A Travellerspoint blog

Arashiyama and the Good Samaritan

Plus Some Unfortunate News

Let's get the bad news out of the way first. In the last few days I developed what we think is tendonitis in both of my lower legs. Our landlord sent over a great acupuncturist (she makes house calls!), but this is the kind of condition that only rest can cure. So my walking will really be limited for the rest of our trip and we have had to curtail many of our best laid plans.

We were able to go out to Arashiyama, however, with the help of a Good Samaritan. What, you are thinking, is a Good Samaritan? The Good Samaritan Club is a group of Kyoto college and university students who volunteer as English speaking tour guides! All you have to do is sign up for one and pay his or her transportation/entrance fee/food costs.

Our first Good Samaritan (we are scheduled to have a second one on Monday) was Yuki, a freshman from Osaka who commutes 2 hours everyday to go to college in Kyoto. P1010637.jpg His ultimate goal is to become a firefighter. Despite his protests to the contrary, Yuki spoke quite good English and helped us take the train including a transfer out to Arashiyama. He also made us reservations at Shigetsu, the temple restaurant at Tenryu Ji.

Arashiyama is on the outskirts of Kyoto. Among other things, it is famous for Togetsu Kyo, an historic bridge often seen in samurai movies.P1010580.jpg Yuki explained that Togetsu refers to something like walking across the bridge in the moonlight.

The bridge crosses the Katsura River. It was a beautiful day, and the river was being used for fishing and boating, mainly by poling since the river was apparently really shallow.P1010587.jpg P1010565.jpgP1010574.jpgP1010598.jpgYuki said the fisherman was fishing for ayu. The fall colors were amazing.P1010570.jpg

Some of the boaters were school students. We watched from the shore as a motorboat pulled aside their boat to sell them lunches.P1010606.jpgP1010609.jpgP1010613.jpgP1010622.jpg

Arashiyama is also famous for its bamboo forest.P1010641.jpg Even though the forest was filled with tourists (we were there on a Friday, so there would certainly be even more people there the next day), it was still eerily beautiful.P1010646.jpg

Our lunch at Shigetsu was wonderful. Each party had its own tatami room inside the temple grounds.P1010673.jpg Lunch was vegetarian temple cuisine and was very yummy.P1010672.jpg

On our way out of the temple, we saw a large group of people dressed in traditional costumes that looked like they came straight out of the Tales of Genji.P1010740.jpgP1010741.jpgP1010742.jpgP1010743.jpgP1010744.jpgP1010747.jpgP1010749.jpgP1010750.jpgP1010753.jpg We never did find out what they were doing.

Posted by pokano 15:27 Archived in Japan

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the fall colors are overwhelming. Is this their peak? Any idea what sorts of trees dominate the foliage?

really enjoying the blog, thanks so much!

by Hal Wershow

Absolutely Stunning photography. The leaves are just beautiful. And I am so envious of your walk in the bamboo forest, it is one of my favorite plants.

by Judy Phillips

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