First stop, is a quaint roadside restaurant for a traditional 4-course kaiseki meal. Fresh vegetables, seafood, tofu, rice, and soup. A big meal to get us through our busy day, but light enough to keep us active.
Through the main street of Arashiyama, you’ll find one main path that will lead you to the Bamboo Grove. It is one of the most photographed spots in Kyoto, but seeing it with my own eyes, it’s even more magical.
Our next stop is the Kinkakuji-dera Golden Pavilion. A 14th century Buddhist Zen Temple. The top 2 floors covered in gold leaves, and each floor represents a different style of architecture. It is an impressive structure surrounded overlooking a large pond and temple garden surrounding it. There are carved rock sculptures, a tea house and a head priest’s former living quarters.
Halfway up the Higashiyama Mountain range stands a temple called Kiyomzu-dera. Our last stop on our day trip to Kyoto before we head back to the buzzing electric streets of Tokyo. The temple dates back over 1200 years ago and is also known as Kannon-Reijo, a holy place. People come here to pay their respects to the goddess of great mercy and compassion.
Stunning cityscape can be seen from the temple, and the walking back down at dusk gave me an even more breathtaking landscape of this ancient city.
A day is clearly just not enough to take Kyoto all in. The next time I visit Kyoto, I would make sure to give it a couple of days. For now, I head back to Tokyo, and eventually to Chicago, my home in America, feeling a great sense of peace.