Today we treated ourselves to breakfast at a doughnut restaurant. We have resisted since we touched down in Japan. But today I had two doughnuts for breakfast and it was glorious. Although a bit sickly I quickly polished off a chocolate doughnut swiftly followed by one completely filled with whipped cream.
To walk off our breakfast we headed to Arashiyama, which for £3.50 you can walk around the beautiful temple gardens. Only problem is everyone else had the same idea and it was packed. After being in the background of at least a hundred family snaps and nearly getting decapitated by a selfie stick we decided to leave and go off the beaten track.
Just metres from the gardens were completely empty paths winding into the forest passing shrines and temples. It was in the shade as well which was a real bonus in the 33 degree heat. We strolled through the forest taking hundreds of photos and enjoying the calm until we came to the end of the path, the bamboo forest.
A path had been carved through the centre of the forest for visitors to enjoy. The bamboo was incredibly tall and blocked all the sunlight. There was bamboo as far as you could see so it didn’t matter how busy it was, you could see it from any angle.
At the end of the forest and down a few uneven steps we caught the glimpse of the main Arashiyama river. It was beautiful and for some reason a view we both said, seemed out of context we’d assumed it to be in China or Cambodia, we weren’t expecting it in Japan. There were loads of people rowing especially towards the food boats floating down the river. A particular highlight of mine was when 3 women, who didn’t know how to row, got stuck at the end of the current and people had to climb down to the waters edge and push them back out again. Everybody, them included, found it hilarious.
We had planned to just spend half a day in Arashiyama but it was much bigger than we thought and with lots of natural beauty spots so we stayed the whole day.
On the way back, around 10pm, we were ravenous so popped into a petrol station cafe in what felt like the middle of nowhere. But when the doors opened it revealed a cafe full to the brim with 20-somethings all on their own, working or on their laptops. It was surreal,no one looked up from their screens when you walked passed, but the cafe did delicious pizza slices so we’ll probably be back.