We have been staying in temporary housing until we find an apartment and we are doing just about anything to get out of this place. The housing kind of feels like a place where Jason Bourne would stop just long enough to shave his face. And apparently mattresses aren't popular here so we sleep on like 3 inch matts that sit on top of a box spring. It's very different from home to say the least. So, since we aren't the biggest fans of the temporary housing we decided to take a trip to Kyoto. Kyoto is about 6 hours away from Tokyo by car, but only 2 hours by bullet train. The tickets are pretty pricey, $140 per person, each way. So it ended up costing about $600 just in train fees to get there. That hurt a little bit, considering I was looking at flights to Bali for like $750. But we knew we wanted to see Kyoto and it was also the peak cherry blossom season. Once we were in Kyoto, we quickly found out that this was quite the hot spot in Japan. Maybe some of you reading this are thinking, "well duh it's one of the most popular places in Japan" but we didn't know that. Remember, we were offered this job and moved here in less than 2 weeks. There was no preparation or research, it was like a blind date.
Back to Kyoto. We took a train to this popular bamboo forest in Arashiyama that is all over Google. Apparently we weren't the only ones who knew about it. It was packed! We had seen so many cool pictures from this spot but unfortunately because there were so many people there was no way we could get what we wanted. So we kept wandering, hoping we could get to a spot where nobody else was but that's just never going to happen in Japan. However, once we got through the bamboo forest we ended up in this park that overlooked this incredible view of a river. I honestly didn't even know this place existed, but I was so glad it did. This spot on the river was the first time I felt like I was in a different country. I went from being jam packing in a tiny little forest, to this overwhelmingly beautiful view unlike anything I had ever seen before. When we read about Kyoto everyone talked about the food and the shopping and the Geishas and the temples, but I never knew about this so it was a very pleasant surprise.
You are then given the option to either walk across a bridge to get to the other side ofthe river (duh) or you can go left, down a busy street full of food and little shops. I highly recommend crossing the bridge to walk along the other side of the river, there are far less people and much better views. The farther you walk up that path, the more secluded it gets. That was the first time we actually got away from the crowds, it felt so nice to be alone in nature again.