat ride!)
(Behold the amazing scenery!)
(Getting hungry from the ride? No worries! The food boat to the rescue!! How I miss the sweet smell of grill squid…)
Great scenic views, delectable food, lovely crafts and memories to bring home. Arashiyama is the place to escape the worldly stress and pollution.

In the meantime, Admire the pictures, take deep Breathes and Chill!

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