Kyoto Day 2 – Kinkakuji + Arashiyama

Two of my favorite spot of Kyoto are sited in the north-west part of the city.
The first is Kinkaku-ji temple, which is one of the most famous Japanese buddhist temple in Japan; it is placed near a reflecting pool and in the middle of a zen garden with amazing colors. This temple is very famous not only for its beauty and its gold covered main building, but also for its dramatic history, which is perfectly told by Yukio Mishima in its novel The Golden Pavilion.
We visited the temple during our second day of Momijigari Tour of Kyoto and we went there for admiring the pavilion, but we fell in love with the surrounding nature instead, which was more brilliant than the amazing golden temple.
The second one is the Arashiyama district, which is a mountainous place thirty minutes far from the city centre, where you can appreciate the colors and the easy life of typical Japanese countryside, have a light lunch in one of the many restaurants on the main road, then have a relaxing walk by the river and visit the bamboo forest.
These two destination are a must see in Kyoto, and it is very convenient to visit them in the same day; if you have the chance you can take the Randen tramline – which is a small line with tiny and picturesque coaches – to reach this amazing countryside region from the pavilion area and then take the JR line from the main station of Arashiyama and go back to the city centre of Kyoto.
After Arashiyama we went walking in the afternoon alonside one of our favorite spots of downtown Kyoto: Nishiki market, which is a colorful shopping street lined by food related shops and traditional restaurants. You can buy a real japanese snack and try something really local like small octopus filled with boiled eggs, mini onions omelettes and marinated raw salmon skewers.
After a long day spent walking and enjoying this breathtaking city and surroundings area the best way to end it is obviously with a great dinner in Ponto-cho district. We returned to Kyoto-Ren which is a small restaurant that offers a tasting menu of Kyoto food specialities. In the night, tasting a many courses meal, drinking sake and beer, being together and enjoy our good company, seemed to us like catching the entire meaning of life.
I dare to say that that night we were really close.
Enjoy the pics!

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