We are really enjoying our little Japanese house, now that the construction has been put on pause on the outside wall of the master bedroom. Woke up yesterday to banging and crashing as the metal siding was being removed. The first thought that entered my brain as I woke up was, “What the Hell is Going On!?!”
Other than that, and the decidedly not up to code stairs, it is really nice to be able to make home cooked breakfasts and dinners. Cam and Jenn have taken charge of eggs and toast in the morning, and Ayami has made us dinners that are better than many we have had in our travels so far. Don and I are the clean up crew. David thinks he has done enough babysitting his parents all day . . .
Today we left Ayami to have a few hours of peace and solitude while the rest of us ventured off to explore the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and Monkey Park.
We passed some shrines along our route
I saw a lot of posts in my travel japan facebook group saying how crowded the bamboo grove is and to get there at 6:00 am if you want it to yourself, but even though there were lots of people there, it was possible to get photos without them in and to enjoy the majesty of the huge and endless bamboo forest as you walked the path and listened to the rustling of the leaves.
David lowered the angle of the camera and all the other people disappeared!
On our way to the monkey park – where the monkeys roam free and the people who want to feed them are in the cage – we saw some river boats, more shrines and a very quaint little tea house.
By now we were all hungry, so we stopped for a little street food and found an actual table to sit at (these are few and far between outside for some reason).
Good thing we ate before we headed up the mountain to the monkey park, because it was straight up!
As we neared the top, we started to see monkeys all around us, playing, fighting and grooming each other. At the top, we saw this guy, just enjoying the view.
And the view of Kyoto from here is pretty spectacular.
Monkeys, monkeys everywhere
If you want to actually feed the monkeys, you had to go into a building with caged windows – I kind of like the reversal of fortunes of this.
What a fun day! We have ticked a lot of our “must see and do” things off the list, but we still have a sake tasting lined up for tomorrow afternoon and will try to fit in the Golden Pavilion before that, as well as the red Fushimi Tori Gates that are near the sake place. Then the kids are headed to Osaka to see the sumo festival on Monday, so Don and I will be left to our own devices to get ourselves to the Gion area and Philosopher’s Path along the river. That should be interesting, so stay tuned . . .