Showing posts with label Kyoto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kyoto. Show all posts
 Kyoto is definitely one of Japan's most historical and cultural cities. They are very well-known for being the home of many famous shrines and temples. However, one of the popular attractions that I wanted to visit was the Arashiyama Monkey Park. I didn't have the time to check it out on our first trip, but made sure to visit it on our last trip in December 2016. The monkey park is located in the neighborhood of Arashiyama in the northwestern area of Kyoto. Transportation wasn't too bad, as the train ride from Kyoto Station was about 15 minutes to JR Saga-Arashiyama Station. You can also take the Hankyu line to Arashiyama station

Before going up to the monkey park, you would need to pay the entrance fee. It costs ¥550 per adult. Be sure to wear good walking shoes and bring water, as the hike up the mountain side took about 30 minutes. I wasn't expecting the hike, but it was a very welcoming surprise. Despite it being in mid-December, I was sweating on the steep hike up so it wasn't very cold when I finally arrived at the top.

The park consists of 120 snow monkeys and they are native to Japan. The monkeys themselves are still wild, so don't look them in their eyes or else they might attack you. There are plenty of signs displayed on this tidbit throughout the park.

There is also an enclosed feeding area located indoors, where you can feed the monkeys by hand. The apple bits weren't very expensive, and I believe it was about 150 yen for a bag. 

 Rules To Abide:

1) Don't stare into the monkeys' eyes. They consider it as a sign of a threat and some of them become aggressive.
2) Don't touch the monkeys. Like other wild animals, the monkeys hate being touched and feel stress.
3) Don't feed them outside the hut surrounded by a wire netting.

This photo was taken using the burst mode on my iPhone, so I didn't look at the monkey directly in the eye for long. The monkey turned its head towards my direction, so I looked away quickly.

Up on top, you also get a gorgeous view of Kyoto, as the top reaches 525 feet above sea level.  

Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

Hours: Open everyday. 9:00 am ~ 5:00 pm
Location: 8 Arashiyama Genrokuyama-cho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 616-0007, Japan

We planned to visit both pavilions (Kinkakuji and Ginkaku-ji) on this day but rain changed our plans significantly. We didn't get to see the Ginkaku-ji (silver pavilion) as it started raining really hard after we left Kinkakuji so we ended up relaxing at the mall.

Sun, Dec 22, 2013 (Day #13)

I woke up a lot earlier than the time that I had set on my alarm. However, my boyfriend was still sleeping and I didn't want to disturb him. So instead of doing nothing around the hotel room; I decided to go across the street to eat at Yayoiken again. It's so great that they serve meals 24/7; love it!!

Yayoiken (lunch)

It's open 24-hours a day.
Plastic models of the food outside of the restaurant.
pork cutlet meal set.
Yayoiken has multiple locations throughout Japan, and is a great place for a quick meal. It's a restaurant chain where customers select their meals and pay using a machine. The prices are amazingly affordable and the food actually tastes really good. My fried pork cutlet meal was ¥900 and came with thick cutlets, white rice, miso soup, tofu, and hot tea. There is also a rice cooker at the front, so customers have unlimited access to rice.

Backpacking and staying in hostels was never an option for us. We knew from the start that we were unable to do that as we have never done it before, and that I couldn't fit everything in one mid-sized backpack (haha). Therefore, we opted to stay in only hotels throughout our 3 weeks in Japan ranging from 3 to 4.5 stars. It was rather expensive as we moved around a lot from city to city (a total of 10 different cities), so luckily there were a few affordable lunch options available.

I went back to our hotel after eating, and got ready to explore Kyoto.


Map of the Kinkakuji grounds.

The entrance fee for each person is ¥400.
Doesn't the scenery surrounding the Kinkakuji look magnificent?

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) is a gold-leaf covered Zen temple in Kyoto, and is one of the more popular tourist attractions in the city. The three-story structure stands in the water and one can see its golden reflection in the water. 

Address: 1 Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (daily)
 Fee: ¥400 (each person).
Transit: Take the Kyoto City Bus #101 or 205 to the Kinkaku-ji Michi bus stop.

It started raining quite hard when we left Kinkakuji, so we decided to head back to Kyoto Station to have an early dinner. The rain really dampened our plans to visit the district of Gion and see Geisha, and eat dinner in the area. I was rather sad about this as I was looking forward to checking it out.

Porta Mall [udon] (dinner)

Porta Mall is an underground mall located beneath Kyoto Station. There are plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants inside of the mall.

Udon restaurant (unknown English name) inside of Porta Mall.
Shrimp tempura udon (¥848).
Cold udon set (¥839).
This was the first time that I have tried cold udon, and I am not a fan. I actually ordered it by accident as I thought it was fried chicken (hot) udon but it wasn't. I didn't like the udon noodles so I just ate the fried chicken as at least that was warm. I don't often waste that much food, but I really couldn't swallow the (very) cold udon noodles.

Lotteria (dinner)

As I didn't eat my entire dinner at the previous restaurant; we stopped at the Lotteria inside of the mall. Lotteria is a fast-food chain in Japan and has hundreds of franchises in East Asia.

Cheeseburger combo (¥550).
Vie de France

Last treat for the night was two baked goods from Vie de France. They were near closing so the selection was quite limited.

Twist stick cinnamon (¥137) and chorizo sausage with tartar sauce & cheese (¥168).

Day #13 in Japan [Kyoto]

by on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
We planned to visit both pavilions (Kinkakuji and Ginkaku-ji) on this day but rain changed our plans significantly. We didn't get to s...