Kyoto – Day 2: Morning Markets, Bamboo Forests, Romantic Train Rides, and River Boats

We woke up early to make sure we could find a pretty famous morning market that was nearby the hostel. Our goal was to find breakfast there, but instead we found a lot of raw vegetables and meat. We also found an octopus, which I ate. Hey, when you’re hungry, you’re hungry…

This is an octopus stuffed with a hard-boiled quail egg. It might just be the weirdest-looking thing I've eaten so far.

I might be re-thinking eating it at this point.

The market was just opening, but already we could see some really cool things on sale. Don’t ask me what it was though, just – really cool – ok?

Morning in the market. They have lots of delicious stuff. Kyoto is known for Tofu, tea, and pickles. Not sure why it's such a strange combo.

Needless to say, the octopus wasn’t enough to make a decent breakfast, so we had to leave the market and found a new place to sit down. After that, we were on our way to see the bamboo forests.

Me in the bamboo forest. Apparently bamboo can grow an inch per day!

I don’t know much (read: anything) about the bamboo forests. I know pandas eat it and it makes a great renewable hardwood floor, but other than that I’m useless. The bamboo forest is pretty cool, but if you’re thinking of going to Kyoto just for the bamboo forests, it definitely isn’t the coolest thing there.

The next stop was a train ride, which in a nice English translation was called “The Romantic Train Ride”, through the mountains along a really pretty river. The train ride and bot trip down the river costs about 4800 yen, but I think it was well worth the money. I’m not sure why, but the river seemed to change colors as we went from this deep emerald green color to a baby blue color and the river is surrounded on both sides by steep walls of lush green foliage. It was super cool. Our guides were funny too. I could tell this because everyone else was laughing at his jokes.

The most romantic train ever.

You can take a boat down this river. It takes about two hours and all you do is sit there and enjoy the view. If you want to work your lil muscles, rafting is also available.

We made some friends. Mari helped us translate so we could understand each other.

At the end of the boat tour, there's a beautiful little town. It's really nice. I'd take some time and just walk through it quickly.

After we got off the boat and said our goodbyes to the 3 guys who helped us get down the river safely, we walked into town to catch a train. Our next stop was Kinkaku-ji, the famous WHO site and golden temple of Kyoto. We had to take a taxi since we were getting really close to the temple’s closing time, the taxi from this bridge above costed about 2000 yen. George and I split it. Mari, Zach and his Mom took another cab since we couldn’t all fit in one.

We arrived at Kinkaku-ji just before it closed. The sun was setting on it. It was absolutely beautiful!

Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Temple)

The whole temple is actually covered with a layer of gold leaf so it shines in the sun brilliantly. The surrounding gardens are also incredibly beautiful and relaxing. It’s a popular tourist destination for many people and the Japanese take incredibly good care of it.

From the opposite side.

It really was surprising to see such a well cared for historical monument. The gardens were really cool too.



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