Arashiyama, Sagano Scenic Railway, Bamboo Forest and the Monkey Park were hot things on the list, ever since we came here. Divya showed me the train, and it was a straight yes! But somehow, it wasn’t as amazing as imagined. We hopped into a crowded train to Saga-Arashiyama from Kyoto. The station staff have been extremely helpful at all the places we have been to so far, but not really so here. Figuring out the place, partly with the map and partly with gut feeling, we headed to the Bamboo Forest. And somehow again, it was not quite what we expected. Walking through the forest, we met another Tamil family, on an official visit to Kyoto University. The same that we saw at Nishiki, a couple of days ago. Talking to them, helping them through their itinerary for a rather short trip, and finally clicking a photo for the family, it was a pleasant feeling of connectedness.
Moving past a lot of nice people, asking for a photo of us to be taken, and returning the favour, it was a good walking tour meeting new people. Heading back to the station, we reached the Saga Torokko Station, right next to Saga-Arashiyama. The scenic railway, the Sagano Romantic train, was again a disappointment because we couldn’t get a seat in the open coach. And the seats we got did not even have openable windows!
The view was awesome – the cliffs, the bridges, the flowing Hozugawa (river Hozu), and the boats. We wished to take the boat trip back to Saga-Arashiyama, but it felt too costly at 4 grands! Alighting at Kameoka Torokko Station, we were lost. The day so far did not feel awesome enough. We were not motivated enough to cover the Monkey Park or the Kimono Forest, though they were also the reasons we came all the way for. We decided to go back to Kyoto, from the nearest JR Umahori Station.
Somewhere on the way from the Torokko station to the JR, we found a cafe with an amazing view. Suddenly, it felt like the purpose of this entire trip. Munching on the nachos, and sipping on the amazing grape juice, with an inspiring view in front of us, we spent hours there. Multiple rounds of juice, nachos and an ice cream, and some great snaps – the day felt so perfect to me! Each of us zoning out into our own worlds, we let time slip by without the hurry of a schedule.
Back at Kyoto from Umahori, we went to Teramachi for the usual souvenir shopping dilemma. And in no time, headed back home. A peaceful strip of the day, caught in between many boring and tiring hours, made the day complete.