The Golden Pavilion and the Bamboo Forest.
One of my fave days out there!
Today's post also includes an orange temple, a cat cafe and a monkey sanctuary..... on top of a mountain!

This was, or felt like the busiest day! Up early, we headed to southern Kyoto to beat the morning rush of other tourists and school trips heading towards the shrines. Our shrine today was the Fushimi Inari Temple, which was amazing! I feel like I've said each temple was my favourite far too many times now, but it really is so hard to choose from. The Inari shrine really did have its own uniqueness about it, as leading up to the main temple was hundreds, probably thousands of Orange awnings. We walked through literally a tunnel of orange; it was quite narrow, so photos can be awkward and there was a slight human traffic jam at one point but that just gave us an extra moment to take pics and take in our surroundings. Unfortunately, we decided not to climb up to the main temple as the map provided on site was a faded poster (not to scale) and we had already planned a busy day ahead, we feared if we started on our mini hiking trail, we would get behind with our day.

On our way back to the station we stumbled upon..... a cat cafe!!! Now if anyone has been to the one in Shorditch, its very different. This one is less cafe, more a room with cats :) Pricing was cheap and dependant on how long you stayed and included a drink and was overall lovely (said the cat lady who loves cats).


Next was again one of my highlights and probably the prettiest building I've ever laid eyes on! The Golden Pavilion. This house covered in gold leaf is situated on a lake and is the most picturesque place you can ever imagine, the surrounding gardens are so serene and peaceful, I cant believe I'd never heard of it before now, would 110% recommend it, its beautiful. Because the grounds aren't  vast, we managed to see the pavilion quite quickly and then hopped on a bus to find the bamboo forest. If you ever find yourself on a bus, or needing to use the buses out there, there is a spoken English translation on board so you know all the stops that are coming up- A useful tip for all you intrepid travellers  out there ;)

The bus dropped us off a short walk away from the forest and after spotting a few (very small) sign posts we quite suddenly found our way into the forest, there are no gates into the place, hence why we found ourselves in it quite quickly. We walked through a vast canopy of shady green and it was a very quite atmosphere and everything pinterest told us it would be :) The bamboo forest is very big, its just a long strip and we walked all the way to the end and back into town.

Katt had researched the area before and learnt there was a monkey sanctuary near by which was an easy walk away. The sanctuary was tucked away in a not very obvious location and as we entered we were surprised how dark and covered up the place was, the sanctuary was essentially at the top of a mountain.... which we were not prepared for! It states at the bottom 30 mins walk and I took that with a pinch of salt, but no it really means a 30 min walk... upwards! It was a long tough walk for us as we were already tired, unprepared and had ran out of water :/ When we finally reached the top we were greeted by a view of Kyoto and the monkeys.

After the monkeys, we trudged back down, which was much easier and faster despite it starting to rain and get dark, and headed home on a very fun-sized Japanese tram complete with super kawai décor. 

Photos and edits by Jon Barker  


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