Jojakkoji was our final temple of the day and it was the most accessible, as it’s located amongst the cluster of temples just North of Tenryuji. As it’s built hallway up a mountain, it’s known for its views overseeing Arashiyama. Unfortunately when we went, the main hall of the temple Hondo, was closed for renovations.
It was close to 4pm by the time we entered the temple grounds, so we pretty much had the place all to ourselves which was kind of eerie, but good for photo opportunities.
Be warned, there are quite a few steps to climb to get to the various viewing vantage points.
There were other sections of the temple we didn’t have time to explore as they were closing, but overall, we liked the solemn beauty of the grounds.
We started to head back towards the train station. On the way, we passed by this café tucked away in the middle of a thick bamboo grove. The lady owner was at the entrance sweeping away, and stopped to chat to us. Her English was pretty good!
After our friendly conversation, we made our way back towards tourist civilisation, heading out through the bamboo grove at the back of Tenryuji temple and onto the main shopping street that led back towards the train station. One of the many souvenir shops along this street that is worth browsing is the Chirimen Craft Museum.
It sells many cute goods including dolls, animals, bags and even food made from woven fabric. It’s hard to miss with the numerous colourful displays out the front of the shop.
Further down the street was the unmissable building of the Randen railway station.
Walk through to the back and you’ll find yourself in the middle of the Kimono Forest.
There are approximately 600 of these poles, designed to replicate the bamboo forests Arashiyama is well-known for. Each pole features a hand-dyed Yuzen kimono design and lights up as night falls.
Unbeknownst to us there’s also a Dragon Pond near the Kimono Forest, so don’t miss that if you’re there like we did!
It took a bit of effort to navigate our way back to the JR train station from there. There were signs, but they were tiny and far between. An hour later and we were back at Kyoto Station for dinner. We headed to Mimiu, which was actually just opposite Wako Tonkatsu in Eat Paradise.
They specialise in udon – I had the set with tempura and sashimi while my sister had the duck udon set. The food in Japan always looks pretty… the taste was good, but not spectacular. I liked the cute little dessert cup of custard and fruit.
We headed to the food basement of the Isetan just in time for their closing time sales and got some bargains –
Kobe croquets and sesame chicken wings for Y712.
And this lovely box of fresh tuna, salmon and kingfish sashimi, urchin and cod roe, shrimp and omelette on a bed of rice for just Y513.