The day started with light rain but armed with umbrellas and coats we headed for the train station. Much greater success with the ticket vending machine today so onto the correct train bound for Arashiyama to check out a Bamboo Grove and a couple of other sites in the area.
First up was a walk though the gardens of the Tenryu-ji Zen temple. In a sign of things to come. Using information we received from the hotel, we couldn't find just where the main gardens were, if there were more, as the entry garden was not as spectacular as we were led to believe. An interesting plant growing in a pond was something we hadn't seen before. The complex contained a number of other temples but these were off limits to tourists.
From the temple we walked to the Togetsu-kyo bridge over the Katsura River. The wooden bridge is famous for its design and the traditions that are associated with it. The first bridge here was built in 836 and the current one in 1934. It has been used in a number of films over the years. The river flowing over a weir and various rocks looks great and there are regularly cormorants fishing for their lunch. It is quite common to see rickshaws carrying tourists around the town and attractions. The guys that pull them certainly earn their fee.
A walk back through town saw us at the Bamboo Grove. The tall bamboo is impressive, providing a cool place to walk through the pathways and is relaxing as the breeze sways the tops of the bamboo. The area appears to be harvested occasionally and allowed to re grow. Some damage to the bamboo was evident. I guess that was from the recent typhoon that came through the area.
Back on the train to Kyoto after buying tickets through a vending machine that was easier than the one in the main station. A change of lines to go to Fushimi and we we bound for the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. This shrine dates back to 816 with the main structure built in 1499. It sits at the bottom of a hill and is famous for the trail of supposedly 5000 torii gates that wind their way up one side of the hill face then back down the side of the face. Each of these gates were donated by Japanese businesses. The main shrine buildings look magnificent in their vermillion paint but the tin must have emptied by the time they got to the gates along the trail with some looking quite sad with some rotting off at ground level and others already removed. Big maintenance job coming up.
Back on the train to the motel for a break. At least the weather in both places had been fine and sunny. Great day for walking around.
Electing to go out to see a Geisha show in Gion, we headed out into light rain again to catch a bus. Our information was for a couple of places, one where the show was, patrons had to queue for tickets, no reservations, and the other for some tea-houses where you would have a chance of seeing the Geishas come and go. It appears that the info we got was back to front or misunderstood so we ended up at what was the tea-houses and spent about 20 minutes looking for the theatre and running into others from the tour. With only a couple of glimpses of a Geisha we headed for the other location and discovered that was where the show was. The show was almost over by then. We headed back to the tea-houses again, with just a glimpse of two Geishas getting into a taxi, all this in the rain.
Deciding it wasn't worth waiting any longer in the rain, the next challenge was to find a bus stop and identify the correct bust to get us back to the hotel. Mission successfully accomplished with dinner at the same little restaurant as last night.
Sorry if you are wondering where this story is but I'm putting it together before breakfast and heading out as last night I kept falling asleep while I was trying to write it.